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Vintage Millinery Singer Sewing Machines (Sweatbands, Binding, Ribbons, ETC)

Joshbru3

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I've been doing some research on vintage Singer sewing machines that were used to stitch Reeded and Un-Reeded sweatbands into golden era hats. I love working on vintage hats, but any time that I have a project, I always find that I can redo a good portion of the hat by hand, except for the sweatband. I would love to buy one of these vintage machines so that I could possibly cut and fabricate my own wide sweatbands and duplicate some of the same stitching used in the early 20th century.

I've found some pictures of early Singer Sewing machines and obviously there are probably later models that were used to stitch sweatbands, I just haven't found the numbers and pictures of the later ones yet. If anybody has any more pictures, information, etc about these vintage Millinery Singers, please post them here. I think this will be a very valuable thread for anybody that wants to learn a little more about the machines that helped make those early hats that we all know and love.

Singer 46-100 & 46-101
(Used for un-reeded sweatbands which were sewn right to the felt)

Singer46-1001.jpg


Singer46-1002.jpg


Singer46-100.jpg


Singer46-101.jpg



Singer 107-1
(Used for Reeded sweatbands which attached the sweatbands reed tape to the felt itself and was usually visible under the ribbon)

Singer107-1.jpg


Singer 107-2
(Also used for Reeded sweatbands. This is a slightly later model)

Singer107-2.jpg



I was also able to find a website that lists thousands of Singer Model numbers for every purpose under the sun.

Singer Sewing Machines for Manufacturing Purposes

Here is the list from the Millinery section of the website:

HATS, MILLINERY (Singer Sewing Machines) (List Published in 1926)

Over-edging brims: 81-2
Multiple stitching, brims and crowns: 52-52 to 52-60, 52-62
Stitching (straw): 117-2, 25-56
Stitching paper linings: 107-1
Binding (felt): 59-1
Snapping binding: 116-1
Sweat bands: 107-1, 75-1, 46-100, 37-10, 37-3, 32-62, 32-61
Cases, leather: 78-1, 43-4, 19-12, 19-10, 17-24
Making linings: 24-57
Tacking bands and bows: 114-21
Wiring: 112-1
Abutting and stitching (ribbon, straw braid and Pyroxylin braid): 112-3


Like I said before, there are more models out there for the purposes listed, but because this list was dated 1926, these are the models that were used to create my favorite type of hats, those beautiful pre-1930 hats.
 

monbla256

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Nice piece of research !! Thanks for taking the time and effort ! Even though these machines were listed as being from 1926 I would imagine they were not changed much as the decades wore on. It's stuff like this that make this Forum worth the time :) again, thanks.
 

Joshbru3

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I had a blast finding this information. I just hope one of these things show up one day in full working order so I can start stitching sweatbands the right way. :)
 

delectans

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Your indefatigueable enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me, Josh. Great work shedding some light on a dimly lit corner of millinery history!
 
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MDphoto

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I love seeing this type of thread (no pun intended. Ok, maybe a little). The research provided is really interesting.
 

Art Fawcett

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Reach out Josh..I have two 46-100 s that I have never been successful using ( a full sweatband sewn without breaking thread). I'd be happy to sell them to you & send my non reeded sweat work to you!!
 

Joshbru3

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Good stuff Josh. Here are a few Singer ads I cut from the American Hatters.

Thanks for posting those ads, Bill!! I have paged through over 2000 pages of those American Hatter publications. I haven't clipped out anything yet though. They are such valuable historic resources. I'm so glad that google scanned them in.
 

Joshbru3

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Chicago, IL
Your indefatigueable enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me, Josh. Great work shedding some light on a dimly lit corner of millinery history!
I love seeing this type of thread (no pun intended. Ok, maybe a little). The research provided is really interesting.
I still can't believe that no one has told Josh that he "keeps them in stitches." Great detective work, Josh (and buler)!

Thanks, everyone!!!!
 

Joshbru3

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Chicago, IL
Reach out Josh..I have two 46-100 s that I have never been successful using ( a full sweatband sewn without breaking thread). I'd be happy to sell them to you & send my non reeded sweat work to you!!

That's really interesting to hear, Art. Are the machines just really hard to use, or do you think there is something with modern day materials that prevents the machine from working correctly? If you can't sew a full sweatband without breaking a thread with these machines, I wouldn't stand a chance!! I would really love to see these things in action. I guess I wanted to find a 46-100 because I keep looking at all my vintage unreeded hats, and their sweatbands are so wonderfully thin and light. I was looking into maybe trying to fabricate old time sweatbands with the rolled over edges, perforated ribbon work, and deep leather stamping. It is just a dream for now, but I wanted to see if its even possible. Even though I know that the reeded sweatbands are much stronger and last longer than unreeded, the unreeded just seem to be so much more comfortable. Probably because the leather is so thin and light, that it conforms to the head better (thats purely a guess though). The main disadvantage that I see to an unreeded sweatband is that it seems that the hat looses some rigidity as a whole. What do you think? I would love to hear your take on the reeded vs. unreeded subject.
 

Mario

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Last year - or was it early this year? - someone sold an old, fully operational German sweatband sewing machine on the German Ebay for a mere 250 euros, which is peanuts. I spotted the auction one day too late. I got so worked up about my missing out on that great opportunity that I went out and spent the money on alcoholic beverages instead (well, not all of it...).

Good luck, Josh!
 

Joshbru3

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4,409
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Chicago, IL
I have often wondered how hatters were able to attach the reed tape/reed to the sweatband leather. I was sure that there was a special machine, but wasn't sure about the model numbers.

I found one vintage example that Singer made, the 37-3.

If you look close, you can see how the reed tape feeds into the sewing machine and mates up with the sweatband leather.

Singer37-3.jpg


I was also looking over the Rocky Mountain Hat Company website at :http://www.rockymountainhatcompany.com/gear.html

They have what looks like a later model singer machine which also attaches reed tape. They don't list the model number..

SingerReedingmachine.jpg


Does anybody know what model this is?

My question to the hatters on the lounge, are there any other Singer models that are specifically made for attaching reed tape to sweatband leather? Can you supply us with the model numbers?

Also which machines can do the really early 1900's tight "I" and "V" stitching?

EX.
1920sStetsonClearNutria8jpg.jpg


&

Austral10.jpg
 
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