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The Free-Arm Featherweight 222K and How It Differs

The Singer Featherweight 222K Sewing Machine

(and how it differs from a 221 Model)

 


Inventory of our Singer Featherweight 222 Machines is constantly turning over.  Before we get a chance to put them on the site, they are often sold.  Therefore, please e-mail directly regarding our current inventory.

Approximately 100,000 222K Featherweights were made worldwide and is one of the best sewing machines ever made. Sometimes referred to as the "221 Free-Arm" by those who are not familiar with the model 222K - these Featherweight Sewing Machines were manufactured identically to the original 221 but with two additional (highly desirable!) features:

  1. Convertible Flat Bed into Tubular Bed or Free-Arm
    Allowing easier application of sleeves and cuffs or any hard-to-reach seaming.

  2. Sew / Darn Lever
    Feed dogs can be easily lowered, allowing free-motion embroidery and darning work.





Hence, the Free-Arm Featherweight or Tubular Bed


Feed-Dog Lowering Lever
Enabling Free-Motion Embroidery & Darning



See how the feed dogs (teeth-like mechanism) can be lowered...
No need to mess with covering them for buttonholes or free-motion work.



The 222K would have had some extra attachments available as well.  All had the foot originally included, but the hoop was an extra accessory:
Singer 222K Featherweight Attachments
All 222K Featherweights were manufactured in Scotland beginning in July, 1953. Their engineering and design were more labor intensive, thus it was later determined that manufacturing them would not be as cost-effective nor marketable. Production ceased of all free-arm 222 Featherweights in 1961.

Today, ironically, the 222 Free-Arm Featherweight is considered one of the most highly collectable and desirable Singer Sewing Machines.  This is why it is not uncommon to see them sell anywhere from $900 to as high as $4250 (of course, varying on condition, inclusions and seller reputability).


Another Subtle Difference:


 


The area around the presser bar lever is just slightly wider on a 222 than a 221. The 222 is only 1/16 of an inch wider, which is just enough to notice if you're going to try attaching a Single Thread Embroidery Attachment on your free-arm model Featherweight.  You will need to have some patience when trying to get it in position on your 222K.  (If you have the option, I would recommend using it on your 221 model Featherweight or other vintage Singer model.  The 221 Featherweight allows a better and proper fit of the Single Thread Embroidery Attachment.)

Collectable, yes - but certainly PRACTICAL!

Is by far the best machine I have ever owned. My 222K Featherweight has sewn numerous garments, alterations, repairs, quilt tops, and more.  It is easily convertible to sew my daughter's dress sleeves, getting around odd-shaped seams and curvatures and much, much more . . . not to mention the Free-Motion Machine Embroidery you can now so easily accomplish by dropping the feed dogs. (Something you cannot do on a traditional Featherweight 221.)




Regarding the Motor:

The Featherweight 222 / 222K’s that we offer are always USA and CANADA (North American) electrically compatible.  That is, they run on 110 voltage or current.  Motor and electrical components are all replaced or electrically changed with original Featherweight parts compatible for North American electricity. All our 222K Featherweight machines go through an electrical-safety inspection - of vital importance when making the upgrade, and most importantly, to have the assurance that your sewing machine is safe to today's electrical standards.  When purchasing a Singer 222 from us, you will not need to purchase a separate voltage converter.  Just plug it in and sew!

However, if you purchase a Singer 222K abroad, where the electrical current is 220 voltage, you will need to make the decision to either have it converted or simply purchase a separate voltage converter.  If you opt to convert your machine, then you will need to purchase an original Featherweight 110 volt motor, the foot controller will need adjusting and the light bulb will need changed as well.  A vintage original Featherweight motor can cost over $100 for one that is fully tested and guaranteed.  A voltage converter is the least expensive option and costs about $20-$30.  Just make sure you get one that will handle a minimum of 100 watts.  The downside to a converter is that is a separate unit that must be kept with the machine. 

Cosmetically, machines can vary.  While some sewists used their machines frequently year after year, others used them hardly at all.  As a general rule we like to trade with a grade 8 or above.  Occasionally, however, a Singer Featherweight machine of lesser caliber will come through the shop, but you will always have the option of choosing which one you prefer based on price, condition and inclusions.  



Regarding the Case:

Most Featherweight 221 cases will not work with a 222 sewing machine. All Featherweight 222 Sewing Machines are just a fraction taller than a 221 preventing the lid from closing properly in most 221 cases.


Regarding the Manual:




The original manuals are very hard to come by as they were easily torn, lost or thrown out. It was a very thorough little handbook, though, with nearly 100 pages of instruction.  If you do not have an original, you may download a free copy by clicking here.


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