The Elna Supermatic

I purchased an Elna Supermatic from an Ebay seller in Montreal fo $9.99 + $16.62 shipping and received it today. Although it absolutely reeked of cigarette smoke, it’s in much better shape than I ever imagined, especially for $9.99!!

I initially thought there were parts missing as the seller was selling it for parts, there doesn’t seem to be ANYTHING missing at all! The needle doesn’t move up and down but the motor works. This is one of those machines where you really can’t access the inner workings. It might just be worth bringing it to my sewing machine guy for help. In the mean time, I’m going to look for a manual and service guide.

This is a Swiss-made zigzag free-arm die-cast aluminum machine with a  high ranking in Consumers Report in the 1950s’ . The only disadvantages were its heavy (for a portable) weight and the need for frequent oiling. The heavy sheet steel carrying case opens up to form a flat-bed table.

The Elna was the first automatic decorative-stitch of that era. It used single-height cams to control the side-to-side swing of the needle, and double-height cams to also control forward and backward motion. It will stitch anything from fine silks to vinyl and leather.

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10 thoughts on “The Elna Supermatic

  1. I think you have a grasshopper. This is an industrial strength sewing machine for the home. If you have never used one, you will be surprised if you get it working. Must have cost for shipping, these are heavy, but you certainly got it at the right price. Good luck.

    • Hi Cherilyn, thanks for swinging by and checking out my Elna. I purchased it September 2, 2010 and got it running quickly, the person who sold the machine didn’t realize that the needle wasn’t moving because it was in bobbin winding mode, which apparently happens all the time.

      Although I’ve sold many of my vintage machine, I still have Elna though I don’t use her, I do love her. 😀

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  3. My Mother is still using her “vintage” Elna. She’s had hers for 63 years! I received an Elna TSP in 1975 as a wedding gift from my Mom. Mine is also still running. I have only had to replace the foot control, which caught on fire! I wish I had photos of the many projects I’ve completed over the years. My sewing machine was a gift that gave me joy for 40 years.

  4. I have my mother’s from the ’50’s with the same problem. It seemed to slow down so I was hoping a good cleaning would fix the problem. Would be interested to know how you make out. It is a fantastic machine for heavy duty sewing. I used to repair sails on my brother’s boat.

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