Husqvarna/Viking Rose review: The Rose is one of those sewing machines that are capable of sewing and embroidering professional looking stitches at a fraction of the cost.
The embroidery feature is not as sophisticated as a lot of newer sewing/embroidery machines, but the designs that it does offer are excellent for adding fancy borders and trims.
The designs that come standard on the Rose could also be used to embellish children’s clothes, accessories and the fronts of blouses and shirts.
While on vacation, we visited a sewing buddy who had recently purchased a Husqvarna/Viking Rose at an incredibly low price. She bought it from a woman who had stopped sewing altogether because her eyesight was failing.
The owner’s instruction manual was nowhere to be found when she bought the machine, and finding one over the internet was a bit of a challenge for her.
Luckily, however, she already has an extensive sewing background that spans about 25 years, so the absence of the manual was only a minor inconvenience.
Nevertheless, she ordered one on-line for about $10, just to make sure she was not missing anything critical in terms of usage, machine capability or care and maintenance.
At the time we visited her, the manual had not yet arrived in the mail.
When she invited us to take a look at the Husqvarna/Viking Rose and check it out, we were impressed by the clever way it was packaged.
The next thing that caught our eye was the sleek styling of the machine itself and the LCD window, which displayed the stitch selection, stitch size, presser foot, tension adjustment and needle position.
At A Glance
The Husqvarna/Viking Rose comes with an interesting molded plastic cover that doubles as a carrying case. It has a compartment on top that is built to hold the foot pedal and electrical power cord when it is not in use.
The box containing the accessories doubles as part of the detachable work space. The front part of the work space is tucked away on the back of the machine, nestled under the cover until it is ready for use.
When put into place, it combines with the accessories box to form a work space large enough to handle medium to large size sewing projects. When these two pieces are removed, the functional free arm is exposed.
In addition to the 40 on-board stitch design options, extra design cards can be purchased from the manufacturer or on line for an almost infinite number of embroidery design options.
The Viking Rose is not a brand new machine. It is old enough to have an established track record and modern enough to satisfy most if not all of the desires of today’s home sewer.
We do not recommend the Rose for the machine embroidery enthusiast.
However, it is an excellent alternative for the person whose main focus is clothing construction and home dec sewing but wants the freedom of adding an embroidered accent here and there.
Whoever designed the cover/carrying case that came with the Husqvarna/Viking Rose was a true genius.
The foot pedal and electrical power cord are stowed away in the back of the case. A 14 inch ruler decal is affixed to the base of the machine on the front.
In addition, the front part of the extension table is etched with a 12 inch ruler and detaches to fit snugly on the back of the machine when it is not in use.
The back part of the extension table is actually an accessories kit that is tucked away on the back of the free arm.
The thread spindle and bobbin winding mechanism are cleverly tucked away under the flip top cover.
In you happen to be one of those people who prefer the look of perfection even when you are working; then this cosmetic feature can be very important. If, however, looks don’t mean much to you, then this feature is totally insignificant.
The Husqvarna/Viking Rose features both a foot pedal and a start/stop button, which operates the machine whenever the user decides that it is not necessary or convenient to use the foot pedal.
The easy to understand push button stitch selector literally puts at least 40 stitches right at your fingertips.
An added benefit is the fact that the tension is adjusted automatically as soon as a stitch is chosen.
The drop in bobbin and threading functions are so simple you may be lulled into believe it is almost possible to change threads almost without even looking.
Depending on the sewing project and its intricacy, users of the Husqvarna/Viking Rose can set the needle to stop in either the up or down position.
Working on the Husqvarna/Viking Rose
The push button stitch selector is not only easy to understand, it is just as easy to use. Just touch the button bearing the image of the stitch you want, and voila… it’s done.
For this review of the Viking Rose sewing machine, we played with several of the different stitch options, including the three different buttonholes – keyhole, rectangle and oval shaped.
With only one exception, each of the stitches came out perfectly. The only exception was the darning stitch, and we suspect that the problem was with the user, not the machine.
We concluded that the absence of a manual, there was possibly a missing step that would have alleviated the snag we encountered.
Changing the snap on presser feet was a bit clumsy, but not clumsy enough to make working on the Husqvarna/Viking Rose uncomfortable or even challenging to the point that it is not a good sewing machine to work on.
The electronic display screen automatically tells the user which presser foot to use, choose the proper presser foot presser tension adjustment.
It also helps guide you through the steps necessary to save a favorite stitch and all of the settings in its memory.
The many decorative and heirloom stitch options that come standard on the Husqvarna/Viking Rose give the user lots of options.
Because the Rose does not have a USB port, it is not capable of accessing embroidery software and programs available through the manufacturer’s website or creating any of the larger embroidery designs available on more expensive and today’s more sophisticated sewing and embroidery machine models.
However, data cards are still available via the internet that are capable of giving the user access to many embroidery, decorative and heirloom stitch options.
Since the Husqvarna/Viking Rose was manufactured in the late 1990s, the owner assumed it would need to be taken to a sewing machine repair specialist for routine servicing and cleaning.
She did, in fact, take it to her local sewing machine repair shop for servicing shortly after receiving it to make sure everything was in proper working order.
During that initial visit, she learned that this machine, like practically all other electronic sewing machines, must be serviced at least once a year, more often if the machine is in heavy use.
She shared with me that she was not particularly pleased with this fact, since the price tag for servicing sewing machines of this type in her area is about $100 per visit.
We don’t think she would mind our sharing her comment that as good as this machine is, she will use it only when she wants one of the decorative stitches, and rely, instead, upon her old metal, mechanical sewing machine for every day use because she can clean and service it herself, and avoid the expense of taking the Husqvarna/Viking in for professional cleaning, more frequently than is absolutely necessary.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
The contents of the accessories kit include, a tray holding six snap on presser feet and spare bobbins.
The tray can be lifted out to reveal a compartment holding a screwdriver, an oil dispenser, a lint brush and a seam ripper.
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
When it’s all said and done, we think this is one of the best sewing machines in its class.
Although our friend got her machine for a paltry $250, prices for a Husqvarna/Viking Rose of this vintage and in good condition range from about $300 to $700 on e-bay and other on-line sites.
The economical price most certainly makes it possible for the home sewing enthusiast to get a good sewing and embroidery machine without breaking the bank.
The stitch quality is superlative and the machine is so easy to use, it is a perfect choice for just about anyone who wants to expand their basic sewing repertoire to include decorative borders and machine quilting.
The easy to use buttonhole foot and options for three professional looking buttonholes are both definite plusses.
Because the model that we reviewed cannot be connected to the internet, we recognize that there are definite limitations on the number of decorative stitch and embroidery pattern options.
Therefore, we do not recommend this machine for anyone who is considered to be a machine embroidery enthusiast, or someone who spends a lot of time working on large machine embroidery projects.
If, however, you are interested in a good used sewing machine that is capable of rendering small professional looking embroidery, heirloom and decorative stitches as well as superior quality buttonholes and great straight stitching capability, then take a look at the Husqvarna/Viking Rose.
Just make sure that when you get your machine, the owner’s manual comes with it. Otherwise, be prepared to purchase the manual separately.
It’s the only way to guarantee that you will be getting the very best out of your new acquisition.
We have no doubt that as soon as our friend receives the manual she ordered, she will discover that her machine is capable of all kinds of great things that she never even imagined.
We found the rulers on the base of the machine and the extension table to be a bit distracting.
They both start at the one inch point, but they overlap in such a way that if you use the extension table, about half of the ruler on the base of the machine is blocked.
In our opinion, it is not usable at all. If you can only use it when you are using the free arm, why bother to put it there?
The placement makes one wonder if perhaps it would be easier to simply use a tape measure and ignore the ruler decal altogether.
While the carrying case/cover is a great idea, it is easy for someone who is not well organized to misplace or even lose the electrical power cord and foot pedal.
We like the concept of storing the foot pedal and power cord in the cover, but it might work better if the opening had some sort of cover to keep these components in place.
Husqvarna/Viking has an on-line registration feature on its website allowing owners to register their machines and giving them access to all of the corporate resources for technical support, creativity tips and incentives.
However, this service is restricted to people who purchase their machines from approved sources. The site clearly states:
Please be advised when purchasing HUSQVARNA VIKING® sewing machines from an unauthorized dealer that these machines are not covered by the HUSQVARNA VIKING® warranty. Service and support for such machines will not be provided by our authorized dealers, SVP Worldwide nor any affiliates. In particular, kindly note that authorized dealers are prohibited from selling HUSQVARNA VIKING® machines over the internet; therefore, any HUSQVARNA VIKING® sewing machines purchased online will not be covered by the HUSQVARNA VIKING® warranty.
With this policy in mind, anyone interested in acquiring a Husqvarna/Viking sewing machine the way our friend got hers must be aware that technical and creative support provided by the manufacturer will not be available to them.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Molded plastic cover/carrying case
- Easy stitch selection and execution
- Easily expanded work space with ruler
- Foot pedal and electrical power cord could be easily lost or misplaced
- Cannot produce large embroidery designs
- No tech support except when purchased from manufacturer authorized dealer