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The Design of (and how to use) the Featherweight Foot Controller
The Singer foot controller used with most all Featherweights have quite the peculiar design! With most every other sewing machine in the world having a lever or wide pedal to be pressed by one's foot, Singer does seem to go against the grain, and many are unsure why. Singer's thought with this style of controller is that the sewer could keep his or her foot on the stationary button while at rest and then rock their foot to the side to initiate power to the machine. Many find this uncomfortable, and it is a surprise that Singer used this design for so long.
Here is a vintage Singer ad showing the supposed benefits and use of their controller.
Here is how Singer intended for the sewer to use their early Bakelite and metal controllers:
Eventually, Singer went away from this style with the later White Featherweights. Here is a photo of the "Clamshell" foot controller that came with some White Featherweights.
As technology has improved over the years, newer designs can be safer and much easier to use than the original button-type foot controllers.
1. The New Electronic Controller - These new controllers are very easy to use and more efficient in power consumption! They are safer than the original foot controllers, because they electronically draw the electricity and do not generatehheat like carbon rheostat controllers. Click Here to see the listing for these controllers.
If you switch to using a new electronic controller with your Featherweight, keep your original controller in order to maintain the value of your machine.
For further review and tutorials:
1. History of the Singer Featherweight Foot Controller
2. How to Adjust the Button Style Foot Controller
3. How to Adjust the Clamshell Foot Controller
4. Fun Singer Featherweight Socks here.