A Craftsman Bungalow

A Craftsman Bungalow

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Damascus Vibrating Shuttle

What is a Damascus Vibrating Shuttle?

No, it did not come from Lover’s Package.

A Damascus Vibrating Shuttle is a treadle sewing machine that was manufactured by the National Sewing Machine Company and sold by Montgomery Wards in the 1920s.

I think it all started one day when I was web surfing……something led me to a site that featured treadle sewing machines and the people who collect them. I was intrigued and gradually convinced myself that I wanted one.

Craig’s List featured a few machines, mostly miles away from me, and I wasn’t really willing to drive very far to get one. Eventually I saw one that was located near my house, and I bought it.

After some doing I managed to figure out how it works. I found some needles for it and sewed some test stitches. Now I’m ready to make something real. I think the first project will be an apron.

This particular machine is pretty beat up. I can tell that it’s been used a lot because in its original condition it was much higher in quality compared to most manufactured items in our current time. When I sit in front of it I try to imagine all the women who have used this machine and what their projects were…..mending, curtains, aprons, dresses, skirts and quilts?

I’m going to warm up to this little treadle machine and eventually give it a name. I feel a closeness to it that I do not have for the modern sewing machines that I own.