If you visit the major appliance department of almost any Sears store, you’ll find the Kenmore brand name on several items, including refrigerators, freezers, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers.
A visit to the household appliances department, however, where small electrical appliances are sold, will reveal lots of national brand names.
Unfortunately, Kenmore sewing machines are not among them. While that may be true in the 21st Century, many people remember the time when Kenmore was one of the most popular sewing machine brands on the market.
A Little Bit of History
Kenmore is a private brand that was available exclusively at Sears stores. Although Kenmore sewing machines were made by other companies, the name Kenmore held a place of honor in countless sewing rooms across America.
Nobody really cared that most Kenmore sewing machines were made by little known manufacturers like the National Sewing Machine Company, their only concern was that the name Kenmore represented quality. The first Kenmore sewing machine was introduced in 1913.
For a while, the Kenmore name was set aside, but re-activated in 1934. It has been going strong since then, and has continuously maintained a reputation for excellence and quality through the years.
Kenmore Sewing Machines in the 21st Century
Today’s Kenmore sewing machines are actually made by the Janome Corporation. Although the Kenmore line is not as extensive as the line bearing the Janome brand name, Kenmore sewing machines and sergers are representative of everything a home sewer could want when it domes to quality workmanship and a dependable addition to any sewing room.
I was more than a little bit surprised when I visited a Sears store recently and found sewing machines by several manufacturers, but no Kenmores.
Kenmore sewing machines are not even listed on sears.com. It is possible, however, to find new Kenmore sewing machines on amazon.
Finding Replacement Parts for Your Kenmore Sewing Machine
When it comes to servicing newer Kenmore sewing machines, finding replacement parts is a breeze. Since being taken over by Janome, parts for current Kenmore sewing machines are readily available. Taking care of a vintage Kenmore sewing machine, however, is another story altogether.
Although vintage Kenmore sewing machines have a track record of being dependable and providing high quality service for many, many years, there seems to be one significant drawback.
Since Kenmores were manufactured by several different companies over the years, finding replacement parts may be a bit of a challenge.
My advice is to take your Kenmore to your local sewing machine repair professional whenever you find it necessary to replace even the most insignificant part.
If, however, you are like several people I know who like to baby their vintage machines, you have probably taken the time to learn how to make most routine repairs on your Kenmore yourself.
Taking on the maintenance and repair of your vintage Kenmore sewing machine, however, means that you are on your own when it comes to finding replacement parts. The good news is you can find some replacement parts by visiting the Sears website.
You might be able to find the part you need by entering your model number or parts number on this web page. Sites like amazon.com are also very reliable sources for Kenmore replacement parts. You can even find Kenmore sewing machines for sale on amazon.
Replacement Parts for Your Vintage Kenmore Sewing Machine
However, if yours is a vintage Kenmore, a more reliable source for replacement parts might just be an independent vendor that specializes in sewing machine parts.
If you are unable to locate replacement parts for your vintage Kenmore in your local area, the internet is a good place to look.
After receiving several e-mail inquiries from site visitors in search of replacement parts for their older Kenmore sewing machines, I decided to do a little indepth research of my own.
I came across an impressive list of replacement parts for vintage Kenmore sewing machines at a site called Sewing Parts Online.
This site has the most comprehensive listing of available replacement parts for practically every sewing machine brand that ever existed.
When you land on the Kenmore page, you are given a list of model numbers to choose from. When I clicked model number 158.4180, for example, I was taken to a page that offered both empty and pre-wound bobbins, foot pedals, light bulbs, needle plates, shuttle hooks and slide plates for sale at very reasonable prices.
Since I did not actually place an order, I have no way of knowing if all of the items listed are in stock or if they are on back order.
Having said that, my opinion is if their actual available inventory is even 85% of what their website lists, anyone in search of a hard to find part for their vintage Kenmore should be able to locate it there.
As a disclaimer, I must also state that I have no personal experience with Sewing Parts Online. As indicated earlier, inquiries from people looking for replacement parts for their own vintage Kenmore sewing machines prompted me to initiate an online search.
So far, my research has revealed that Sewing Partings Online appears to be the most reliable site for these rare but necessary machine parts.
After visiting several other pages on this website, I am inclined to believe that Sewing Parts Online is possibly the most reliable source for replacement parts to fit just about any vintage sewing machine, regardless of the brand name or manufacturer.
Do You Have a Source for Vintage Sewing Machine Parts?
If you are aware of another source for vintage sewing machine parts or if you have ever used Sewing Parts Online or are aware of anyone who may have done business with them, and feel comfortable sharing your experience… either positive or negative… please let us know by entering your comments below. Your input and feedback is always appreciated.
Not only would I be very interested in learning more about this resource and any others that may be out there, I am certain other readers would like to know more about where to find replacement parts for their vintage sewing machines as well.