August 24, 2012

Elna Lotus (1967)

Well I finally found my very own Lotus; missing only the the manual but having all of the little tools under the hood! Although very dirty, with lots of dried up tape on it, it cleaned up almost perfectly. I used TR-3 as recommended by my friend Julie and I think that it is a very good choice for cleaning and polishing with out damage.


For clean up I took ALL of the covers off and discovered a marvel of manufacturing engineering. Impressive right down to the bobbin case that has the most elaborate and detailed bobbin tension adjuster I have ever seen. The engineering creativity is second to none; all sorts of interesting solutions to complicated problems.


It has the electronic foot controller with the old Singer like button. The foot pedal has a + - switch on it that actually is a hi - low speed range, they don't all come with this.

And that brings me to the model designation?? I cant find anything on it that tells the exact model (or year) of Lotus; such as SP, TSP... It's usually on the front in big letters and I was instructed to look on the SN tag but nothing I can see. If the chart at THE NEEDLEBAR is correct then this is a very early 1968, in fact the model year chart indicates that it was made in 1967.

As far as sewing it has an unusual but good sound, and it seems to have outstanding stitch quality.

The hi - low speed adjustment isn't really very much of a range and this machine may have the slowest top speed I have come across, which might be a problem for some users.

No review would be complete without a picture of it all closed up. As we all know it was selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for its "Design Collection". Styled by Raymond Loewy the unique features like the storage in the top and the Lotus pedals combined with the clean design make this machine worthy of the accolades.





So it is a friction wheel drive... no belt, both good & bad. 



Oh I get it!


Hmmm, let's look at what else the great Raymond did, so the Avanti was a Loewy design launched in 1963, in 1968 the first Elna Lotus came out.


I came across these rendering claimed to be by Loewy:



Pencil sketches, no PhotoShop here!



100

15 comments:

  1. Great job of cleaning up your Lotus! I owned an Elna Stella for while. I found once the cuteness factor wore off I didn't like sewing with it because it was too little. I really do like the accessories all stored in the top and the lotus petal panels closing up to make the cover. In my opinion, Elna made the best tiny machines.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Tom, great find, again if you ever consider selling your Elna Lotus, Please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have one for sale if you are still wanting to buy one.

      Delete
    2. I forgot to mark notify me. But if you're looking to buy a lotus I have one for sale!

      Delete
    3. I forgot to mark notify me. But if you're looking to buy a lotus I have one for sale!

      Delete
  3. My 93 year old mother handed down her Elna to me. But she was not in any shape to tell me how to use it. We couldn't find the Instruction Book. Do you have an instruction book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try
      http://www.scribd.com/doc/3714035/Elna-Lotus-Instruction-Booklet#scribd

      Delete
  4. Hello,
    I found an elna lotus tsp for my wife but i need the bobbins. Any idea where i could get some???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/elna-lotus-36-sewing-machine-parts.aspx I am not near my machine so I can't compare but they may be a common size? If you are daring you could try one of her other machine bobbins, if it fits it will work.

      Delete
  5. Hi Tom,
    thx for your reply, I found the bobbins at homesewing.co.uk and they fit!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi,
    I managed to get a Lotus tsp - and love it. It came with two bobbins and I bought more at sewingpartsonline, mentioned above. However, it did NOT come with extra (original)feet - any idea where I could get those?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,
    I managed to get a Lotus tsp - and love it. It came with two bobbins and I bought more at sewingpartsonline, mentioned above. However, it did NOT come with extra (original)feet - any idea where I could get those?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi,
    I managed to get a Lotus tsp - and love it. It came with two bobbins and I bought more at sewingpartsonline, mentioned above. However, it did NOT come with extra (original)feet - any idea where I could get those?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure but they are most likely common with many other Elna machines
      I have concluded that many feet are interchangeable but they have to be tried out to be sure

      Delete
    2. They're low-shank feet; you can buy an adaptor then a set of snap-on feet

      Delete