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Conversational Threads

Viking exclusive sensor system

Karen2 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Buying a new machine or a used machine is a difficult task. I am looking for a machine that will sew two pieces of fabric together without pinning and have the top and bottom fabrics even at the end of stitching regardless of the fabric length sewn. Does the Viking machine do this? Or, perhaps, I should ask which Viking machines have this feature? Viking advertises that those machines with the “sensor system” allow perfect feeding of layers. What does this mean? Sergers accomplish this tack with ease – the top and botton fabric layer are alway even at the end of sewing any length. Thanks for your help; I look forward to your responses. Karen


  1. dysee | | #1

    Although I have the Viking D1 and adore it...I believe that the Pfaff machines are the only ones to have the system of an automatic dual feed....it's patented, and although the D1 has similar ....it's not as good as the Pfaff, which is a real dual feed. The Pfaff has feed dogs top and bottom. I don't have the Pfaff, but my friend has one.


    1. Karen2 | | #2

      My gosh, that is quite a surprise for me. What are some of the likes and dislikes your friend as with the Pfaff? I looked at Phaff sites and found that this no fabric slippage is called IDT. Further investigation directed me to dealers and the dealers were also vacuum cleaner sales people. If anyone knows more about the Phaff, I would truly love to hear from them. I have had Viking machines for sometime, but am not happy with the fabric slippage. Thank you for any thoughts. Karen

      1. Kiley | | #3

        I have a computerized Janome made Kenmore with the 7 pc feed dog system that feeds well and I also have a mechanical Pfaff with IDT and it is a workhorse and has accepted all fabrics that I have given it almost like an industrial machine. In fact many industrial machines have a built in walking foot. The dual feed foot on the back of the pressure bar comes down and attaches to the back of the pressure foot and can be disengaged or engaged at will. I saw posted that Pfaff lost it's patent in regards to this type of feed now Janome has a new machine with acufeed and their site refers to it as IDT. You can see the brand new Janome model 6600 (not to be confused with the Elna 6600) on the Janome site and it does have a dual feed mechanism that attaches to a very large foot but none of the other feet offered by Janome so far accept this IDT I have seen posted by owners. Pfaff offers many IDT feet. We shall see how this new Janome works out and if other companies will also come out with dual feed. It is a marvelous feature.  Buying a walking foot for any machine can help with difficult fabric . Somebody once posted and explained well how a walking foot is not the same as the Pfaff's IDT also called IDF. I don't know the difference in how they work but it is different and I think the purchase of a bulky walking foot might help in situations if one doesn't own a machine with IDT. With the Pfaff's Integrated Dual Feed or Dual Technology the system feeds the material from the top and bottom simultaneously like industrial machines . The fabric is fed precisely for light or heavy fabrics, prevents puckering and helps to match plaids and stripes.

        Edited 11/4/2005 6:40 pm ET by Kiley

        1. Karen2 | | #4

          Wow, this is really getting interesting which makes the decisions not so easy. I just saw an add for the Janome 6600 which states that it has the acufeed and the seven point feed dog structure. This seems to be what the Kenmore has. I wonder what the difference between the two machines is? Viking has always been my standard and I'm beginning to question my thoughts about Viking. Do you think that the Janome will hold up as well as other machines. This has really been an eye opener. Any more thoughts will be certainly be appreciate and thank you for responding. KarenWhat does the "seven point" refer to?

          1. Kiley | | #6

            Janome makes most of the Kenmores now. The Kenmores that have the 7 point feed dog system do not have the dual feed foot (as yet) that the Janome model 6600 has. Janome makes other brands also like the new Pfaff Grand quilter. The Viking Mega Quilter is supposed to be the same as the Pfaff Grand Quilter and both are large bed straight stitch machines made in Asia. The Pfaff GQ is one of the nicest machines I have ever used. Janome makes some Elna's, the Huskystar line for Viking and some other models. Janome is also known as New Home. I think most Janome owners and machine technicians will vouch for the Janome quality and I also will being I owned several Janome made machines including one of their sergers. I try to judge machines by different models not by brands because of never knowing who makes what anymore and one model in a certain line can vary so much from others in the same line just because it has a little electronics built etc. that the others do not have. One model can be a strong machine that stitches strong and quiet while another machine in the same line is noisy and has poor stitch quality. I suggest to test drive if you can and look at the reviews on line at the different forums like PatternReview, Quilters Review and the discussions on Sewing World etc. There are many forums (including this forum) where you can get an idea of certain model machines by their owners comments etc. I can say that I appreciate my present machines which are a Pfaff 1530 and computerized Kenmore 19365 and Elna coverlock 744. I say the best machine is the one that is most comfortable for your needs and one that you love to sew on and enjoy using. I wish you luck and fun in your hunt.

            Edited 11/5/2005 1:53 am ET by Kiley

          2. Karen2 | | #7

            My goodness, I had no idea there was just a magnitude in machine differences and similarities. The Janome 6600 seems to be a good choice until you find that the machine will accept only one foot. The Pfaff looks like the perfect choice with its IDT system. I wonder if the Pfaff with the IDT is a mechanical or computerized system? The sites you mentioned will be another eye opener. Does getting to those sites require a bit of investigation? Are any machines made in Europe or USA ? It seems that different parts are made in different countries by different companies. And what a hoot to think that Janome makes some of Viking parts. Certainly a lot to consider! Having a quality straight stitch is definitely a requisite. Figuring out price will be another interesting enity. Karen

          3. Kiley | | #8

            Pfaff has the IDT on both their computerized and mechanical machines. They also have some mechanicals that do not have IDT. Janome makes only a certain line of machines for HV Viking. I believe the Vikings are still made in Sweden but the Huskystars might be Aisan as the Viking MQ is made in Taiwan. Viking now owns Pfaff. Pfaff machines are still German engineered but no longer made in Germany. My Pfaff is made in the Czech Republic. The Janome 6600 does come with other feet I believe but I saw posted by owners that there is only one large special foot that can used with  the AcuFeed. It is confusing...this is why I am not brand loyal..companies are so intermingled.

          4. Karen2 | | #9

            Good grief, there is a lot of information to digest in these replies. I have printed all of the replies and will down load them as well. The Pfaff does seem the one right now and has been considered "the work horse," which must mean it is pretty sturdy. Just wish I had gotten to this site and made my initial posting a few weeks ago. This would have allowed me to attend the recent quilt show in Santa Clara and field test the machines on display. Just wonder what would be available to have all manufactures at one site? KarenAny ideas on pricing?

          5. Kiley | | #10

            As far as pricing for quality machines, IMO  Pfaff is one of the more expensive machines along Viking and Bernina probably being the highest priced for the features they offer. Janome made Kenmores offer more features for the price and are less expensive than machines with the Janome name sold at Janome dealers. I am not sure about Babylock and Brother but they seem to have user friendly features and seem less costly. There are good used machines sold at dealers also. There are so many nice machines today. I hope you have a chance to test drive some and get some opinions from owners of different models.  I wish you luck and I hope you find a machine you love that also suits your pocket book.

          6. Karen2 | | #11

            My head is spinning with all of this input. I think I'll get a spreadsheet going and then be able to do a bit better in my selection. One other question comes to mind and I hope it will be the last. Some machines seem to be very particular in what type of thread they use. I'm hoping to get a machine that will accept all purpose, dual duty thread. I've heard that the newer Viking does not do well with this thread- are other machines this sensitive? I'm thinking of the Pfaff. And just one more question. Is there any room for bargaining on the price of machines? Or is the price the machine is offered, the price that is paid? Thank you, thank you for all of your replies. Karen

          7. Kiley | | #12

            I have always used Dual Duty thread on all of my machines without problems and I have owned several brands of machines. I cannot comment on the newer Vikings but I had an older Viking that had no problems with thread that my daughter is still using.  As for machine pricing, in my state we cannot bargain with the dealer..the price is what it is. I believe we have state laws in regards to this. If sale prices are left on machines in error when sales are over however the dealer usually sells the tagged price to the customer. I have seen many posts from other states where people seem to be able to bargain with dealers though. Before purchasing a machine you might check all the sites on line you can find with reviews by owners on different machines. Some sites are Epinions, QuiltersReview, Sewing World and PatternReview. I suggest to also look at the different sites of different brand machines plus the on line dealers sites will be able you show you the different features of the different models. You can make a list of the features you like then try to test drive the machine and see if you like it. Good luck in your search and have fun.

          8. mimi | | #13


            I have a Viking 730, brand new, and it has no difficulty with different threads.  So far, I have sewn silk chiffon with silk thread, cotton with cotton/poly thread and rayon with poly thread.  I did not have problems with any of them. 

            My Viking was a birthday present from my DH, and replaced a Kenmore that I had for about 15 years.  The Viking is a whole different world!!  My Kenmore was recyled to my daughter, who grew up sewing on it.

            I highly recommend the Viking!


          9. Karen2 | | #14

            Yes, I agree the Viking is a pretty nice machine, but I was told by our local Viking dealer that the dual duty threads were a no go. My older Viking does accept just about everything, but the fabric slippage is something I want to abandon. Karen

          10. feismom | | #15


            I have a D2 and the dual feed foot for it.  So far it's solved any problems I've had with slippery fabrics.  It's a lot less expensive than a new machine.  Have you given it a try?

          11. Karen2 | | #16

            No, I haven't, but I would like to know more about this foot. I really just want to be able to sew long lengths of fabric and at the end of sewing have the top fabric lined up with the bottom - all done without pinning and I would like to be able to use differnt feet. The fabric to be used could be cotton or other. I have been investigating the Pfaff and have done some test driving. The straigt stich is beautiful and their IDT set up seems to work like a dream. I just got off "Pattern Review." Most comments seem favorable. I think I'm most interested in the 2144 at this point. The other major family member (husband) believes I should contact our local Viking dealer and see how the Pfaff and Viking stack up in the dealer's mind. The fact that the IDT system is not patened any longer leaves a few questions as to what Viking might do in the future. Karen

          12. feismom | | #17

            Hi Karen

            I don't know anything about the Pfaff - I bought my D2 because it was robust enough to handle my daughter's Irish dance costumes and for the feature that automatically raises the foot and drops the needle when you take your foot off the pedal so you can control the fabric completely.  I put the walking foot on my Xmas list last year and have found it fabulous for matching stripes/plaids, really fine cottons, satins, etc.  (The machine also came with an automatic buttonhole foot that consistently makes the best buttonholes I've ever seen so I'm really impressed with the feet/attachments.)   I thought I had read that you already have a Viking so I thought it would be a relatively inexpensive solution to your problem.  (Sorry if I confused you with someone else.)  Anyway, I love my D2, have an excellent dealer who has been really great at helping solve problems and I wouldn't consider looking at another machine. 

            Hope this helps

          13. Karen2 | | #18

            The walking foot you describe sounds very interesting and may be a temporary fix for me. Are there diffent types of walking feet for the Vikings and can different attachments be used with the walking foot? My Viking, like yours, has been a work horse and a machine that has given me great pleasure. However, my machine unlke yours, might be considered approaching antique statehood - it is old! Do you have a universal walking foot or one that has been designed for the Viking? I have always been a Viking fan, but the Pfaff has some super features and seems to be cost effective as well. Karen

          14. feismom | | #19

            Hi again

            My foot is Husqvarna Viking part # 412 57 30-45 officially called a "dual feeder".  It seems to work much the same way a buttonhole attachment I had for my Singer back in the 70's - that is it screws onto the needle shaft and a two-pronged arm fits over the bolt sticking out of the right side of the shaft.  In other words, it doesn't plug into the electronics of the machine in any way so it would be logical that it would work on any machine it fits.  Try your HV dealer or the website, I think it is at http://www.husqvarnaviking.com - they should be able to advise you whether it would fit an older machine.

            Good luck

          15. Karen2 | | #28

            I purchased a genetic walking foot from my Viking dealer with the understanding that I could return it. The foot works fine, but will not accept any other feet. The unit is one piece. Does your Viking walking foot accept other Viking feet? If your answer is yes, I believe I will upgrade to the Viking unit. Hard to believe that the unit is so pricey. Karen

          16. feismom | | #31

            Hi Karen

            The HV walking foot is a single unit - it doesn't take other feet.  I've never been in the habit of changing feet before getting my D2 so it doesn't bother me.  But I am coming to really enjoy the variety of feet available for my D2.  I'm a little shocked at the price of the feet in general but I figure they are worth the time they save me - I learned to sew on a Singer long bobbin that did one thing and one thing only - straight forward stitch.  (But it did it very well.)  My latest discovery is the left edge topstitch foot - I don't feel a need to prove that I can do perfect topstitching manually anymore!

            Sounds like your generic foot will be a big help.  Enjoy!


          17. Karen2 | | #32

            Thank you so much for getting back to me. So far the Pfaff with the IDT is the only machine to accept various feet. This generic version will be fine for now. KarenThat left edge top stitching foot sounds pretty interesting!

          18. feismom | | #36

            I'm discovering all sorts of nifty stuff.  It's a whole new world out there - I'm enjoying sewing a lot more now than I ever did before.

            I bought a big Horn sewing table this year as well - I'm finding the large work surface makes a big difference in sewing large pieces of fabric.  Things feed better when they're not being pulled to the floor by gravity.  The table I bought is about 5' wide and 5' deep when an extension surface is placed over a pull-out drawer to the left of the machine area.  The table for the machine has 3 levels - a low level to pack everything away, a level where the machine's bed is flush with an insert to give a huge flat work surface and a high level to use with the embroidery unit or with the free arm.  Beats the dining room table.

          19. Karen2 | | #39

            I like "nifty stuff." The table sounds wonderful and how nice to have a place to sew other then make shift work areas. Karen

          20. feismom | | #42

            I like it a lot.  My dealer says one of her customers has a wall unit across the end wall of her living room that the sewing table rolls into when not in use.  I've got one on my project list but it's a couple of years down the road.

            I built a box out of plywood with a padded, upholstered top and castors on the bottom to house my serger when not in use.  It's my sewing stool - it rolls back and forth between the sewing table and the dining room table which I leave the cutting board on as a work table when we aren't using it for meals (rarely).  I have my odds and ends in one of those plastic rolling drawer units that I hide under the table.  I store my fabrics in a series of large square baskets (I think they are bamboo) that slide under a bench that runs the length of the table.  Bolts of fabric are in a blanket box.  Aside from the fact that the room is supposed to be the family room, it works really well as a dining/sewing room.

          21. Karen2 | | #43

            How nice that you have tool skills along with sewing. I like the idea of the padded box for your serger. You have some very clever ideas for storing goods. Karen

          22. ixs | | #34

            You've certainly been given a lot of information to digest. May I add more?I have a fifteen-year old Pfaff mechanical sewing machine. It is a workhorse and very reliable; however, I am a serious amateur seamstress, and when I had to DETACH the IDT foot to do a zipper (Is there another way?), the feed dogs didn't feed the material very well. That was very frustrating and didn't look good on the finished product. The zipper foot wasn't constructed to use with IDT, I guess.But I believe part of the problem is how you put the material on the sewing machine bed and how you manipulate the fabric with your fingers/hand. That should be a way to compensate for uneven feeding. I took a Margaret Islander course and learned a lot about how to manipulate material when one is sewing. Also, I love my Bernina because, as a seamstress, I like the one-way buttonhole sewing method that looked so smooth that Bernina uses on some of their machines. That sold me. Not all options on the different machines are available on every model.Hope this isn't too much information.......

          23. Karen2 | | #35

            The replies have been absolutely wonderful!!! I have gained so much knowledge and am so appreciative. You're right about guiding material with both hands to make the fit. I do this often when setting in sleeves. Plaids and long lengths of fabric seem to be a different story. This generic walking foot, recently purchased, will hopefully solve some of my problems- at least until I find a new machine. Karen

          24. EBrophy | | #44

            Dear ixs...  You may not be attaching your zipper foot correctly or may not be using the correct zipper foot...  The Pfaff IDT works wonderfully with the zipper foot.  I can't put a zipper in without using it.  If you have a Pfaff dealer near you, I would suggest taking your machine and zipper foot down there and asking them to show you how to do it.  (As a hint, for 99% of the Pfaff sewing machine feet, the number of the foot goes toward the back, the zipper foot is the only exception to that rule.  The flat edge goes to the front, and the cut out areas go to the back.)  Also, the new Accessory Catalog that Pfaff came out with includes the instructions for using all the current feet.  I have found this more useful than when the instructions for the foot come with the foot, I tend to lost the packaging, but I keep my Accessory Catalog near my machine and then if I find a foot and can't remember what it's used for (which has happened to me a few times) I can just look it up in the book!!  Another very useful tool for keeping track of how to use your feet is by buying some of the books that Pfaff has come out with.  Home Dec With Your Feet by Kim Fillimore (I'm pretty sure, don't hate me if I'm giving credit to the wrong person) is wonderful resource for project ideas and explains very clearly how many of the feet on the market today can be used to embellish and make your projects easier.  There is also a book called Quilting With Your Feet, and I believe that the author is the same, but please don't hold me to that either. 

          25. ixs | | #45

            Hi,Thanks for your personal message. My Pfaff is a mechanical 1217, and I never really took any classes with it because I was pretty far away from the dealership, but the machine is from the late 80s, I think, and has been a wonderful machine with virtually no problems. I just wanted a machine with more gadgets, so I now have a Bernina 185E, which is a wonderful machine, but I have never given up my old machines; in fact, I have a Domestic treadle machine from 1881 that I bought from my 98 year old neighbor's auction. Everything is still in it, even the warranty; the woman's mother must have just shut it up and left it. What a wonderful treasure....I'll have to take a look at that old Pfaff when I get back from our winter home; I had to have a new fifth wheel so I could take my sewing machine and serger with us.

          26. Kiley | | #20

            A walking foot can be purchased for almost any machine brand. Is the Viking dual feed foot any different from a regular walking foot? I was told by a tech once that the IDT or IDF on a Pfaff does work differently than a walking foot. I can't remember how he explained it however. I just purchased an open toe walking foot for my Kenmore. They have a new pkg of 4 feet. They fit Janomes too and are a great buy. The pkg contains an open toe walking foot with quilting bar and an open toe craft foot, open toe free motion or darning foot and a ditch foot. The cost of all four feet were around $25 total or what just the price of a regular walking foot alone would be. I do know that feet for Viking and Bernina machines are quite expensive compared to this. Feet for my Pfaff are more expensive than for my Kenmore. I still haven't used the walking foot for my computerized Kenmore because I guess why put on such a cumbersome foot when I can use the Pfaff's IDT. I guess I bought the walking foot as a back up. My Pfaff is a mechanical machine and my Kenmore is computerized. There is such a difference between a computerized and mechanical machine no matter what the brand. I use both of my machines for different projects and I would hate to choose between them.

            Edited 11/14/2005 4:58 am ET by Kiley

          27. Karen2 | | #22

            There do seem to be significant differences between the mechanical and the computerized machine. I did pick up a generic walking foot from our local viking dealer. The cost was twenty five dollars as opposed to the Viking foot at eighty nine. Have not had a chance to play with it due to an eye problem. The Viking dealer said that the Pfaff dealership, now owned by Viking, would be sold soon. He had Pfaff machines that he had taken in on Viking sales. A 2030 Pfaff, with the IDT, was available for $300. But he certainly was not pushing Pfaff sales. I think the dual feed is the same as a walking foot - just another name. The dealer also said that Viking had superior tension control which allowed the machine to have a minimum slippage. According to him, the Pfaff machines do not have this tension control. I'll probably be able to sell sewing machines after all of this research. Just kidding, of course. Karen

          28. marijke | | #37

            I've been sewing on a Viking 770 for the past couple of years and love it.  No problem with Dual Duty threads either.  On my old Singer I started avoiding that brand because it gave me so many problems with the thread shredding.   I mostly use Gutermann or Mettler threads, but recently have been sewing a lot at high speeds using a sharp (not the general purpose) needle and Dual Duty thread and my Viking has had no problems whatsoever with this thread.

            On my serger (also Viking), I need to loosen the tension when I use dual duty instead of serger thread...

            As for fabric slippage: I don't seem to have a huge problem with that.  On long seams, I use a "taut sewing technique" I learnt from a book a long time ago and it really helps control slippage.  I use an even feed foot for quilting several layers together but never for regular sewing.

            Just my 2 cents.

          29. Karen2 | | #40

            Thanks for your two cents. Maybe the sharp needle is what is needed for the dual duty threads. I,too, have a Viking sewing machine and serger. The sewing machine has reached senior status and does accept just about any thread. Karen

      2. dysee | | #5

        I didn't know about the Janome either Karen. I do know though, that the Pfaff is a great reliable workhorse machine...and if fabric slippage is important to you, you can do no better.


      3. Megh | | #21

        I've had a Pfaff (model 1222E) for 24 years.  It is one of the original models to have the Integrated Dual Feed mechanism.

        A few summers ago I took some quilt classes for which different machine companies provided machines.  I thought I might be in the market to get a different machine.  I tried the (at the time) top of the line Janome, and a Viking Rose.  The Janome was nice, it had a bazillion embroidery stitches, and a knee lift mechanism.  The Viking was only so-so, not as many fancy stitches.  Mainly what I didnt like is that it was fitted with a 1/4" foot.  Sewing a straight line was very difficult because there wasn't presser foot coverage over the feed dogs, so the fabric didn't move evenly through the work area. 

        Some questions to consider:  do you want lots of embroidery stitches?  Would you really use them?  If you do quilting and need to stitch a 1/4" seam, a 1/4" foot is not necessarily the single feature you shop for because there are other methods of making that happen (I happen to like using a strip of blue painter's tape applied directly to the bed of my sewing machine.). 

        I paid $900 for my machine 24 years ago.  It was a lot of money at the time, but I'm still using it and I've sewn denim, wool, chiffon, silk, cotton with it.  I wouldn't be able to give up this machine easily!  I think it's the IDF system which has helped my sewing turn out so well.

        1. Karen2 | | #23

          I haven't gotten into the embroidery, but it is something I might consider in a few years. I do a lot of clothing and do want to make a slip cover for a couch and this is why I like the idea of the Pfaff. If this walking foot I purchased works out I'll probably get a new machine in the near future. The blue tape is a great idea and I have actually been using that for sometime. (and before blue tape came about the really hard to remove original masking tape) Sometimes my old machine looks like tape is holding it together. Karen

          1. KarenW | | #24

            I guess I should offer a disclaimer first, I do work for a Pfaff/Brother dealer.  Further disclaimer though, I've been a loyal customer for 9 years before I started working there a year ago, the result of getting much better service and finding a machine that fed and handled the fabrics I like to use far better than my old machine.  Final disclaimer, who knows if the Vikings would have been even better, the dealer was such a jerk his machines never got a chance to "speak" for themselves....

            Some differences you might find between Pfaff's IDT and a walking foot -- unthread the needle of a Pfaff and with the dual feed engaged, run the machine slowly and look at the feed system from the side (with dual feed engaged).  You'll see that the IDT moves front to back,  just like the bottom feed dogs, so that's how it will be moving your fabric.  Now try the same on a machine with a walking foot attached - there seems to be a more up/down motion than front to back.  As I believe has already been mentioned, with the IDT you can use other specialty feet and take advantage of the top feed system - not possible with a walking foot.  I find this very attractive when using feet like my zipper foot, rolled hem foot, different feet with blades as guides... but I do mostly garment sewing and scarey hard to feed/handle fabrics don't scare me.   For someone else the attachable walking foot may be just fine -- moral of this story -- take all the kinds of fabrics and things you like to sew and test each on both types of machine to see what you find works better for you.

            My final comment is just my own opinion.... I am always wary of dealers who have to berate another brand or dealer to try and keep you in their store looking at their machines rather than showing you all the benefits of buying their brand.  The Viking dealer here really helped sell me on Pfaff, though surely unknowingly.   Maybe the Pfaff dealer is going to sell.  How do you know that's true?  The Viking dealer a few minutes away is notorious for telling people Pfaff is in bankruptcy.  I sold a really nice machine recently to someone who called and asked me about that.  She was stunned when I knew exactly where she'd heard it.  I didn't want to put down another dealer so I simply said that information was not correct, that Pfaff is currently owned by Viking Sewing Machines and for some history on Pfaff and how it came to be owned by VSM, to search sites on the net of business publications such as Business Week, Forbes, Wall Street Journal or some others that had had articles.... that way she got an accurate history from a neutral party.   We're also working to fix a machine for a customer who bought a machine from that dealer in spring, she'd also been told Pfaff was in bankruptcy and was surprised to see our sign on the door...still... her machine's been at the other dealer 5 times in 5 months for repair and still isn't working right.    This isn't a Pfaff/Viking competition, just a caution to examine the dealer as closely as the machine - look for someone who really knows what's great about their machines as opposed to what's wrong with "the other guy" or their machines.   I have nothing against the other brand (I'm an equal opportunity sewing machine brand collector!), just cannot patronize businesspeople who operate that way, regardless of the product.Good luck in your search!


          2. Kiley | | #25

            Well said Karen..errrrr I mean well posted. Odd that it is being said that Pfaff is bankrupt when it is now owned by Viking..does that mean Viking is having problems? Anyway, about dealers knocking other brand machines..go figure..when it is the Janome company that makes the Huskystars for Viking and their Mega Quilter and Pfaff's Grand Quilter, plus Janome make some Elna's and the Sears Kenmores. Makes one wonder how a dealer will figure out which company or machine to bash next. LOL! ...I wanted to add something about tension control on my Pfaff. It does not have automatic tension as does my Janome made Kenmore. It also does not have a foot pressure control as does my Janome made Kenmore. In the past I would not have considered a machine without auto tension or foot pressure adjustment however, with my little mechanical Pfaff it is not needed. It accepts fabric and feeds superior no matter what and without needing adjustment in anyway. I assume because of the IDT. I honestly do not care for the Pfaff stitching without the IDT for some reason it is not as smooth as some machines maybe being mechanical and not computerized as my Kenmore is. BTW in an earlier post somebody referred to an older Kenmore not being the same as her Viking. Older Kenmores were made by White among some other brands.  Viking is now in charge of White and sells their machines. I really do feel the Janome made Kenmores are nice machines. There of course is a difference between models..whether they are mechanical..or mechanical with electronic features makes a difference. The difference in the hook..if oscillating or rotary, including if bobbin is horizontal or vertical. All of these little differences can be felt in using a machine. It seems all brands have some models with each of these features. It is always the best to test drive. Brands to me mean nothing. Brand names are intermingling. The difference in models and what features they have and how they are constructed do mean something to me in a machine purchase. I suggest a test drive before buying.

            Edited 11/15/2005 6:23 pm ET by Kiley

          3. KarenW | | #26

            <<Odd that it is being said that Pfaff is bankrupt when it is now owned by Viking..does that mean Viking is having problems? >>

            No.  It means that's the line the dealer in this area uses to keep people from looking at Pfaff!  They used that 9 years ago saying Pfaff was owned by Singer and they were in bankruptcy and on and on about how no good they were.... 3 months later they were carrying Singer....

            Auto tension is a great feature to boast but if you test every machine you're considering with the fabrics you want to use and find a make/model does beautifully even without that feature - maybe it's not needed after all.  Had someone in here last week who was sure that was what she needed since her old machine had so many problems... it was going in for service because the timing was knocked out again... not a tension issue at all.  Once she saw how well some machines w/o auto tensions stitched right from sheer tricot to denim to denim hems to knits etc. with no tension adjustment at all she realized that's not a always a mandatory feature.


          4. Kiley | | #27

            My Pfaff does not have auto tension nor an adjustment for pressure control either and does not need it I guess because of the IDT. It is a fabulous machine.

  2. kellypat | | #29

    Hi I'm A new reader to this dission group. so  forgive me if I"m repeating an answer you allready have. First I have a new Viking and have come to love it  but still don't know all there is to it.  Hhowever  in the open window  it states settings if you go there a presser foot pressure that you can adjust. But when I sew slipery fabrics I all ways hold the fabric firm not tight in the back and front as the fabric is sewen.  I don't think any one machine ( in this caliber of machines) will an answer to everyone of our dreams. But how we know how to handel the fabrics we use the nedles to chose and to reconize if we have good or bad thread. I personly have found the cotton/poly ( coats & clark) will have at times more fiber slubsin it the some of your more expencive threads.  This is just my thoughts



    1. onequarter | | #30

      Hi all,This is a great discussion. First, I own several machines collected over the years.Viking D2
      Bernina 1008
      Pfaff 1229The Pfaff 1229, bought new for a staggering amount of money (1982), has been a workhorse the entire time with nothing going wrong with it. It's true about the IDT. That system feeds everything I give it without any quibble. It's sews as strong now as it ever did, takes every kind of thread, and is easy to run. I have quite a few feet for it, but I never had to buy a walking foot. I mostly made garments and home dec and puppets for years.then I got a Bernina for the quality of it's stitch. I love the Bernina 1008. It's the bottom of the line mechanical of a Top of the Line company. I bet I keep it forever. However, it's not any better at stitch quality than the Pfaff 1229.I bought the D2 (secondhand - without the embroidery stuff) because I wanted that foot sensor automatic lift when the power stops and automatic drop when the power starts bacause I'm taking up quilting. I am thoroughly hooked on that feature. I don't have a presser foot lifter or a knee lift (which I used to think was the cat's meow) and I don't even use the foot pedal, although it is convenient too, I'm just getting very used to pushing buttons right on the console. That lift feature is why I bought the machine and why I was able to get over the BIG GLITCH.I was aghast when I discovered the nearly-fatal flaw, that the quarter inch foot, (the quilting foot for Heaven's sake ), didn't quite cover the right feed dog. What do those engineers do in their little labs??? They certainly don't sew or quilt. It must be all in their heads and theoretical. I think that all sewing machine engineers ought to be able to make a garment and a quilt before they secure their job.The fix, explained by the very nice woman at my dealership, is this:Foot ####Card A, choosing stitch 3
      stitch width 3.5This is an edit to this message. I don't know what's with the # sign above. I have a Macintosh, that's probably it. the foot is the A foot.If you set the machine that way the edge of the A foot is exactly one quarter inch away from the needle. I had the machine all photographed in front of a white sheet drape getting ready to list it on e-Bay. Now I don't have to. I'm pretty happy with the machine. It's better when I can spend my time sewing and not having to sell and buy machines. There are no perfect machines - it really is about getting the most out of what you have. I can easily lose sight of that. I also have a recently aquired Featherweight, bringing the total of machines I have to four, not counting my great grandmother's Ruby which is in need of a gear and a Singer green metal machine that is also a workhorse, out on loan.. So, I'm off to my studio right now to take advantage of a long weekend. Happy sewing everyone.onequarter (and this saga is how I gave myself that handle ).CarlaEdited 11/25/2005 10:41 am ET by onequarter

      Edited 11/25/2005 10:43 am ET by onequarter

    2. Karen2 | | #33

      Thank you for your thoughts. I think the walking foot I purchased will do just fine for now. I, too, have held the fabric as you suggested with pretty good results. This walking foot will allow me, hopefully, to sew long lengths of fabric with out pinning which will be super when I get involved sewing the slipcover. Karen

  3. offerocker | | #38

    I have the Pfaff 7570 electronic, which has the independent dual-feed system.  It is a truly great machine and I love all that is does.  I also have a Bernina 830 (older model), that I will NEVER part with because of the knee-operated foot lifter, and its sheer strength.  It will sew through two layers of leather without a whimper.  The Pfaff has greater speed and versatility, because it is newer.  I purchased a 'walking foot' for my Bernina.  It takes some getting used to placing it on correctly, but does the job, although I do not like the large size of the foot, which impedes sighting- or until I get used to it anyway.  Sorry that I don't know much about the even newer machines; happy with what I have, and one investment in that price range met my needs.  If you want a good, reliable machine, look for a used Bernina and get a walking foot for it, in my humble opinion.  Kathleen 

    1. Karen2 | | #41

      I do like the idea of the Pfaff built in walking foot. That unit, from what I have read, will accept many feet and can be disengaged when needed. Most of the older mechanical machines have had good track records. For now, I think I will continue sewing with my old Viking and newly acquired walking foot. A new machine is certainly not out of the question, though. Karen

  4. solosmocker | | #46

    Karen, my two cents! I have had ttwo Pfaffs and a Kenmore "iron workhorse". I would be lost without my dual feed on the Pfaff. It really works. It is priceless when sewing velvet. It is just as important when I disengage it so I can let the feed dogs ease in an armhole or pant leg. I can't imagine not being able to engage and disengage the feed system with just a flick. I do it many times while making the same garment. It will definitely improve your sewing. Before I had my dual feed Pfaff I was cursed with the "one leg longer than the other pants construction". That looked real professional, let me tell ya! I would not consider buying any other brand machine unless it had the same feed system as the Pfaff. Highly recommend, as you can tell.

    1. Karen2 | | #47

      Really is a hard decision. I have always had Vikings and now have a walking foot to help with the slippage. It's ok. Sometimes we get committed to one brand and it's hard to change course. The Pfaff with it's dual feed system is a super thing. I have field tested the machine and found the stitch to be excellent. The price seems much more reasonable then Viking. I wonder about repair frequency on the Pfaff? Karen

      1. solosmocker | | #48

        Karen, I have had my Pfaff about 8 years now and have never had a repair. I get it tuned and cleaned once a year, and am anal about keeping it in good working order. My repair record is perfect on this one.

      2. Megh | | #49


        I've got a Pfaff which I bought in 1981 (model 1222E) which I love.  It has needed only one repair in that time, and I probably could have prevented the need to begin with.  I'd not cleaned out the lint behind the bobbin area in forever, and the machine jammed up tight.  I now vacuum my machine fairly regularly.  I've had it in for 'check ups' only two or three other times, with nothing found wanting repair.   So I can attest to the older Pfaffs being a great purchase, and not needing much repair attention.   And I couldn't live without the integrated dual feed mechanism.  It's the best feature (among all the other best features)!

        1. Karen2 | | #50

          Thanks for your comments. "The best of the best features" is pretty convincing. Now I'm back to thinking the Pfaff may be the way to go. Karen

          1. solosmocker | | #51

            Just a comment about cleaning the machine--as I said I am anal about it. My daughter is a dentist and I asked her for used dental tools from her office. I use that nasty pick the hygeniest scrapes your teeth with to remove felted lint from between the teeth. I remove the plate first and then pick them out. I did this just last night. You would be amazed how much is in there. It felts down to the level of the top of the teeth and must surely affect stitch quality and feed. If my daughter were not a dentist, I would not hesitate to ask the dentist what they do with old tools. I also use this pick as a stiletto. It's point fits beautifully under the presser foot as I turn corners with tiny piping, etcetera.

          2. Karen2 | | #52

            Great idea! Thanks for the "dental tips." Karen

    2. KarenW | | #53

      I demo these machines all the time (I think I said I work for a dealer, we have a couple other brands as well) and one day when I was showing the difference in how a piece of fabric might come out without using the dual feed vs. with, I looked at that puckered piece of fabric and LIGHT BULB!  Exactly what you just said - that's just what I need to add just the right amount of ease to a sleeve cap!  While I still show what superior results you can get using the dual feed, I also sell the non-dual feed results as a benefit for just this purpose!  Great minds...


      1. Karen2 | | #54

        Would you be generous enough to share your thoought and expertise on which Pfaff models you think best or which ones you would like? I think I maybe a turncoat going from viking to Pfaff, but would feel more comfortable hearing from someone like you. This, of course, is not to put you on the spot, but there are so many models. Karen

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