Singer Model 15 Review (+ list of variants)

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The Singer Corporation was first established with a mission to cater for domestic sewing machines. From 1851, the company has been synonymous with anything sewing. Over the years, it has gained popularity to be one of the leading service providers in the sewing industry putting out classic models like the Singer Model 15.

Tokeo la picha la singer model 15

The company incorporated both creative innovation and practical designs when it came to sewing machines. This saw it produce the first practical sewing machine. It has also invented other features that have seen the sewing industry grow in leaps.

These include the first electric machine, first zigzag machine, first sewing application for mobile devices on the go and many others. Singer has used their brand to inspire sewists through embroidery, home décor and many more.

The Singer Model 15

Among the first sewing machine to be produced, was the Singer Model 15. It was mechanically altered in appearance from the original family machine. It initially came with a fiddle shaped table or a hard crank machine. The model also came with cabinets.

The model turned out to be one of the most successful in the industry for more than 100 years. During this period the model underwent several innovations to improve on its performance.

A notable feature of the model was the tension assembly. Instead of being at the front of the sewing machine, it was located in the faceplate. With the introduction of the model, it came with a new needle design. This was allocated the designation 15 by 1.

The needle design was essentially adopted in subsequent Singer sewing machines and other companies. Over the years, modifications have been done on this needle design. It is also found by the designation 130/705H or 2020.

Image result for singer model 15 15 by 1 needle

The model did not have a separate removable bobbin case. This however changed with the innovation of Model 15-11. This new design has been in use ever since. Its bobbin case was loaded vertically and it allowed for adjustment of the thread tension.

The bobbin case was accessible below the slide plate or the machine itself if it came with cabinets or a treadle. The case has a hook that locks into a notch to secure it in place when sewing. The bobbins remain standard over the years.

Later, other variants of class were created:

Singer Model 15-1

Image result for singer model 15-1

This model was initially known as Improved Family (IF). It had a spoked wheel and came with round bobbin machine. It was produced between the years 1879-1895. It had a long beak shuttle, old style and simple bobbin winder.

It was designed with a treadle and some hard crank. The bed plate was fiddle shaped with a drop feed. The stitch length was controlled using a knob. The model used the 15×1 needle. This was later converted to an electric version.

Singer Model 15K ( Kilbowie)

Image result for singer model 15k

These models were built in Scotland at the Kilbowie plant. This was between 1890 and 1970. It was designed for both domestic and industrial purposes. The model was more like the USA version.

It came with a long beak shuttle and a vertical oscillating shuttle. The machine threads from the left to the right. Its bobbin cases varied compared to the other models.

Singer Model 15-11

Image result for singer model 15-11

This was specifically for home use. The handwheel was spoke with the bobbin case at 1 O’clock. The stitch length was adjusted using a knob with no drop feed dogs.

Singer Model 15-22

The model was for industrial use with a high point oscillating shuttle. It came equipped with a rectangular bed and drop feed feature. This sewing machine was ideal for creating collars and cuffs.

The same variation for domestic use came with a long beak shuttle. They both used the 15×1 needle.

Singer Model 15-23

It was designed for industrial use and had a drop feed. The sewing machine had a speed of 1500 and was used on cloths only.

Singer Model 15-24

This was for designed for industries to work on leather. It also had a speed of 1500. The sewing machine used the 16×2 needle. The model for domestic use was designed by Kilbowie hence the model number 15K24. It came with a central bobbin shuttle.

Singer Model 15-25

It was used in leather industries, had a wheel feed and a speed of 1500. This model also used the 16×2. Its domestic counterpart had a central bobbin.

Singer Model 15-28

The model was improved to include alternating pressers. With a speed of 1400, it was used for general fabric work. It had a central bobbin shuttle with a drop feed option. The needle was 16×1 or 16×2

Singer Model 15-30

Between the years 1895-1933, the model was invented. It was ideal for family use and came with a central bobbin shuttle. It had a drop feed with no reverse feature. The bobbin case was at 1 O’clock. It used the 15×1 needle.

Singer Model 15-31

This model was invented for domestic use. With a speed of 1500, the maximum stitch length was 5 and 1/3 to the inch. It was designed for cloths and like the others had a drop feed and came with a central bobbin system.

Singer Model 15-32

The model was for industrial use specifically for leather products. It had a wheel speed of 1600 and central bobbin system. The needle was 16×74.

Singer Model 15-33

It had the same features as the model 15-32 and was also designed to be used in industries.

Singer Model 15-34

It came with a central bobbin system and was designed for collars and cuffs. It had a speed of 1600 and used needle 16×83. It was also for industrial performance.

Singer Model 15-35

This was used shirts, linen and cotton projects at the industrial level. It had a speed of 1600 and a drop feed.

Singer Model 15-37 and Model 15-38

They both came with the same features. Designed for industrial use, they came equipped with a trimming attachment. They were both used on leather with a speed of 1400. Both also used the same type of needle which was 16×74 and 16×86.

Singer Model 15-41

It was for use at a domestic level. With a central bobbin shuttle, it adopted round shank needles like 16×73.

Singer Model 15-44

Its drop feed was from left to right with the base cut away at right of the needle. It was designed to work on collars and cuffs with needle 16×73 and 16×83.

Singer Model 15K65

This was invented for sack and hosiery work in the industries. It was much faster with a speed of 2500. It made a chain stitch of 3-18 inches.

Singer Model 15K66

It was also used for hosiery and dye works. This was for sewing that required very slack thread and the model catered for that. It also made both the single and chain stitches.

Singer Model 15K70

The model was for industrial use. It had a central bobbin shuttle and was similar to the 15K26 model but came equipped with a different presser foot and throat plate. It was also used to make kimonos.


The Singer Model 15 has gone through a lot of modifications. The modern version that we have now just shows the dedication and hard work that went into it. The Singer Corporation realized their dream of being the leader in the industry and you are living that dream.

2 thoughts on “Singer Model 15 Review (+ list of variants)”

  1. Do you know anything about the Flying Man sewing machines?

    • Hi Deanna 🙂

      The Flying Man is an old classic!
      Didn’t got to sew with this one yet.

      Do you have any specific questions?
      I can try and help.


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