In this last blog on the new design of the Singer 222K Featherweight other differences between the 222K Featherweight and the 221 Featherweight will be looked at.
Enhanced Throat Plate
The throat plate on a 222K Featherweight is quite different from the throat plate on a 221 Featherweight. The 222K throat plate is longer and narrower. The 222K plate is 4 ¼” long by 1 7/8” wide compared to the 221 throat plate which is 2” long and 2 ¼” wide.
As with the later 221 Featherweight throat plates, the 222K throat plates were graduated in increments from one quarter to three quarters of an inch or from one quarter to one inch depending on the style of throat plate.
The throat plate on the earlier 222K machines was chromed steel and had its graduations marked from one quarter to three quarters of an inch in one eighth increments. A later version of the plate, also chromed steel, had its graduations marked in whole numbers from 2 to 8. Each of the graduations was one eighth of an inch apart giving seams from one quarter (2/8ths) to one inch (8/8ths). A third version of the throat plate, also steel, had the same 2 to 8 whole number markings as the second version but rather than being chromed, the throat plate had a matte anodized finish.
On all Featherweight graduated throat plates, the graduated lines had very useful small cross lines. These cross lines mark the position to turn the fabric being sewn in order to maintain a seam size when turning a corner with the fabric.
The 222K’s larger throat plate allows sewing attachments, such as the seam guide, to be attached to the machine into a threaded hole in the steel throat plate. This solves a problem with the 221 Featherweight. It has a hole for the attachments in the painted sewing bed, which often causes damage to the painted finish of the 221 Featherweight.
Since the 222K Featherweight had the ability to lower its feed dogs, the 222K throat plate was designed to be able to attach an embroidery / darning hoop. The hoop was to be used with the darning foot that came with the standard set of 222K attachments. Toward the right side of the throat plate is a rectangular hole that is used to securely attach the hoop to the sewing machine. The hoop was not included as an accessory with the 222K Featherweight but had to be purchased separately.
The embroidery hoop was designed specifically for 222K Featherweights. The hoop will not fit onto 221 Featherweights.
The model 222K Featherweight was the first Featherweight to have the model nameplate placed onto the sewing machine. The nameplate was placed just below the oval Singer logo medallion on the machine.
“K” for Kilbowie
The “K” on the model nameplate “222K” indicates that the sewing machine was produced at the Singer Kilbowie factory in Clydebank, Scotland. Since all model 222 Featherweights were produced at the Kilbowie factory they all have the “K” after the “222”.
At the time that 222K Featherweights were introduced with the model nameplate on the sewing machine, 221 Featherweights also began having model nameplates placed on the sewing machines. Those manufactured at the Kilbowie factory had the model nameplate “221K” placed onto the Featherweight while those manufactured in Elizabethport, New Jersey had “221-” nameplates put onto the machines. As with 222K Featherweights the nameplates were placed on the machine just below the Singer logo medallion.
Although Singer started to put model number nameplates onto their Featherweights, at no time did they put the Featherweight name onto either the 221 or the 222K Featherweight sewing machines. Singer did however, trademark the Featherweight name and use it in their advertising for Featherweights.
The Singer Kilbowie factory was the largest sewing machine factory in the world. Up to 14,000 workers were employed at the factory at its peak. The Singer tower clock in the photograph was the largest clock in Europe.