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The Register of Original Featherweight Manuals
Finding a matching, original manual to each machine is important to Featherweight collectors, and this register lists all 221 Featherweight manuals that we have recorded and the variations that we have observed between each of them.
Determining the date of a Featherweight manual is rather easy! In the top left corner of most 221 manuals is the form # and below that is the revision date. Some years like 1949 had no revisions and some like 1948 had three. Continue reading for additional insight into this aspect of Featherweight history. We can't guarantee that we have all Featherweight manuals recorded here, so please send us photos if you have a 221 manual not listed below.
Printed in USA, English 221-1 Manuals:
November, 1933 - Form 18740, 48 Pages, Copyright 1933
This is the very first known Featherweight manual. It is extremely hard to find. Most manuals dated after this one are listed as revised or rev. which would further indicate that this is indeed from the first run of Featherweight manuals. There are no images unique to this manual, but one feature illustrated that was specific to approximately the first 200 Featherweights, is the unique needle plate shown on page 12. Singer continued to use this image through the (1038) manual. Click here to see a picture of the actual needle plate.
Most 1933 Featherweights have a variation of the next manual.
January, 1934 - Form 18740, 48 Pages, Copyright 1933
There are two informal variations of the January 1934 manual. Each Featherweight manual depicts how the accessories are stored in the case. The type I case packs up quite differently than the type II case, and instead of printing a whole new run of manuals when the type II case was issued, Singer pasted a new page over the previous page showing how to pack up the machine.
March, 1935 - Form 18740, 48 Pages, Copyright 1933
Notice how much brighter green the manuals become starting in 1935. Little has changed in the 221 manuals from 1933 - March 1935. This is the last manual to feature the school-bell bobbin winder tension unit.
1235 (December 1935) - Form 18740, 48 pages, Copyright 1935
The month is no longer spelled out on manuals, and it is now numbered in the parentheses. The front mount bobbin winder tension bracket is shown, and the faceplate now depicts the straight thread guide at the bottom.
737 (July 1937) - Form 18740, 52 Pages, Copyright 1937
The Featherweight is now shown with the later scrolled faceplate and the numbered tension unit. The diagram of the new, numbered tension unit is very detailed in this manual; the depictions in the manuals produced after this do not have tension unit diagrams as detailed as the (737) manual.
1038 (October 1938) - Form 18740, 52 Pages, Copyright 1938
1038 manuals are the first to show the Featherweight sitting in one of the card tables.
340 (March 1940) - Form 18740, 52 Pages, Copyright 1940
The 340 manual is the first to show the underneath side of the common needle plate and reminds users to put the positioning finger in the slot - A2 in B2.
641 (June 1941) - Form 19657, 56 pages, Copyright 1941
Form 19657 was the new designation for the Featherweight manual. The photo of the light housing shows the new larger decal lower on the shade. Singer now included instructions for the Edge Stitcher and Shirring Foot and removed the instructions for the Seam Cloth Guide.
945 (September 1945) - Form 19657, 56 Pages, Copyright 1941
There is now an additional diagram reminding the user how to position the thread to commence sewing. Little else changed to the Featherweight manual during this time.
No date - Form 19657, 56 Pages, Copyright 1941
This manual has been seen with a Featherweight made in the USA but sold in Canada, so it is possible that the lack of revision date printing had something to do with a more spontaneous run of manuals not needing any revision for machines needing sent abroad. Virtually no change was made to this manual in comparison with the (945) manual.
446 (April 1946) - Form 19657, 56 Pages, Copyright 1941
No change was made to the (446) manual. Perhaps that is why the copyright remains the same as the previous two manuals - 1941. Notice how 'Revised' is spelled out instead of shortened like most of the manuals before and after (rev.).
247 (February 1947) - Form 19657, 56 Pages, Copyright 1941
As the copyright remains the same, so does the content; there are no significant changes to this manual. This is the last USA manual to feature the badge logo on the back.
747 (July 1947) - Form 19657, 56 Pages, Copyright 1941
This manual has no significant differences compared to (247) except for the updated design and warning on the back cover.
148 (January 1948) - Form 20327, 56 Pages, Copyright 1947
This is the first known Form 20327 manual. The servicing portion of the manual remains the same, but in the attachments section the regular Bias Binder has been replaced with the Multi-Slotted Binder. The needle size chart has also been moved to the inside of the back cover instead of the last page.
248 (February 1948) - Form 20332, 56 Pages, Copyright 1941
Here is a rather peculiar situation. Form 20327 clearly did not last very long, and the manual is now Form 20332. One theory is that Singer prematurely released the manuals featuring the Multi-Slotted Binder because the (248) manual returns to the regular Bias Binder as well as the 1941 copyright; however, this manual is additionally unique. The images on pages 24 and 27 feature the rare Bakelite banded motors that were often used on Featherweights produced in the USA but sold in other countries. Click here to see one of those machines. This was most likely a batch of manuals produced for the 221 machines with those motors.
Note the caveat about not using vaseline in the Featherweight motor. This reminder was included in all USA featherweight manuals through this one (248).
748 (July 1948) - Form 20327, 56 Pages, Copyright 1947
Form 20327 returns! Nearly identical to the (148) manual, this manual has an additional caveat about avoiding counterfeit Singer needles.
150 (January 1950) - Form 20332, 56 Pages, Copyright 1941
Form 20332 returns! The same as the (248) manual, this one also depicts the Featherweight with the Bakelite banded motor and includes the regular Bias Binder. This is the last USA Featherweight manual depicting the top tray case. It also features an updated font for the warning on the back cover.
750 (July 1950) - Form 20327, 56 Pages, Copyright 1950
Form 20327 returns...again! With a new copyright of 1950 the (750) manuals are quite distinct from previous manuals. Most images now feature the striated faceplate and the carrying case with the Bakelite handle.
752 (July 1952) - Form 20327, 56 Pages, Copyright 1952
This is the final, green, vertical USA Featherweight 221 manual. The copyright dates are moved from the inside cover to the 2nd page. The graduated throat plate is now shown and the oiling diagram on page 24 is partially altered to reflect that. An image for oiling in the hook assembly has been added as well. Additional instructional images have been added for the Narrow Hemmer.
454 and 655 (April 1954 and June 1955) - Form 20327, 56 Pages, Copyrights 1954, 1955.
The last two USA Featherweight manuals are obviously quite different, yet they retain the same Form 20327 number. There were two revisions of this blue manual - (454) and (655). Both have 56 pages, but there are a few differences between each of them as well as between the (752) manuals. An additional diagram in both manuals for changing the lightbulb is helpful. The motor photo has also been updated to show the more recent motor. A table of contents and larger photos overall make this manual a bit more user friendly.
There are two unique differences between the two manuals. #1 - On the inside of the cover the (454) manual shows the Featherweight with Celtic knot decals, and in the (655) manual the machine has the updated paperclip style decals. #2 - On the first page of the (454) manual, Featherweight is listed as trademarked, and on the first page of the (655) manual, 221 is listed as trademarked.
Printed in UK, English 221K Manuals:
Most images in these manuals are borrowed from the USA 221 manuals, but the new images generated for these 221K manuals are indicated by the letter K before each image number.
347 (March 1947) - Form K5710, No Copyright, 32 Pages
This is the first known Featherweight 221K manual, and it was designed five months prior to the first commission of 221K Featherweights. The early 221K Featherweights had the Bakelite banded motors, so there are a couple images in the manual that are like those in the (248) and (150) manuals. The manual contains a supplemental form detailing how to remove the bobbin case base. This was something never detailed in a USA Featherweight manual, but these instructions were permanently printed in 221K manuals after the (347) ones. There is also an image for loosening the stop-back motion knob - this also was not depicted in the USA 221 manuals. The (347) manuals have instructions on the Quilter attachment as well as the Underbraider.
150 (January 1950) - Form K5710, 32 Pages
With 32 pages just like the (347) manual, much of the content in the (150) manual remains the same. In order to make room for the previously used supplement that was included in the (347) manual, the 1st page with the machine's description has been eliminated.
550 (May 1950) - Form K5710, 32 Pages
The only difference with the (550) manual is the updating of the motor images, so they depict the newer motors with the aluminum description bands.
451 (April 1951) - Form K5710, 38 Pages
This manual adds instructions for the included Edge Stitcher.
1151 (November 1951) - Form K5710, 55 Pages
The (1151) manuals do not have the 221K1 indication and are instead just listed for the 221K. This is due to the introduction of the light switch next to the light housing on all black Featherweights produced in the UK. This new light setup is shown on page 4. The oiling diagram shown on page 17 is the first version to not show the back arm decal that was on early 1933 Featherweights; until this manual that decal was shown in every Featherweight manual. The diagram showing where to oil underneath the machine is the first to show the common serial number placement next to the bed cushion instead of behind the drip pan like the early 1933 221 machines. A capacitor is also depicted in this image. There are now instructions on the Ruffler, the Bias Cutting Gauge, the wide zipper foot, the clip-on feed cover plate, the embroidery foot and the Tucker/Tuckmarker.
652 (June 1952) - K5710A, 54 Pages
The striated Faceplate is now shown in most images, and there is an updated diagram for how to position the thread when sewing begins. This is the last known green vertical manual that was issued with 221K Featherweights. It has been observed with 221K Featherweights commissioned as late as 1958.
1260 (December 1960) - K6402, 52 Pages
This is the most common manual issued with the Red 'S' 221K Featherweights sold here in the USA and Canada. This manual was printed in Great Britain, and it is most similar to the blue manuals printed in the USA in the mid 1950s. It does, however, depict the upper light switch, and the regular bias binder is used instead of the multi-slotted binder.
963 (September 1963) - K6402, 52 Pages
This is the last known standard manual printed for the black Featherweights, and it was also likely used as a replacement manual given to owners who may have misplaced their older ones; it has been seen with much older Featherweights here in the USA. It has a matte cover and pages unlike the glossy ones of the (1260) manual. There are no other differences between the two manuals.
Light Bisque (Tan) Featherweight Manuals
Below are the manuals for the 221K and 221J tan Featherweights.
861 (August 1961) Form K6436, 52 Pages, 221K5
This is the first (and arguably the only) manual specific to the Tan Featherweight. These machines were indeed designated as 221K5 and the primary mechanical difference between the 221K4 and 221K5 is the fact that the light switch is at the base of the machine like the 221 machines made in the USA. This manual was printed in Great Britain and issued with both 221K and 221J tan machines. Click here to read more about the tan Featherweight variants. The threading instructions are very clear in this manual and there are even detailed instructions on basic sewing of a seam. There is a guide to using the narrow zipper foot as well as simple information about the ZigZagger and buttonholer. Singer was transitioning to more images and less text in these 1960s manuals, and the clear diagrams are very helpful!
364 (March 1964) Form K6436, 52 Pages, 221
This manual is the same as the previous manual in all its content, but the first page in the section on the machine's attachments has a different image. The cover and pages have a matte finish unlike the glossy finish of the previous manual. Because this manual was printed later than the production times of the tan Featherweights, it was likely a replacement manual for all 221 Featherweights instead of a manual issued with tan machines.
Pale Turquoise (White) Featherweight Manuals
There were two basic designs of the white Featherweight manuals and a few variations of each. The manuals with a blue cover were issued with white Featherweights sold in Europe including Great Britain, and the manuals with the pink covers were issued with white Featherweights sold in the USA and Canada.
464 (April 1964) Form K6610, 45 Pages
This is the first known White Featherweight manual, and it was printed in Great Britain. It was included with white Featherweights sold in the USA, and it is the only white Featherweight manual to show the machine's case. Overall, this manual is very similar to the tan Featherweight manuals, featuring updated photos yet no instruction on the Narrow Hemmer, Ruffler and ZigZagger which justifies its fewer pages. There is the addition explaining the adjustable components on the machine and a caveat about caring for the machine and frequency of oiling.
165 (January 1965) Form K6610, 45 Pages
Aside from the removal of the case in the opening image, no content has been removed or added compared to the last manual.
567 (May 1967) Form K6623, 54 Pages
This is the first known manual for the White Featherweights sold in the UK and continental Europe. Pasted on the first page is a warning about the wiring. The clamshell style foot controller is depicted with this manual, and the UK buttonholer (86718) is also shown. The Tucker and Ruffler aren't featured as fashion aids. There is a clause about the motor not needing lubrication indicating that this manual would have been included with machines with sealed motors. There is an image of a lint brush on the page about dusting and an oil bottle on the page about oiling. A clause has been added reminding the user to unplug the machine before servicing it. The most significant difference in these blue cover manuals is the addition of a servicing hints section. These five pages help the owner troubleshoot issues that may occur like the needle breaking and the handwheel not turning.
967 (September 1967) K6610, 45 Pages
This manual is nearly identical to the (165) manual with the addition of the newer clamshell style foot controller and the clause about not needing to lubricate the motor.
969 (September 1969) K6610, 45 Pages
The copyright date has been updated to 1967 in this manual, and the printing dates have been added into the front cover instead of the back cover. There is also a note about only using a bayonet type Singer bulb.
970 (September 1970) K6623, 54 Pages
This is the last known standard issue featherweight owner's manual. The wiring clause has been added to the inside cover instead of pasted in like the (567) manual. That is the only difference between this manual and the (567) manual.
221 Manuals in Other Languages
Below is information on 221 and 221K manuals in languages other than English, sorted by print/revision date.
646 (June 1946) Form 19657 SW., 56 Pages, Swedish
This is the oldest non-English Featherweight manual that we have observed. It would have been included with a 221 (not usually a 221K) that was sold in or brought to Sweden. It is most similar to the USA (641) manual and features no unique images compared to the (641) manual; however, there is no image of the Featherweight sitting on or in a table.
447 (April 1947) - Form K5723 Ital., Italian
Very few Featherweights were sold in Italy, and we do not have this 1947 manual in our possession. If you have this manual, please contact us, so we can document it further.
447 (April 1947) - Form K5737 Fr., 47 Pages, French
This 221K manual was printed in Great Britain and designed one month after the first English 221K manual. It has several more pages than the (347) 221K manual and is, of course, in French. Pages 1-32 are identical to the (347) manual, but the addition of instruction on the Edge Stitcher and Ruffler constitute the additional 15 pages. This manual does not contain the supplemental instructions for removing the bobbin case base. A supplemental form may have existed but is now missing from this manual.
547 (May 1947) - Fom K5730, 47 Pages, Norwegian
This is the only 221K manual we have seen in Norwegian. This manual is exactly like the (447) French manual, but in Norwegian.
947 (September 1947) - Form 20285 Spanish, 114 Pages
114 pages?!? This far and away the most unique, impressive, and detailed Featherweight manual. It is 8.75" tall and features detailed diagrams of how a Featherweight makes a stitch, an x-ray type view of the 221, a parts list in the back and instructions for many more attachments not found in any other Featherweight manual. The machine care and maintenance section is basically the same as the other manuals. The attachments detailed are:
548 (May 1948) - Form K5737 Fr., 47 Pages, French
This is the second known French 221K manual and the only 1948 221K manual in any language that we have seen. it is exactly like the (447) one.
150 (January 1950) - Form K5728 Ger., 50 Pages, German
Featherweights were very uncommon in Germany, so a manual like this is quite rare. It is nearly the same as the French (447) and (548) manuals with the addition of instructions on removing the bobbin case base.
550 (May 1950) - Form K5737 Fr., 48 Pages, French
The (550) French manual is almost identical to the (447) and (548) manuals, but it now has the permanent addition of the instructions on removing the bobbin case base.
351 (March 1951) - Form K5737 Fr., 48 Pages, French
The (351) manuals are the same as the (550) French manuals.
152 (January 1952) - Form K5737 Fr., 50 Pages, French
Similar to the (1151) 221K manual, this French manual features the light switch next to the light housing and the standard motors with the aluminum description band. It also has instructions on the feed cover plate and embroidery foot.
552 (May 1952) - Form K5723 Ital., 50 Pages, Italian
In content, this manual is the same as the (1151) French manual, but it is, of course, in Italian.
Form (7429) 56 Pages, Swedish
There are two Swedish manuals that we have not been able to obtain exact dates for. Both have been given the designation Form. 7429. These two manuals do not give any indication that they are specific to 221K Featherweights, but we have always observed them with the 221 machines made in the UK but sold in Sweden. These manuals have a distinct mint color, and in content, they are most similar to the (641) 221 manuals.
969 (September 1969) Form K8505, (French), 56 Pages
This is the only foreign language white Featherweight manual that we have observed. It has the latest copyright date of the white Featherweight manuals and includes a 'Garantie' in the manual.
The 222K Featherweight manuals are significantly longer than most 221 manuals as they have over 90 pages! Much of the increase in pages was to give ample instruction and ideas for how to use the free-arm and free-motion function. There are instructions for the six basic Featherweight attachments plus the included embroidery foot and hoop:
Singer made hardly any changes to the information in the manuals throughout the lifetime of the 222K. All 222K manuals were produced with thinner paper than the 221 manuals, and they were glued and stitched together instead of stapled; thus, they did not hold up as well and many today are missing their covers and falling apart.
953 (September 1953) - Form K5969, 95 Pages
This is the first known 222K manual which seems consistent with the fact that the first batch of 222 Featherweights were commissioned at the end of July 1953.
254 (February 1954) - Form K5999 Fr., 97 Pages, French
This is the first known foreign language 222K manual, and while all the content remains the same, Singer made a mistake in this manual and printed the hook assembly oiling photo upside down. This is the only significant image mistake that we have observed in all the Featherweight manuals. Starting with this manual, there is now a reminder to only use Singer oil and Singer needles.
1154 (November 1954) - Form K6035 Dutch, 97 Pages
The hook assembly oiling photo is no longer upside down!
155 (January 1955) - Form K5969, 95 Pages
There were no known 222K manuals printed in English in 1954, and no changes were made to this manual.
Danish, 97 Pages
This Danish manual is missing its cover, but it appears to have been printed around the time of the (155) manual and the (455) manual. This is the last known 222K manual to include in the inside back cover the reminder about only buying from a Singer authorized dealer.
455 (April 1955) - Form K6067 SW., 95 Pages, Swedish
This Swedish 222K manual has a reminder on the back cover that every Singer machine will bear this badge. The inside of the back cover also features a reminder that Singer's badges and brand may not be replicated; this clause is now included in all future manuals.
1155 (November 1955) - Form K5969, 95 Pages
This is the first manual to feature images with the black sew/darn indicator and the updated light housing decal on the 222K. The chrome sew/darn indicator was used on 222K Featherweights through 1954, and the older style decal was used in 1953. Click here to see a 1953 222K with both of those features. The back of the manual reminds users to keep an eye out for Singer's recognizable red 'S' for all their Sewing needs.
756 (July 1956) - Form K5999 Fr., 97 Pages, French
This French manual isn't unique in any of its content but notice how 'The Singer Manufacturing Company' on the cover is in English compared to the (254) manual.
1256 (December 1956) - Form K5969, 95 Pages
This manual is the same as the (1155) manual.
857 (August 1957) - Form K5969, 95 Pages
This is the first 222K manual to feature Singer's new logo showing a woman sitting at a more modern sewing machine. Notice how the font is also different for the orange SINGER on the cover.
158 (January 1958) - Form K5969, 95 Pages
This manual is the same as the previous one in all its content.
758 (July 1958) - Form K5999 Fr., 97 Pages
This is the first French manual to use Singer's new logo.
1158 (November 1958) - Form K5969, 95 Pages
The (1158) manual is the same as the (158) manual.
1.60 (January 1960) - Form K5969, 95 Pages
The final known 222K manual is the same in content as the previous manual.
Quirks of the Featherweight Manual:
The back arm decal and bed stop of the early 1933 Featherweights were depicted in all U.S. made 221 manuals through 1952.
Most images in the manual are proportionately correct, but the bed extension screw is much too small in this common image.
Another peculiar element from the same image is the spring nut shown on the bed cushion screw. This nut has been observed on the 2nd Featherweight produced.
The common serial number location isn't depicted in any of the USA Featherweight manuals. The location shown was utilized as the serial number location for approximately the first 1,500 Featherweights.
Each Featherweight manual features a wealth of information, and we guarantee you will learn more about your Featherweight by reading its original owner's manual cover-to-cover. Click here to see if we have any original Featherweight manuals in stock, and click here to see our replica Featherweight manuals.
If you have a Featherweight manual not featured in this blog post, please let us know and send photos.