It may a good machine that you never heard of. Riccar sewing machines have actually been around for about 80 years but it is not as well known as other Japanese sewing machine manufacturers. This company may have been Japan’s best-kept secret.
It all started in 1939 and at that time Riccar was known as Nippon Shokusan Kogyo, then changed to Rikagaku Kogyo. Its innovative selling technique, through subscription and installments, led to some success so the company changed its name again to Riccar Sewing Machine Company Ltd.
To learn more about the Riccar sewing machine company, just continue to read our article. It investigates the issue to bring you the best and most up to date information possible.
In a few words, yes, they are still making Riccar sewing machines. The real question that you need to answer is, can you find one? These machines are available, at the time of this writing, only through authorized dealers.
Finding an authorized dealer near you is also a tough question to answer. You would have to contact the company directly to see where their dealers are located. In Indonesia, there seems to be only one distributor.
Riccar used to be a Japanese firm and had great success when based in that country. Now their head office is located in Indonesia and if it is still run by the Japanese is another question that remains unanswered.
To contact the company to get its list of dealers, just click on this link and go to their contact page. The company strives to be the largest Indonesian trading company yet its marketing methods for its sewing machines leave something to be desired.
It has a good mission statement that expresses their will to win as well as their desire to look after their employees. Although that sounds great, it still doesn’t help customers find a new Riccar any easier. You should be able to find a used one easier than a new one.
For about 45 years the company was independent and ran its own show. Then in 1973, the company changed its name from Riccar Sewing Machine Company Ltd to Riccar Company Ltd. and operates under that name still.
However, in 1985 the company was bought by Daiei, which is a high-end department store similar to Marks & Spencers. Unfortunately, the history of the company stops that year. We checked both the sewing machine website and the vacuum cleaner website and no further information is available on the company or who ultimately makes Riccar sewing machines.
It is said that you can still buy their sewing machines and many models are still being made but the company is focused more on its vacuum cleaner division than anything else.
If you have questions you want to ask the company, you should use their contact page as their reputation for making quality machines is quite good. Those machines just do not have all the features and options that more famous brands put on their sewing machines.
There is also no word on why the company moved to Indonesia and set up its head office in that country.
It is hard to assess the Riccar sewing machine company. It is not an entity that likes to glorify its past and stays focused on the present as well as the future. At least that is what its about us section, mission statement, and vision statement imply.
The style of marketing is unique and certainly, it does not capture a large portion of the sewing machine market. It is enough to carve out a little niche so the company is not overwhelmed with orders and the quality of their machines declines.
While still making sewing machines, the number of units is not as great as say Brother, Janome, or Juki. Then why it changed from being a major Japanese sewing machine manufacturing company to a niche factory is something the company seems to keep quiet.
The problem this business strategy creates for its customers is that if anything goes wrong, it is hard to find a qualified and approved repairman to fix the machine. There is news that Riccar is owned now by the Tacony corporation but that ha snot been confirmed as yet. That ownership may be limited to the Riccar vacuum cleaner company.
As far as anyone can tell, their sewing machines are still being made in Indonesia. That is where their head office is and where their sole Indonesian distributor is. There are rumors that the company has stopped making sewing machines, but according to their sewing website, linked above, they are still in production.
The company is as tight-lipped about its manufacturing factories as it is about its more recent history. If the rumors are true, then Tacony corporation may be producing Riccar sewing machines at their own plants.
The real question here is not where they are made but what is the quality of the product? For their vacuum cleaners, these products are top notch and described as world-class. With many used sewing machines on the market, that level of quality seems to extend to their sewing machine lines.
No matter where they are made, Riccar sewing machines enjoy a good reputation and are popular with many professional seamstresses. Then as we have already said, the limited purchasing options helps the company maintain its high standards and keeps their machines from going the way of many other sewing machines.
There seem to be quite a few of the older Riccar sewing machines up and running. As we have previously said, the company focuses on quality and not quantity thus their machines do last.
One vintage model is the Riccar 3400 SUPER STRETCH and others are the OverLock Serger Model RL 634DE, 808E, the 9800 super stretch, and on it goes.
The company may not produce volumes of these individual models but there seem to be a lot of them still on the market and ready for you to use them. If you want a list of other models that may be vintage, the list does not separate the Riccar sewing machines, just click on this link.
There are more models listed on that page than there are listed on the company’s website. The ones many seamstresses like are the 250, 1570, and the R750 models as they seem up to the task of heavy-duty sewing demands.
If you are not interested in vintage models, just click the link to the company website and scroll to the bottom of the page. There is a list of modern models made by the company. Or you can click on their products button and see what they are making today.
At eBay, we found 3 different super-stretch models on sale. One was the 3400, another was the 808E and the last one was the 9800 Super Z Stretch machine. All three looked in good condition, and working order.
The 9800 had a button that you pushed to move the needle up or down and it came with a lot of accessories. Then the 808 E came with about 25 stitches patterns and other features that made it a very versatile device.
Finally, the 3400 was a simply designed machine with few stitch options. But that simple design made it easy to use. The one thing about these three sewing machines is that none of them were priced over $100. Only one came close at approx. $90 while the other two were closer to $50.
Their age may have been the telling factor in their low value. Other than that these machines still seem to perform well even though repairs may be hard to find. Each of the machines has its own special features that helped set them apart from each other and made one better than the rest.
We are impressed by the quality of the machines they produce and the high standards they apply to their production. The focus on quality has produced good machines that do stand the test of time.
Each model has its own unique feature that helps make it a stand out machine. Plus, their simplistic designs allow beginners to learn how to use them quite easily. The company’s electronic 2700 series may be an exception to the simplistic rule as those machines come with touch screen capability.
Also, we have not heard of any complaints about the Riccar sewing machines or other products. The only real complaint has been about the lack of authorized dealers and access to repairmen.
That business model does not affect the quality or performance of the machine until it does happen to break down. Overall, these machines are probably comparable to their more famous counterparts and you are not losing anything by going with this brand of sewing machines.
The craftsmanship looks good and these machines are not ugly in any sense of the word. The trick is finding the one that is right for you as Riccar does make several models.
We have given part of our review above and from what we have been able to find out you are not going to be disappointed if you choose a Riccar over a Bernina, Brother, Janome, or other top brand sewing machine.
These machines come with the features most sewers need and for their level of sewing expertise. The simpler models are great for beginners learning how to sew and their sewing projects results should be enhanced by using a Riccar.
Then the company on its products page not only lists the different classifications of their sewing machine models, but they also list the available spare parts. That means for your multifunction, overlock, embroidery, and other Riccar sewing machines you can order parts you need quite easily.
The one drawback to their website is that they do not have a checkout page or a cart. How they handle sales may be done by using their contact page and asking them. Other than that drawback, we do not see that these sewing machines are inferior in any way to other brands.
Their goal of quality over numbers is commendable and helps us view their sewing machines quite favorably
Given the business model, Riccar uses one would conclude that their older machines would be worth a lot of money. Those machines were not made in great quantity and there may not be many of them still around.
Unfortunately, from what we have been able to see, the vintage and not so recent modern models are not worth any significant amount of money. They are basic machines in their design and function which may be two reasons why their value is so low.
The Riccar Bernina, which may not be related to this company, does sell used for $580 and $899 but only one vintage Riccar made it to the $200 level. The rest on eBay was listed quite low.
As for the more recent and current models, they will be worth about what you paid for them or minus a little depreciation. Again, the lack of access to spare parts, repairmen and authorized dealers may influence their value and make them less desirable than an old Remington, Free or other 19th or early 20th-century machine.
Dwi Mitra Perkasa is the sole distributor for this company in Indonesia. They have an exclusive arrangement with the company and make sure that those machines reach the authorized dealers in that country.
In other countries, there is a Riccar.uk outlet, you would have to contact the company to find an authorized dealer. These are independently owned businesses and this link takes you to a dealer in America that sells vacuums. They may be able to help you find a sewing machine dealer if they do not carry that product.
In Canada, you find a dealer by contacting the Hibbert International company at the following contact information.161 - 10301 - 19th Street NE, Calgary, Alberta, T3J 0R1, or call 800-661-1467.
There are several independent dealers listed in an internet search result so that may be your second best method of finding where you can purchase a Riccar sewing machine and get spare parts.
Riccar does not sell through big box stores or department stores so you have to take a little time and do a good search.
The best way to learn how to use a Riccar sewing machine is by reading their manual very closely. These manuals come packed with information helping you thread the machine as well as do some troubleshooting on your own.
Another location to find a manual is at this link. This is the expensive option and those manuals go for $15. Then you can look at this company and see what manuals they have to offer. The ones they sell are a bit cheaper even though the price is listed in British Pounds.
The good news here is that there seem to be quite a few companies, outside of the Riccar and its authorized dealer network, that have spare parts for your Riccar sewing machine.
One location is found at this link, and all you have to do is click on the model number to find the spare parts for your model. Then you can go to this link to find another company selling spare parts by the model number.
If you can’t find what you need at those locations you can always try Amazon. It claims to have Riccar spare parts or you can try this company. A quick search produced a lot of internet businesses that carry spare parts for Riccar sewing machines.
If you want quality over quantity then you should look into buying a Riccar sewing machine. This company does not make a lot of those machines anymore but when they do, they seem to be of the best value and durability.
There is a lot of vintage and modern models to choose from at a price you can afford. Many of the newer models sell for under $300 with some reaching only the $800 plateau. The simple design makes them easy to work with as well.