Not all businesses are founded by other businesses seeking tax benefits or diversification. Some begin as family-owned firms and develop and flourish through sound business practices. This is how most sewing machine companies began.
It can be tough to figure out when your Pfaff sewing machine was produced. Before you can figure out how old your sewing machine is, you need to know its serial number. The main difficulty is that not all businesses kept a comprehensive and official record of their serial numbers and when they were issued.
Continue reading our post to find more about when your Pfaff sewing machine was produced and a little about the company’s history. Get to know your Pfaff machine and evaluate if it’s valuable and worth money.
Pfaff Sewing Machine History
Many craftsmen were encouraged by the industrial revolution to start their own businesses and pursue their fortune in a number of fields. In 1862, at the dawn of the industrial revolution, one guy in Kaiserslautern, Germany, recognized his chance.
Georg Michael Pfaff was a musical instrument builder who recognized a chance to make a fortune by manufacturing and selling sewing machines. The Munich Museum of Science and Technology still houses his original sewing machine.
He only manufactured one that year, but as time went on, he was able to produce more, with 6 being produced in 1863 and 46 being produced in 1864. He dispatched his son to study manufacturing plants, tool companies, and order tools, drilling machines, and universal lathes in 1876 after learning that the German sewing machine industry received their equipment from America.
Mr. Pfaff quickly upgraded his production and factory, and began mass-producing thousands sewing machines. The firm produced its one millionth sewing machine in 1910.
Mr. Pfaff, sadly, did not live to witness that occasion. After his death in 1893, his second son, Georg, took over the business and helped it grow into one of the world’s finest sewing machine manufacturers.
Who Owns Pfaff Sewing Machine Company?
Pfaff was founded as an exclusively German manufacturing enterprise, and it remains so today. Between 1862 and 2006, the Swedish corporation VSM Group bought Pfaff and absorbed it into its corporate structure.
Husqvarna Viking, another brand with a fascinating history, was already owned by this corporation. This company changed its focus from military weapons to sewing machines in 1872.
Kohlberg & Corporation purchased the VSM company in 2006, which had already added Pfaff to its roster of businesses. Because this new corporation already possessed Singer, they believed that by purchasing VSM, they would be able to control the sewing machine market.
Then, in 2013, it appears that the shares of PFAFF Industriesysteme und Maschinen AG were purchased by a German holding firm, SGSB Group Co. Ltd., ShangGong (Europe) Holding Corp. That appears to be the most recent Pfaff sewing machine owner.
Who Makes Pfaff Sewing Machines?
This is an excellent question. This company began as a German sewing machine manufacturer and has since produced a number of high-quality sewing machines. In 1993, the founder’s son took leadership, and the company was sold to Husqvarna Viking in 1999.
Taking Pfaff public and selling shares about 1960 resulted in this sale and other unfavorable business concerns. In 2006, Husqvarna Viking sold Pfaff to Kohlberg & Company.
This company is said to have subcontracted the production of Pfaff machines to unknown Chinese and Vietnamese manufacturers during the next seven years. Kohlberg & Company is claimed to have made developing new manufacturing plants for Singer sewing machines their top priority.
They did not, however, do the same for Pfaff or any of their other brands. The sewing machines were then taken up by SGSB Group Co. Ltd., ShangGong (Europe) Holding Corp. in 2013.
Pfaff’s website, unfortunately, does not state where their machines are currently manufactured.
When Was My Pfaff Sewing Machine Made?
Most of the serial numbers used by Pfaff are recorded in a reasonably solid record of serial numbers released to the internet. Regrettably, the list only extends to 1975. A second list covers the same territory but only goes up to 1978.
The first list can be found here, while the second list can be found here. You may need to contact Pfaff directly after 1978 to find out when your sewing machine was created. Make sure you have your serial number ready because this is the most accurate way to determine when your computer was built.
This is the URL to the Pfaff English webpage. Although they offer a FAQ page, it does not address the issue of serial numbers or provide dates for specific sewing machines.
Dating a Pfaff Sewing Machine
Pfaff sewing machines from the last few years can easily be identified. Simply check your owner’s handbook to verify if both the date and the serial number are listed. If you just obtain the first piece of information, you should contact Pfaff and ask when your sewing machine was made.
You should be able to find the serial number listed on the machine itself for older models. Look for the bade on the back, sides, or bottom of the machines to see if the number is written on it.
Check the two lists mentioned above to see what year your Pfaff was made once you have that number. Finding a date for your sewing machine is not difficult if you have the appropriate information.
It may take some digging to find the correct data, but Pfaff should have it in their systems.
Pfaff Sewing Machines By Year
The Pfaff company was able to manufacture a range of sewing machine models thanks to Georg Michael Pfaff’s second son, who helped the home seamstress accomplish her sewing labor. Georg Michael Pfaff, on the other hand, started off making industrial sewing machines.
Because the machines were created by hand in the beginning, production was limited. The Pfaff company did not begin to modernize until the late 1870s, after significant research by Mr. Pfaff’s second son. He traveled to America to study various production techniques and machines before returning to Germany to develop operations.
The plant’s modernisation set the framework for upgrading the original sewing machines, which could then be continued as technology advanced. Pfaff has always sought to remain competitive, investing in research and development to ensure that it does not lose market share.
Does Pfaff Still Make Sewing Machines?
Yes, the company continues to produce sewing machines. They have an excellent English webpage that we linked to earlier. Their name can still be found on the company’s modern sewing machines, and they continue to innovate.
Just because a member of the Pfaff family no longer owns the company does not mean it no longer exists or that it has stopped producing those machines. If you meet the requirements, you may be eligible to become a Pfaff dealer.
You can use a button on their website to receive all the information you need to open a Pfaff shop in your area. Pfaff remains a top-notch company to collaborate with, therefore the investment potential appears to be good.
Send them an email expressing your interest and see what they have to say.
Are Pfaff Sewing Machines Still Made in Germany?
This is quite difficult to express. Since 1999, the company has changed hands several times, making it difficult to establish where all of their manufacturing plants are located or whether the original ones are still operational.
Pfaff and Janome struck a collaboration in 1964 to assist the former create lower-cost sewing machines. The corporation developed a factory in Brazil in 1978 and made a deal with a Chinese manufacturing unit in 2002.
Since 2009, the company has had operations in Germany, where only the company’s higher-end sewing machines are manufactured. However, with continual ownership changes, keeping track of which plants are located and what sewing machines are created in those locations is difficult.
Pfaff does not include all of its sites or factories on its website. However, you can use this website to register your equipment and receive help.
Are Pfaff Sewing Machines Made in China?
It appears that the lower-end Pfaff sewing machines may be manufactured in China or Vietnam. Because the corporation has had plants all around the world, it’s difficult to say.
It’s unclear whether the factory in Brazil was shut down or not. After saying that it was opened, there has been no further information about its fate or working status. The plants in China are the same way.
While there is widespread rumor that numerous Pfaff models are built in that country, no official word has been issued. There is also no official confirmation that those equipment are being transferred to other countries.
Pfaff appears to be keeping this information under wraps, with the unofficial news coming from this older blog. Since that blog post was written, a lot has changed. Pfaff appears to keep their secrets well hidden.
Where are Pfaff Sewing Machines Made Today?
The higher-end Pfaff sewing machines are almost certainly built in Germany. That appears to be the case now that the SGSB, Shanggong (Europe) Holding Corp has acquired 100% of the Pfaff shares.
When Kohlberg & Company founded SVP Worldwide, it was rumored that they subcontracted Pfaff sewing machine construction to both Vietnam and China. The Vietnamese portion is unofficial, but the Chinese portion is a different situation.
To expand their Chinese market, the company established a subsidiary in Taicang and purchased all of Shanghai PFAFF-Zoje Machinery Industry Ltd’s shares. It’s unclear whether the corporation still manufactures sewing machines in the two factories.
Several times since then, new owners have taken over and made appropriate adjustments to their manufacturing. A groundbreaking ceremony for a new factory in Kaiserslautern Nord was held in 2007 by a new owner.
New facilities in Industriegebiet Nord opened in 2009, but it is unclear whether Pfaff sewing machine models are produced in either of those sites.
Is Pfaff Sewing Machine Good?
Many things would influence this decision. The first consideration is whether or not you received a lemon. It occurs every now and again, when a subpar machine gets it past quality control and onto the open market. If you bought one of these machines, your answer to this question would be negative.
The quality of the lower-end Pfaff sewing machines is debatable, as they are typically made in third-world or emerging economies. The quality of those machines would be determined by Pfaff’s standards.
If you purchase one of the higher-end sewing machines, it is likely that you are purchasing a high-quality device built in Germany. German engineering has long been known for its high quality and production standards.
Your Pfaff sewing machine experience will influence whether or not your model is a good one. Pfaff has kept up with technical advancements, resulting in sewing machines that are current, up to date, and manufactured from the finest parts available when it comes to higher-end sewing machines.
How Much is a Pfaff Sewing Machine Worth?
If you are purchasing a new Pfaff sewing machine, the price tag is all that matters. If you get a discount on your Pfaff, it should be worth the full amount, not the discounted price.
Some of the newer computerized models cost $1,000 or more, however keep in mind that depreciation is a factor. Every year, the worth of your pricey machine decreases, and determining the true value requires a difficult math.
Other Pfaff sewing machines cost roughly $600, give or take a couple of hundred dollars, and will be worth very little in about 5 years. The same can be stated for the very low-end devices, which range in price from $100 to $300.
The value of a Pfaff sewing machine is also determined by how many of each model were produced. The lower the value, the more made. Your Pfaff machine may hold sentimental significance for you, but no one else does. Only when you try to put a price on the machine you’re trying to sell will that factor help you.
Vintage Pfaff Sewing Machine Prices
Unfortunately, having a Pfaff sewing machine from before 1970 will not make you wealthy. This estimate is based on eBay prices, although vintage or antique dealers may place a different value on vintage Pfaff sewing machines.
On eBay, the bulk of the Pfaff antique machines we looked at were priced under $300. This is still a great deal for something that is over 60 years old, but the most it will get you is a lovely meal out with your family at a mid-level restaurant.
A classic German-made machine from the 1940s only sold for $140. We did, however, come across one sewing machine that defied the odds. It was a fully refurbished Class 15 that was on the market for about $800.
Inquire at antique stores or vintage sewing machine shops about the value of an ancient Pfaff sewing machine. Instead of relying on eBay, they have the publications that determine the value of ancient sewing machines and may be able to offer you a better estimate of what yours is worth.
The Pfaff company’s fortunes were no longer tied to family members who had a personal stake in the company’s success when Karl Pfaff died unexpectedly in 1951. He did not live to see his grandfather’s company produce the 5,000,000th sewing machine.
The corporation was thereafter at the mercy of the shareholders and the people who owned those shares. In the next 60 years, the firm went through several ownership changes, which, while keeping the Pfaff name alive, did not improve the quality of the sewing machines, with the exception of the high-end models.