What Year Is My Brother Sewing Machine? (Old Brother Models)

Age is all in the mind, except when you need to date a sewing machine. Then age becomes very important as it helps you find the value of your sewing machine. For some machines, this task is more difficult than others because swing machine companies were not always consistent with their serial numbers or records

What year is my Brother sewing machine? This may be hard to ascertain on your own and without the help of the Brother sewing machine company. The company puts a code on each machine but when they started to do that is unknown. You have to send the code, the serial, and model number and send the information into Brother’s customer service to get an answer.

To find out more about dating your older Brother sewing machine, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you have the answers and information you need.

What Brother Sewing Machine do I Have?

The obvious place to look is in your owner’s manual. It will have all the information you need to find out which Brother sewing machine you own. If you do not have the owner’s manual, and there are a lot of legitimate reasons why it is gone, then you will have to turn to the Brother sewing machine customer service.

All Brother sewing machines are supposed to be coded. This code is found in the first letter and the first number of the sewing machine. But that is not all you need as the first number could be part of any decade Brother sewing machines were made.

You will also need to have the model number and send both the serial number and it into Brother’s customer service center. Also, you need to give them an estimate of the year you bought the machine if you bought it new.

Generally, the tag holding both numbers is placed on the back of the machine but that is generally, and not all Brother sewing machines tags are located on the back of their machines.

Unfortunately, there is a tedious process to go through before submitting the information to get the date of your machine. It will take a few minutes before you can push the submit button and wait for an answer.

How to Date a Brother Sewing Machine


The quickest way to date an older Brother sewing machine is to go to a knowledgeable repairman who has worked on different sewing machines, including Brother, and has been in the business for a few decades.

These people will have the information you want without filling out a few forms and waiting till Brother gets to your request. We have searched using many different search terms to find an answer to this question.

Other than the one we described already, you need to go to the Brother web page and click on their product support page. Then click on the right English button in the region that covers your location.

Once you do that you will be sent to a product category page where you have numerous options to choose from. This may take some time to get to the right page where you need to submit your serial number and model number.

Once you are transferred to the product category page, select the brother support option and type in your model number. Select the contact button at the top of the page and then the contact us button in the drop-down menu.

From there you enter the model number in the right box and click the green search button. You will be taken to the product support page and you will need to follow instructions from there.

Brother doesn't make it simple or easy to get dating information about your Brother sewing machine. So far we have found only 1 website that even talks about how to get the information and they also refer you to Brother’s website.

Contacting a Brother dealer may be a faster and better use of your time.

Old Brother Sewing Machine Models

Brother seems to not like to talk about their older machines. It has been like going to the dentist and getting a stubborn tooth pulled in searching for any information about old Brother sewing machines.

One result was this page which lists older discontinued models that Brother no longer supports. There seem to be 357 models that the company no longer produces and you have to continue to click load more to see if your model is on this list. We saw only one photo for one machine in our search.

244 discontinued machines are for sewing machines only with the rest made up of embroidery sewing machines, sergers, and other specialty machines. Unfortunately, when you click on the view details button you are sent to a page that does not give you the date the machine was made.

This was the same for when we uncovered a website that listed basically every brother sewing machine manual. You can view the manual here if you have lost yours. We clicked on one manual and found that the page that may have contained any production information was removed.

We then went to eBay to see if any of the machines they have listed contained a date for the model on sale. That was not a successful search either. While one machine had more product information than another, the date of production was still missing.

You are left with the only options we already listed in the previous section if you want to know when your Brother sewing machine was made. For some reason, the date of production is a very closely guarded secret.

Brother Sewing Machine History


The history of the Brother sewing machine company is a lot easier t find than the production year of its different sewing machine models. The company was started in 1908 in Nagoya, Japan by Kanekichi Yasui.

The company was originally called YASUI SEWING MACHINE CO. The name changed once the founder had passed on in 1925 where it was called the Yasui Brothers sewing machine company.

During the height of Japanese colonial expansion, the company changed its name again in 1934 to Nippon Sewing Machine Manufacturing Inc., but not before the company produced its first sewing machine in 1928.

That machine was used to produce straw hats and used a chain stitch method and was a hand crank model. As success began to happen for this company, they began to mass-produce their sewing machines in 1932.

It was the founder's younger son who invented his version of the shuttle hook that made this step possible. The model 15 type 70 sewing machine was the machine that was produced in that year.

Then in 1936 Brother released the model 95 Type B1 which was a straight lock stitch sewing machine. It wasn’t until a decade after the war that Brother started to diversify its product line and ventured into other home appliances

The 60s saw the company enter the business office machine market and started to develop printers and other office equipment. The 1970s saw the step towards computerization with the invention of the Brother dot matrix printer.

That was just the start of computerizing Brother machines. 1976 saw the introduction of the first brother computerized sewing machine. It was called the Compal DX and this machine ‘s success helped Brother continue to be a leader in innovation.

It was 15 years before Brother was able to develop a computerized embroidery machine. The PC-7000 was the next step in helping the home sewer get their sewing projects done faster and looking more professional.

Finally, 2018 saw the release of the Luminaire Innov-ìs XP-1. Brother sewing machine company has come along way in its 100+ years of existence. Even focusing on releasing sewing machines made specifically for the Japanese market with a machine called the Parie in 2017.

Are Brother Sewing Machines Made in the USA or China?

Brother sewing machines are not made in America. There was a factory in Britain when Brother bought the Jones Sewing machine company located in Audenshaw, Manchester.

They also had a factory in Wrexham Wales since 1985 but closed it in 2012 after making about 6 million machines at that location. With those locations closed, the main production of Brother sewing machines is in China.

The mechanical machines are built in a plant located in Zhuhai China while the computerized machines are made in Taiwan. With these factories in full swing, they were able to make 50 million machines by 2012 and another 10 million by 2017.

Where are Brother Sewing Machines Made?


As you know, China and Taiwan are the locations for the main Brother manufacturing plants. Those two factories produce the bulk of Brother sewing machines up until 2012.

In that year Brother opened the largest single-brand manufacturing plant in Dong Nai Province Vietnam. This province is in the southeast of the country but east and northeast of what is now known as Ho Chi Minh city and formerly known as Saigon.

As far as can be known all three plants are still in operation and producing Brother sewing machines at fantastic rates. If you need help in dating your older Brother sewing machine you may want to contact the Brother museum in Nagoya Japan.

They use 3 languages, Japanese, Chinese, and English so getting the information you need may be easier than going through other channels. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can get all the information you need at this link.

Finding a Vintage Brother Sewing Machine

One of the best places online to find a vintage Brothers sewing machine is eBay. This link takes you to the sewing machines listed under that brand name. There are some very nice looking sewing machines available

You can check online sewing machine shops that deal with vintage sewing machines and see if they have a Brother on hand. To be vintage they may have to be made prior to 1970 but that is a guess.

Brother sewing machines are not really considered antique as they were not made prior to 1900. It will depend on the classification given to the machine by the next place you can look for a Brother sewing machine.

Antique shops would be a good place to locate vintage Brother sewing machines. They are always coming across old pre-war machines that are in good working order. Then your next stop would be sewing machine repair shops.

These little shops should have leads on vintage sewing machines and they may even have a few in working order you can buy.

If these places fail you can always try Craigslist, newspaper classified ads, friends, and relatives. Once you start searching you should be able to generate enough leads to help you end your search successfully.

You can also put a vintage Brother sewing machine wanted ad out in those same locations. Many people may not list their machines as they do not want to go through the expense and hassle of generating classified ads.

We almost forgot you may find some Brother sewing machines on Amazon. Their price may range between $200 and $300.

Brother Sewing Machine Cost


When you are looking for a new Brother sewing machine do not be surprised if the top models reach into the thousands. That high price is because of the computerization and all the features and functions that the company builds into them.

After recovering from that sticker shock, you will find that there are quite a few model prices in the $500+ price range. Brother does not want to alienate its customers so it does make some economical models around $200 to 300.

If you are looking for a vintage or used Brother sewing machine, you may find that many models hold their value somewhat. eBay has a few in the $150 to $250 range with a couple going over $300.

There are quite a few models that sell for under $125 as well as under $100. The $350 model is the Prestige Vintage model and the $400 machine is the Prestige Vintage deluxe.

What to Look for in a Vintage Brother Sewing Machine

Knowing what to look for will help you avoid spending money on machines that are not useful to you. People will try all sorts of sales tricks to get you to buy their machine even if it is not the one you are looking for.

Having tips help you avoid falling victim to those sales tactics. Here are some tips to guide your search:

  • 1. Working condition - unless you are buying the machine for spare parts, it should be in good working order. Minor repairs are okay but major ones just mean you are throwing more money you did not intend to spend at the machine.
  • 2. Parts - make sure the parts you need are usable. There is no sense in buying a machine for parts when you cannot use them in your working machines.
  • 3. Availability of parts - if the machine is still working, check to see if you can buy parts easily and cheaply.
  • 4. Accessories - does the machine you want to buy come with all the accessories it originally came with. If not which ones are missing and are those accessories easy to find?
  • 5. Features - there are some questions to ask yourself when shopping for a vintage Brother machine. What features are included in the machine? How many stitches does it include? What kind of stitches does it have? What kind of machine is it? For example a lock stitch, a chain stitch, a serger, and so on.
  • 6. Condition - is the machine in good condition or will you have to do a lot of work just to make it look good
  • 7. Cabinet or case - does it come with a cabinet or doe sit have its protective case when it is up for sale. The cabinet is optional but the case is not. You should get the case with your purchase.
  • 8. The Price - make sure the cost is not more than you are willing to spend. The value is not found in how much you pay for the machine. The high cost may mean you got taken so be careful and hold firm to your budget limits

Some Final Words

Finding the age of a Brother sewing machine is somewhat of a difficult process. Your best bet is to contact the company itself and go through the process of sending them the correct information so they can send you the date quickly.

If that fails your only other hope seems to be the Brother sewing machine dealer or a very good sewing machine repairman. Even the manuals seem to withhold the year of production.

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