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Featherweight Hint #6 - Replacing the Felt

Have you ventured underneath your Featherweight lately?  Carmon and I worked on this hint for you today, so it might just be the perfect time to look under your machine!

The felt drip pad that is underneath absorbs excess oil and, if heavily saturated, probably needs replacing.  Not only will it take care of a simple routine maintenance for your machine, but it can also help eliminate some of the old musty odors that tend to collect from having been in storage for many years.


This process kind of reminds me of cleaning out from behind the kitchen stove.  All those dust bunnies, lint and kitchen grease build up and you know it’s all there behind your stove…. that is until you get the notion to actually pull the stove out and get your elbows in it to clean it all out.  But, spring isn’t here yet, so we’ll save that major task for another day…..  let’s think about something more fun & gratifying… like cleaning our little Featherweight machine.

Besides, this week’s Featherweight hint will be much, much easier and you can defer the years of grease, oil and lint to nostalgia and all the pretty things sewn on your machine.  (That’s a much better thought anyway!)

So, let’s get started!  What you’ll need is an old Bath Towel, a bottle of Kerosene, Paper Towels, a Putty Knife (only for those felt pads which are really stuck on), and a new sticky-back Felt Drip Pad for your Singer Featherweight 221 or 222K.

1.)  Remove your metal drip pan by unscrewing that large nut on the bottom of your machine.
(If you own a White Featherweight, this process will not be necessary — your machines were gifted with an internal maid, so you can go right back to sewing and skip this week’s hint….. okay, okay, technically, the White Featherweights were provided with a masonite board for the bottom instead of a metal tray with a felt drip pad, so that’s kind of like having a built-in maid, right?)

2.)  If your felt drip pad isn’t as obvious and gross as the one depicted above, then check to see if your felt drip pad is saturated with oil.  Depressing your finger into the felt is the best test.  If you have oil residue on your finger then it’s time to change the felt drip pad.

3.)  If the pad was really stuck on the pan and some felt pieces are left behind when you pull the old one off then you might need to do some scraping with a putty knife.

4.)  Using your small bottle of Kerosene, squirt some onto the pan and let soak for a little bit.  Then wipe the pan as clean as you can with your paper towels.  If you do not already have Kerosene, then definitely get yourself a jug of it at your local hardware store.  Walmart carries smaller size containers in the camping section.  Kerosene is great for cleaning the machine’s finish, machine gears and other parts of the Featherweight machine, too.  We carry the small empty bottles in our shop if you’d like to have something a bit easier to use with your Kerosene.  The long spouted bottle allows you to designate small amounts in focused areas.

Cleaning the bottom metal tray from a Singer Featherweight 221.

Cleaning the smaller, more compact metal tray from a Singer Featherweight 222K.

5.)  Once your drip pan is dry, simply peel back the paper on your Felt Drip Pad and press down in place.

There…. now isn’t that nice and clean?  Much quicker and gratifying than tackling that kitchen stove, don’t you think?

You can easily make your own felt pad by tracing the old one onto a new felt, but for your convenience, we do carry the “Peel-and-Stick” Felt Drip Pads for both the Featherweight 221 & 222K in the shop.  They are $6.95 each with free shipping in the USA.

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