Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

old Elna

helenj | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi all,

I picked up a second hand ELNA, it must be so old, it is tiny and brown, the sides all fold up, so compact. I don’t have any instructions for it though. About two months ago, I wound a bobbin on it, now I can’t do it. I switch the dial to bobbin, but there’s just a whirrling sound. I wonder what’s going on? I have a bobbin with holes on the top and plain on the other side. Which side up? I tried both, but didn’t work.

Any help from out there?

Thanks! Helen


  1. marymary | | #1

    Helen, have you checked to see if there is an Elna group on Yahoo?  I have a collection of machines, but do not have an Elna, so I can't really help. 

    I do have some questions that might be helpful.  Do you have the correct bobbin?  Is there a bobbinwinding tire or belt?  Is it worn past its usefulness?  Did you oil the bobbinwinder?



    1. helenj | | #3

      Thanks Mary,
      I'll check up on the user groups. There's no visible bobbin winder - I mean, you can't see the belt. Yeah, I am not sure if I have the correct bobbin as there were a few different ones that came with the machine.

  2. Katina | | #2

    Congratulations - you have an Elna Lotus which is considered a gem of modern design and engineering.

    "In 1968, the Elna Lotus was launched, a compact sewing machine with a unique design. Today you can find the Elna Lotus in the Design Collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)."http://www.elna.com/en-gw/about.php

    Did you get an instruction book with your machine? I have one and can scan it for you if you need it.



    1. helenj | | #4

      Thanks Katina,
      I knew I had something special, it is definatley innovative!
      It would be great to have a copy of the instructions, thanks!
      Should I post my email here, or can the scan be attached to this post?
      Do you use yours often - do you have any suggestions re the bobbin?The belt has maybe just broken? - the whirrling noise?
      What do the bobbins look like? helen

      1. Katina | | #5

        Have answered you privately


      2. Tatsy | | #6

        Did you get the answers you needed? I've had my head down ever since I took the pattern drafting class. Too much fun! So many details that make everything better.

        Okay, back to the Elna. The holes go on the top. I think the reason your bobbins won't wind is because the flywheel needs to be disconnected (turned backwards until the drive shaft runs free) before the bobbin winder will work. Elna's are absolutely fantastic machines! My mom had the old green one, and I had the Elna Super until about 10 years ago when it quit and the mechanic just shook his head about fixing it.

        Did you get any cams? You'll love the machine.

        1. helenj | | #7

          Thanks Tasty,
          Yes, i now have an instruction booklet!
          I don't have any feet/accesories yet, I am
          sure it will be a great machine.I needed to press the bobbin down more
          firmly, then it wound.....interesting.Thanks

          1. Tatsy | | #8

            If it's like my old Elna Super, it will take any standard low-shank feet. I sewed on my from 1974 until 2001.

        2. mombomb23 | | #10

          Elna Lotus sp

          Hi Tatsy, I am having the same bobbin winding problem as the original poster.  How long does the flywheel need to be turned backwards? I'm new to this machine.  Just a couple times around, or several?  Is backwards, counter-clockwise on these machines?  Do I do this while I am using the presser foot?  I'm pretty new to sewing so I apologize if this is a silly question. Thank you.

          1. Pattiann42 | | #11

            Elna Lotus so

            This may help - http://www.fixya.com/support/t3592900-insert_bobbin_into_elna_lotus

            Here is another link to a free manual that shows how to replease the fly wheel -  http://www.manualslib.com/manual/378225/Elna-Sp.html   See page 10.

  3. Rabia | | #9

    Funny, I just bought an OOOOOOLD Elna Supermatic complete with instruction manual and feet and everything at a second-hand store..it has a fold-down knee lever. My mother hadthe same machine but not quite as old; she said she bought it the year before I was born, which would be 1956!!I was very impressed with the fact that her machine NEVER broke down, and she used it A LOT. The only problem with it was that the thread take-up got snapped off once, and another time I took it in for a cleaning and the shop didn't re-assemble it properly and so it didn't work right after that. When my sis took it back and they looked at it, they fixed the problem and it was off and running again like new!

    The only thing with this machine of mine is that it requires a LOT of oiling! And that EVERY time you set up to use it!

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More