The Antique Pfaff 130 Sewing Machine (History, Value, Review)

Beautiful machines exist in the most unique places and always impress experienced sewers with their fine lines. The most amazing part is that they are still sewing up a storm 50 to 70 years later. Sometimes they are still going strong after almost 90 years of service.

The peak years for the Pfaff 130 sewing machine started in 1932 when the model was launched and went on through the 1950s. The value can be roughly around $400 for some models but others are in the mid $200 range. These machines are holding up strong.

To learn more about this sewing machine model just continue to read our article. it has the information you want to know about. Take a few moments and see the beauty that comes with this sewing machine.

A Brief History of Pfaff

We have already written about the history of this company and you can find one of those articles at this link. But the story bears repeating as it is a fine example of what can be done when you put your mind to doing something.

The year was 1862 and GM Pfaff who was a musical instrument maker started tinkering with a sewing machine. That same year he made his first model which is still seen at the Munich Museum of Science and Technology.

It was in 1878 roughly after his son, who studied sewing machine manufacturing in the States, returned from America and implemented the new technologies he had seen. The company went from hand production to basically assembly line production and machine-made parts.

The 1,000,000th sewing machine was made in 1910 but unfortunately, the founder had died in 1893 and did not live to see this milestone. From there the rest is history as Pfaff continued to modernize throughout the years and used their research to produce top sewing machines that were popular around the world.

What Year Was the Pfaff 130 Made?


The first 130 sewing machine was made in 1932. It was among the first high-performance sewing machines made at the time. One of its claims to fame was that it could sew heavier fabrics.

Another factor that made this model of machine so popular was that almost all the parts of the sewing machine were made from metal parts. Maintenance was a matter of cleaning only and replacing the parts was rare.

Depending on the serial number your model may have, your sewing machine could have been made at any time during the 1930s to at least the 1960s or when production of this model series ceased.

One of the features that capture the eye at a first glance is its simplicity. While other sewing machine models had lots of gold decorations all over the outside body, the 130 remained fairly clean and highlighted the sleek black body that is found on this model.

Also, there are not a lot of dials, pins, etc., cluttering up this simple look. All the parts were in the right place, uncrowded giving the user easy access to any dial or bobbin, etc., they needed to work with or adjust.

How Much is a Pfaff 130 Worth?

The simplicity and beauty of this machine may have owners placing a high value on their models. If kept in good condition, their look is unique as well as breathtaking. Yet, looks are not the only contribution to value and people can be fooled by good looks.

When looking for the value of this sewing machine it must be remembered that it is a vintage sewing machine and not an antique. That will lower the cost a little bit. Then since this machine was made for decades, according to some sources, the value goes down a little more.

With that said, however, the sewing machine when in good condition is worth about $200 with some models going for a little more. We have seen one price at $400 but that would be a rare event or the owner just wanted a little negotiating room.

Also, you may see some selling for between that $200 to $400 price range as some sellers feel their models are rare enough to warrant that higher price tag. In the end, the value of your Pfaff 130 will be what your buyer will be willing to pay for your model.

Just do not be insulted or surprised when a dealer tries to negotiate a very low price and make some biting criticisms of your sewing machine.

Will a Pfaff 130 Sew Leather?


This machine is said to have been designed to also sew heavier fabrics. That means that leather was not out of the question and many sewers have been successful at sewing this heavy material on this top vintage sewing machine.

Part of that success with leather would be due to the metal parts used to create this model. The parts were capable of handling the tough fabric and made sure the needle went through the material with ease.

Then the machine handled lighter threads even better. The instructions were to use a fine thread and a fine needle when sewing lighter fabrics. These fabrics would be a breeze to sew with this machine.

The key, of course, is to make sure you had and have the right tension when you start sewing away. On top of sewing both leather and lighter fabrics, this machine was capable of using soft yarn when the user was embroidering on it.

It was a triple threat machine as it handled regular sewing, embroidery, and heavy fabrics like leather. Unfortunately, it was not a perfect machine as it still suffered from time to time from regular sewing ills like skipped stitches, thread breakage, bad stitches, and so on.

Download Pfaff 130 Manual

It is possible to buy the owner’s manual off of eBay. The price there is around $15 and can be shipped to your home. But if you need one right now, then it is best to download a copy.

This is not going to be a problem as there are a lot of links with Pfaff 130 sewing machine manuals, starting with this one. Then one of our go-to manual sites has their version available. Just click this link to get to it.

Then here is another download option and it is 22 pages long. This version is supposed to be free. On top of those options, there is this website that has several versions available. These are not all of the options that you can turn to when you have misplaced your copy and need it in a hurry.

Finally, if you are not good at downloading, there is this free version that you can simply read once you get to their website. The wording is very clear as are the images so you should not have any confusion when going through the pages. The most technical you have to be is to be able to scroll down and up again.

Finding Pfaff 130 Attachments


The popularity of this machine has made it possible for the different attachments and parts to be readily available. The first place to look if you are in a hurry is to go to eBay. We saw lots of attachments and parts on sale there and a quick use of their search function should let you know what is available at the time of your search.

Remember eBay does sell some items very quickly and what we have seen may be gone by the time you read this article. Rover Bay, a sewing machine and parts outlet, sells their accessories and parts through eBay.

Then you can try thrifty farm girl as they are a sewing machine accessory and parts outlet. Their online location is found at this link. Of course, you can always contact Pfaff and see what they say. They may have better leads to follow than you can find on a simple internet search. Their website is at this link.

Performance Sewing is another Pfaff parts and accessories dealer. We found the 130-6 listed in their model list. Find their selection at this link. Finally, you can try this link. It seems to deal in vintage and antique Pfaff parts and accessories.

Just remember that when you are ordering online the shipping may take longer due to the current health issues that permeate the nations of the world.

How to Thread a Pfaff 130

This is a very simple machine and it is designed to help your sewing time go smoothly. That is why it is not difficult to thread this sewing machine. If you go to the final link in the download manual section, you can get very clear instructions and a diagram to help you if you have troubles.

The first step is to put the spool of thread on the spindle and draw a little thread out. Next, you take that thread through the hook guide (1) and then around the circular guide (2). After that, you move the thread around the tension discs (3) and through the check spring (4).

From there you go around the guides (5 & 6) and into the lower take up (7) and down through the needle guide (8) and finally into the guide above the needle (9). When all that is done, you pout the thread through the eye of the needle from front to back.

The numbers we placed here match with the numbers on the diagram at that link we just referred to. As you can see, it is not a difficult process to get done. Once you have done it a few times, you should be able to do it without looking at the manual.

How to Oil a Pfaff 130


The same link has all the instructions you will need to oil this Pfaff sewing machine model. Like threading the needle and winding the bobbin, etc., there is a very clear diagram showing you the oiling points.

The drawback to that diagram is that the arrows pointing to the oiling points are quite dark and can be hard to see. The first step when it is time to oil the machine is to use rust-proof grease on all nickel plated and polished parts.

Once that is done, you should clean the excess grease off with a clean cloth. After that, you need to use Pfaff sewing machine oil in the oiling points marked in Figures 1, 2 & 3 on that diagram at that link.

There are at least 27 oiling points and we may have missed one or two as we counted. The arrows are that hard to see. When you are done, raise the presser foot and run the machine without any thread in it. Then wipe any dripping oil you may see and if there are some friction points, just add a drop of oil to them.

Also, if you are using the machine for the first time, the manual suggests that it is a good idea to put a drop of oil on the hook. They recommend using Pfaff sewing machine oil but you should check to see if that oil formula has changed over the years as it did at Singer.

If it has, you may have to search for a compatible formula but make sure it is sewing machine oil only. Do not use any other type of oil on a vintage sewing machine.

Some Final Words

Pfaff may have hit a home run when they made this top-selling sewing machine. Almost 90 years later running machines can still be found. If you take care of it, you should have it last for many more.

While the newer technologically superior machines may be filled with bells and whistles that are foreign to these older models, they just are not the same. There is just something about the older machines that have them stand out.

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