The Husqvarna / Viking 21 – Legendary

In 1955 Husqvarna introduced the model 21 which remained in production until 1966 and it is widely considered by many sewists and people in the industry, as one of the greatest machines ever designed.

While many will focus on the 21’s capabilities (which we will get to), what strikes most people first is the beautiful design and the colour ; the free arm is rather small for a full size machine, the harp has that lovely curve, and the entire machine has an almost art deco look, despite being made in the 1950’s.

There isn’t a square corner anywhere on this machine and the green simply sparkles…

When we get under the hood we find a lovely rotary hook design, a powerful motor, some rather complex internal parts, and a transmission !

This is not a simple machine but the build quality of the 21 is so good, they rarely have any issues except being sticky from dis-use.

Unlike machines that have an electric speed reducer, the model 21 has a physical transmission to provide a much lower gear for sewing heavy materials, and I have often said these machines will sew a bumper on a Volvo.

Multiple stitches are available via the use of 4 cams, that provide a total of 20 stitches and the stitch quality of the 21 is absolutely perfect. with a drop feed the 21 is also capable of some excellent free motion work, which is something a vertical rotary hook machine excels at.

The Husqvarna 21 was such a great design that this served as the template for Husqvarna machines for the next 20 years and beyond, it was superseded by the 2000 series in the mid sixties which is a very similar machine that has a different body shell, and utilized color-matic cams and colour coded dials.

Much of the DNA of the 21 lives in the 2000 series, the Bakelite controls were replaced by more modern plastics and they came in many other colours like orange and deep red. The earlier 2000 series were also all metal machines while later versions started using more plastics in the internal assemblies. This was done to reduce the need for lubrication and to make an already quiet machine, even quieter.

Husqvarna 2000 – 1968

In Canada these machines were sold as Husqvarna as Viking was a name already trade marked by Eaton’s Canada for their appliance line, in the United States they were sold as Viking machines.

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