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Tailor Bird Sewing Machine Company

Richborough Hall, Sandwich, Kent, England

Discussion Topic with History of the Tailor Bird:

Production was said to have begun after WWII and ceased around 1953/4. The machines did not perform well, and were said to be used by sewing machine tradesmen in enticing customers to buy a more expensive machine after trying out the poor performance of a Tailor Bird.

See also Ideal, So-All, and Davis Vertical Feed for other examples of Needle Feed/Walking Foot machines.

Tailor-Bird Trade Mark

The Tailor Bird trade mark shows the tropical warbler sewing leaves together to form a nest.

Tailor-Bird Patents

These patents were used by the Tailor-Bird machine, patented by Hedley Roy Paine, an Australian, in 1935.

His application was submitted in 1933 and patented in 1936. It covers the feeder mechanism. A bracket pivotally connected to the presser foot bar and having a bent part extending upwardly engaging with a roller journalled on the needle bar.

Tailor-Bird Advertisement

Tailor-Bird Machines

Tailor-Bird (Black)

Serial Number 26731

Courtesy of Ursel Niggemann

The machine's design is intriguing. It is lightweight and compact, folding into its carry case.

The handcrank is operated with a belt. The machine's feeder mechanism was patented by an Australian.

Tailor-Bird (White/Cream)

Serial Number FF04244

The top of the machine case attaches to the left hand side of the machine for use as an extension table.

The machine has a flip-down magnifying glass to assist in threading the needle and watching the fabric when sewing.

The feeder mechanism pulls fabric along, rather than using feed dogs. This is a type of vertical feed movement.

The machine was patented in the 1930s.


Serial Number 18766, SL.3 (the 3rd Tailor-Bird version)

Uniso, also known as Unisomac, and also sold by Universal Sewing Machines Ltd of Birmingham, as the Sewmaid, Model S.L.

This model appears to be the last re-incarnation of the Tailor Bird machine, as re-designed by Walter R. Skuse & Partners Ltd.

Gone is the slide-in case, gone are the fold up flaps, no magnifying glass, an even simpler bobbin winder mechanism on a spring, just one solid wheel to drive the external, small sized motor (Featherweight sized) called a Jones' Minor motor.

The machine, case and foot control weighs exactly 14 lbs.

The machine clips into a small wooden base, the bobbin case is plastic and the bobbin too.

The slide plate states that the needle size is 712.