Sewing Machine Museum (London - England)

Regular readers may know that I'm a Fashion & Textile Designer by profession. Even before I came here, quite a few people informed me that there are many museums that requires no entry ticked at all in London. One of it was Sewing Machine Museum and being a designer, obviously it went to my must-visit priority. This particular one is open of very specific days! So the earliest one I could find it open, I visited it. 

Its a private museum owned by Wimbledon Sewing Machine Company. The ground floor is where the sewing machine repair section is and the museum is in the first floor. As soon as you enter is a section where several larger machines are placed (mostly manufacturing & industrial). 

The 2nd room is filled with smaller and personal machines. Most machines are complete with their pedal, covers, seating etc. Sewing in the sense, not only cloth sewing machines, this place has everything from sewing needs like needs, threads etc, toys, boards, handwritten certificates, scissors, oil, footwear sewing machine, cutting machines and many more, from 1800s to 1900s.
One of the industrial machine here was a shoe stitching machine. This is a Thomas & Co Sewing Machine made in UK in 1888. The shoes are from Russel and Bromley, of Bond Street!
Quite a few machines here were also given to the museum by general public. One such machine is this super cute old Vulcan Sewing Machine for kids, complete with its cardboard package with the hand illustrated print on it!!!
Here's a good old pamphlet that lists out the various specialty types of sewing machines of Singer that's used to manufacture everything from belts to corsets to cycle saddles to embroidery to hosiery to leather etc!! Also here were some old magazine ads and paper banners of Singer Sewing Machines!

There were some adorable dolls too and miniature figurines! This is by Steinfeldt and Blasberg - Princess in Germany in 1893. The best part is that it has movable parts that makes the toys look like they're stitching! The toys still work!!! This miniature set of tiny little sewing machine & mannequin is almost about 3" tall!!!

Few incredible things here include a customized sewing machine that looks like a lion, Queeen Victoria's daughter's machine etc! The customized machine has its case like a lion, with the lion face and front legs over the needle part. The body and the hind legs of the lion encompass the body and wheel section of the sewing machine!
A Pollack and Schmidt machine made in Germany in 1865 was the machine gifted to Queen Victoria's first daughter Vicky, who was the wife of Fredrick, who was the wife of Frederick, who was the crown prince of Prussia! 

This was the original store front in early times, which is now carefully set up within the museum, with all the banner, ads, boards etc. The other is the Nov 1965 edition of Vogue Patterns.

The oldest machine here is the Barthelemy Thimmonier of 1829. The era when even the manual is hand drawn and hand written! I was definitely overwhelmed!!! It was raining by noon on that day and I was not really sure if I wanted to set off in the rain. But I'm glad I did!

TO GET THERE:
Nearest Tube station: Tooting Bec

Timings: Open on the first Saturday of every month from 2pm to 5pm
Entry Fee: Free
Ph: +44 20 8682 7916

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

23 comments:

  1. This museum Sounds like a very interesting place, I love the minis

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  2. Amazing museum. Awesome photos & post.

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  3. Those old sewing machines are lovely to look at! I love going to museums and see old and antique pieces that formed a society's history.

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  4. how often we heard for free entry at such a place like this. Nice photos with description really good to read about sewing machine and industries in U.K

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  5. I have seen my grandma using sewing machine. Never knew that there is such a museum existing. Very nice photos and description.

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  6. Beautiful pics and an interesting post.. So many types of Sewing machines. :) Thanks for sharing.. :)

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  7. Wow! I had no idea there were so many kinds of sewing machine! Thanks for sharing the information!

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  8. Sewing machines has really evolved. It would be nice to appreciate the different sewing machines here.

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  9. quite amazing! very interesting and unique ones here

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  10. Very interesting museum. I think my wife will really like this one. We will take note of this museum when we visit this city.

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  11. It is such an interesting museum. My MIL has got an old sewing machine which she still use for sewing and surely it is going to be a vintage one.

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  12. Its my first time heard about this Sewing Machine Museum, I think my mom would love to visit this museum because she loves sewing so much. Thanks for the information.

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  13. My aunt has an old sewing machine and the electric one. This looks like a cool museum to visit.

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  14. Oh my stars! As a fashion designer, all I can say that you have found my second home. Would die to see these antiques upclose and learn more about its origins.

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  15. I had no idea there was even such a thing. I'll be in London in 2 weeks and I think I would love to experience this first hand. My mom LOVED to sew but I can't to save my life. :)

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  16. WOW! All those little sewing machine. Retro and classic. I'm surprised to know that there was an entire museum dedicated towards these machines. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  17. That's something interesting... sewing machine museum, my mum's a seamstress, so it's pretty cool to look at the history and see how the machine evolves...

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  18. Love the miniature ones! Such incredible detail for small objects. The customized lion one is also interesting.

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  19. I remember us having sewing machine just like the first photo! It had its own box so you can just 'fold' the machine top in so it's no longer visible.

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  20. What an interesting museum! I love anything vintage so I would enjoy this!

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  21. Wow, these sewing machines are ancient treasures! I remember my grandmums used to owe a Singa each. Even my mum knows how to sew curtains and clothes for us... sewing is a dying hobby these days!

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  22. What an interesting idea for a museum! I love going to museums and I'd definitely visit this one if in the area! Nice exhibits - as I do have a sewing machine at home ;)

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  23. The sewing machine was the cellphone of its age! Revolutionized textiles. Awesome.

    Request: Could you change to a black font for text? Not enough contrast with brown font.

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