A salute to Tom's Consew 206RB sewing machine: purchased in 1980 and still in continuous use at our Seattle factory.
Excerpted from Tom's interview with The Setup:
"One of my most obvious tools is a sewing machine (Ivan Illich would call it a tool, not a machine—I like that). The sewing tool I used for over two decades was a Consew 206RB, with a compound walking foot. Basically a machine made for heavy work like sewing leather and upholstery—an incredibly flexible tool. (If you buy a new one today it's reputed to be not so great - buy a Seiko STH-8BLD instead. Seiko was the OEM for Consew, so it's the same as the old Consew machine. I mean tool.)
That specific Consew I started with is now over 30 years old and still sees daily service in my factory: Tao uses it to do three-fold bias binding. These days when I am sewing prototypes, I either am in the factory using whatever sewing machine is available or I'm in my studio using my new Seiko. One of the things I appreciate most about our company is that a lot of the design process is happening in the factory—there's a beautiful co-evolution between design and manufacturing that you don't get when the design process is physically removed from the build process."
Edward Blankenship - January 5, 2022
I’m trying to send you a picture of my machine but there is no prompt on this site
frances maynard - April 29, 2021
I have a consew 231RH , Also I found a number " M124BA" on the base of the machine, I CAN NOT find any thing on this machine, Its like it just appeared !!!!!! Would love info on it, It was made in Japan before they moved to China. I assume, Thanks for any help. Frances
MIke Tatum - March 29, 2020
I purchased my Consew 226 ( used ) in 2000 and have been using ever since / my question to you is can someone tell me what year these “tool” was manufactured?
TB Crew - November 19, 2019
@Nola Beckum Nice. Do you have any photos of the bags she made? Consew has most of their manuals online: http://www.consew.com/Resources/ (have fun with the machine!)
Nola Beckum - November 19, 2019
I was just given an old (?) Consew Model 206RB (has an affixed metal plate that says “Made in Japan”) with the table that belonged to a friend’s grandmother. She used to make bags (duffle, backpack, golf, rifle bags and even some holsters, to name a few. She did a lot of leather and heavy canvas work). Unfortunately, the instruction book is long gone, as she passed away many years ago. I have no idea what needles, bobbins, thread to get or even how to wind the bobbin. Appears to be an awsome machine and very, very heavy.