Don’t Do That!

Peter of Male Pattern Boldness talks about something dear to my heart, treadle sewing machines, and the tragic things that happen to them when their owners don’t appreciate them for what they are. People, PLEASE, don’t destroy your treadle sewing machines to make desks and plant stands and other purely decorative things! Even if you don’t want to use them as they were intended please keep them in working order. You can still set plants on top of them if you must.

They don’t make treadle sewing machines anymore, you know. I know they are not rare; everyone’s grandmother or great grandmother had one, but if you keep destroying them someday they will become rare and too expensive for those who want to use them for sewing. Yes, there are more of us than you might think.

Peter posted a video and tells us why, in some ways, treadle machines are better than modern ones. And I learned something. Since I’ve used nothing else for more than 30 years I did not realize that treadle machines make straighter stitches. I just assumed all machines make nice, straight stitches. One advantage that he doesn’t mention is the ability to sew very heavyweight fabrics, like heavy denim and upholstery fabrics, without stalling. And of course it sews very lightweight fabrics just as well. And I can sew as fast or as slow as I want. It takes very little effort to keep the treadle going once you get it started.

If I had an extra room I think I would collect treadle sewing machines just to save as many as I could.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Do That!

  1. fillyjonk

    YES THIS. (My mom has her mother’s (intact) treadle machine; I think all it needs to run properly is a new belt, which can be obtained). She knows that when she no longer wants it, that I want it – and I will get that replacement belt and use it as it was intended to be used.

    I feel the same way about people who destroy otherwise-readable books to make knickknacks and “secret books” to hide stuff in – yes, they still make books, but some of those old books are nicer and better made than what is currently printed.

  2. Hippie

    Indeed. I dislike the destruction of any functioning machine that doesn’t say “Lexus” or “Prius” on the back. (Ideally while the owners watch. What’s wrong with those people?) There was a episode of Home Improvement where a beam was dropped on a Chevy Nomad. Made me mad. Perfectly good car. A neighbor wanted to cut up a Case track loader that is in my yard for scrap metal. It still runs, I MADE it run. Someone at work would have scrapped a car, but he knew I wanted it – that car gets over 50 MPG now.

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