Behind the Vintage Pfaff Sewing Machine: History & Values

Published November 30, 2020
Vintage Pfaff sewing machine

Antique and vintage Pfaff sewing machines are highly collectible and can be worth money. If you have an older Pfaff, it's fun to learn a bit about the history of the company and discover what can make these machines valuable. Since it began production in 1862, this German company has a reputation for producing some of the most reliable machines on the market.

Pfaff Sewing Machine History

According to Fiddlebase, George Michael Pfaff began producing sewing machines in 1862 in Germany. Pfaff quickly established itself as a company devoted to impressive technological advancements and durability, as well as the quality of life of its workers. During the first 10 years, they produced about 1,000 machines, but they increased production dramatically during the late 1800s and early 1900s. By 1910, Pfaff had produced a million sewing machines and was a leading name in the industry. The Pfaff factory was destroyed by bombing during World War II, but they rebuilt and continued producing high-quality sewing machines throughout the 20th century. Today, the company is still renowned for its innovation and for producing machines that can sew denim and other heavy materials.

Identifying an Antique Pfaff Sewing Machine

If you are wondering whether you have a Pfaff sewing machine and how old it is, it's fairly easy to identify these machines. Almost all Pfaff machines have the name "Pfaff" printed prominently on the body. If the decals are worn or missing, you can compare your machine to notable models to see if it appears to be similar. You can establish a production date for your vintage Pfaff by looking up its serial number. You can find Pfaff serial numbers on the machine's side or bottom. Here are some sample serial number ranges and dates to help you find out what year your Pfaff sewing machine was made:

Pfaff Sewing Machine Serial Number Year Produced
1 1862
1396 1870
37900 1880
118000 1890
473000 1900
1053684 1910
1566186 1920
2487829 1930
3652814 1940
4000000 1950
7000000 1960

Notable Antique and Vintage Pfaff Sewing Machine Models

During its long history, Pfaff has manufactured a number of different sewing machine models. Their first models with identified with letters, but by the late 1800s, Pfaff was using model numbers instead. Many machines have the model number printed on a decal right on the front of the machine.

Antique Pfaff 11 Machine

One of the most famous antique Pfaff models it the Pfaff 11. The company made this machine at least through the 1920s. It came as a hand crank model or a treadle model, and it had a vibrating shuttle. Originally called the Model K, this machine was popular for decades.

Vintage Pfaff 130 Sewing Machine

Staring in 1932, Pfaff began making the popular Pfaff 130. These machines allowed the user to create a zigzag stitch. This vintage Pfaff was a high performance sewing machine that wore well and could sew heavy fabrics. Most of its parts were metal, making restoration of these machines a matter of cleaning more than part replacement. Pfaff made these machines for decades.

Vintage Pfaff 260 Sewing Machine

This vintage Pfaff sewing machine model was a popular choice in the 1960s. The Pfaff 260 was an electric, automatic machine that was easy to use and durable; Pfaff even included a 10-year warranty. It had 80 automatic stitches, a technological marvel at that time. It could also sew through up to eight layers of denim or other heavy fabrics.

Values of Vintage and Antique Pfaff Machines

Condition is a major factor in determining the value of any sewing machine, and Pfaff is no exception. Like Singer sewing machine values, Pfaff values are closely tied to whether the machine is in working condition. If not, it may be worth less than $100. However, if someone has restored the machine or if it is in original condition but fully functional, it may be worth hundreds. Here are some example values for recently sold Pfaff machines:

Pfaff Sewing Machines Are Usable and Beautiful

Although there are many sewing machine brands with a place in history, Pfaff machines are renowned for their durability. You can find usable and beautiful vintage Pfaff sewing machines in antique shops, auctions, and even thrift stores. These are the perfect choice for people who love to sew and like the charm of vintage and antique sewing machines.

Behind the Vintage Pfaff Sewing Machine: History & Values