Updated at: 27-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

You’ve probably heard of Japanese sewing machine manufacturer Janome if you know anything about them. Even if Janome is now one of the world’s greatest sewing machine companies, what about the company’s older models? What happened to them? Janome sewing machine models from the past have a rich history and are worth a lot of money.

In the 1920s, Yosaku Ose created the company that would go on to become Janome, a manufacturer of sewing machines. Sewing machine innovations of Janome, such as the first round bobbin, helped to establish the company’s reputation. For Sear to acquire a foothold in the United States, Janome purchased the New Home firm and also manufactured Kenmore sewing machines.

Learn more about the history of Janome sewing machines in this article. Some of the most well-known early 20th-century Janome models can be found here. Finally, you’ll learn how to determine the model year of a vintage Janome sewing machine.

History of Janome Sewing Machines

The invention of the round bobbin in 1921 by Yosako Ose, a great innovator, revolutionized the way sewing machines worked forever. Most sewing machines formerly employed an oblong bobbin or shuttle system, which did not run as smoothly or rapidly as the new round bobbin. At the time, Ose founded Pine, a sewing machine manufacturing company.

These sewing machines were nicknamed “Janome” in Japan because of the bobbin’s shape, which resembled an eye of the snake! Officially renamed “Jah-no-mey” in 1954, this is how the corporation is pronounced.

A production factory was built in 1936, but the Pine/Janome company suffered through two world wars before finally establishing itself as a major player in the industry. For the most part, sewing machine factories and materials were probably employed for military purposes at some point during both world wars. Because of this, almost little is known about the sewing machines manufactured between 1921 and 1954.

The Japanese sewing machine industry saw a meteoric rise following the end of World War II. This occurred in part as a result of pioneering firms like Janome and the efforts of the Allies to repurpose Japanese war industries for domestic use. Because of this surge in sewing machine demand, Janome had a good chance of returning to profitability.

In 1960, Janome entered the United States market, broadening its growing reach. An American sewing machine manufacturer called New Home was purchased by the company for a nominal sum. Until recently, Janome manufactured the New Home sewing machines.

In 1964, the company was able to construct a research unit solely devoted to sewing machine improvements because to this financial boost.

A year later, in 1965, Sears awarded the firm the contract to produce sewing machines for the retail giant. When this happened, it was a big deal! For more than a century, Sears Roebuck was the largest retailer in the United States. In the past, Sears would purchase machines from other manufacturers and brand them with the Sear name.

The Japanese-made machines were sold by Sears under the Kenmore name. Because of this, the Janome brand was not able to benefit from this opportunity. However, it provided the corporation with a large market and a solid foundation in the United States.

Because of Janome’s stellar reputation, the business was able to sell the majority of its machines under its own brand name during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1979, the firm produced the first programmable sewing machine as part of its ongoing commitment to sewing machine innovation.

Sewing machine manufacturer Janome Sewing Machine Co, Ltd. now has production facilities on five continents. Research at the renowned institute continues, but now it employs robots created specifically for the construction of complex sewing machine components. Elna, a Swiss sewing machine manufacturer, was recently purchased by the corporation in order to expand into the European sewing machine industry!

In the 20th century, several good sewing machine firms had a golden era, but the computerized era of the 21st century saw many of these companies steadily fade away On the other hand, Janome is still running strong as of this writing. To this day, the company continues to provide sewing machines that are cutting-edge, high-tech, and well appreciated around the world.

Old Janome Sewing Machine Models

The original Pine Sewing Machine Company’s sewing machine models are hard to come by. These have been lost to the passage of time and the fact that the company split in 1954, with one partner retaining the Pine brand and the other rebranding Janome’s half of the business.

The new Pine sewing machine manufacturer was purchased by Singer in 1954, and Japan’s Steel Works Co purchased the other half. 70,000 Singer sewing machines a year were produced by Pine at the end of the year. Company products were all identified by that one name.

In 1954 to 1956, before Singer was pleased with the machines’ quality, they were referred to as Merrit. In this list of Janome’s discontinued models, the year in which they were made is not included.

Some of the sewing machine models created by the American companies that Janome acquired were manufactured by the Japanese company for a period of time. This continued until the Janome name was adopted in place of the New Home one. Starting in 1958, Kenmore was manufactured by the firm.

The 605 was the first Janome model, which came out in the 1960s or 1970s. Rare, according to reports.

Vintage Janome Models

It is safe to say that the majority of the earliest Janome models came from the Takinogawa, Japan-based Koganei factory, which opened in 1936. The Koganei plant was the first factory dedicated just to manufacturing sewing machines in all of Japan! Most of these models bear the name Pine, which was the original company name.

Because of its unique round bobbin, a number of Pine models were known to have sold at the time. Beyond that, it’s quite impossible to locate any relevant information at this time. At least in the United States, you’re unlikely to find an original Pine model.

Examples of Pine 500 models from this era can be found in this collection. These models were made of solid metal and used a manual crank instead of an electronic motor. To honor their founder, Janome incorporated a round bobbin into the pattern.

Janome New Home Models

In 1960, Janome purchased out a New England sewing machine firm called New Home, which had been trying to find a buyer. As a result, the Japanese firm was able to establish itself firmly in the United States market. At the time, Janome sold its machines under the New Home brand.

The New Home 532 Model was one of the most popular Janome-made New Home models launched in the 1960s. Adjustable feed dogs and a knee control option were included in this machine. Both a straight and zigzag stitch were included.

In the latter half of the 1960s, the New Home Deluxe Model 534 made its public appearance. The avocado green color of some of these models was a wonderful throwback to the 1960s! This machine had the standard straight and zigzag stitches, but it also had the ability to use cams to create various decorative stitches.

In the 1970s, the New Home Super Automatic Model 702 was released. An appealing color palette of turquoise metal, white, and cream metal was frequently offered on this model. The blind stitch and stretch stitch were two of the several automatic stitching choices available on this model. Stretch stitch was a new technique for stitching knit textiles at the time.

You’ll get a slew of information regarding Janome’s most recent New Home models if you conduct an online search for the brand. The New Home brand is still available from the manufacturer, and it includes a number of excellent quilting machines!

Janome Kenmore Models

Sewing machines at Sears Roebuck were manufactured by Janome after they obtained the contract in 1965. Sears was able to use the Kenmore trademark on sewing machines that Janome had manufactured in Japan before shipping them back to the United States. After that, Sears went on to sell the Kenmore appliances across the country.

“Badging” sewing machines was a frequent practice. Many well-known brands sold sewing machines manufactured in Japan under their own brand names during the twentieth century.

About 25 Kenmore models were made by Janome. Any Kenmore sewing machine with a model number starting with 385 was actually manufactured by Janome. From 1965 to 1987, these automobiles are available for purchase.

The letters “JA” or the words “Made in Japan” can also be found on several Kenmore models, in addition to the 385 model number.

The overall reputation of Kenmore models is fair, but not outstanding. However, the 385 Kenmore machines from the 1950s and 1960s are still popular among modern sewers.

If you want to see how rotary hooks work, look no farther than the Kenmore 385.1884180 model, also known as the “30 Stitch.” With the turn of a knob, you can also activate fancy stitches automatically. This appliance was sold by Sears in the late 1970s.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Kenmore 385.17620 was undoubtedly popular. It provides the fun stretch stitch possibilities for knit fabrics that so many current sewers desire. After constructing a factory in Taiwan in 1969, Janome began producing this model after writing “made in Taiwan” on the serial number.

Janome in the 1970s and 1980s

During the 1970s and 1980s, Janome began to introduce novel sewing machine technologies, including the use of a vacuum caster to quickly produce certain parts. As a result, the company was able to sell sewing machines under its own brand name on the global market with greater ease.

The Memory Craft 6000 and the Memory Craft 8000 are two of the most well-known Janome-branded machines from this era.

In 1983, the Memory Craft 6000 was released. Compared to any other sewing machine at the time, it had the most built-in stitching patterns! Basic computer programming was used as well, which was a new notion in the early 1980s.

The Memory Craft 8000 was the first home computerized embroidery machine to be sold in 1990. Computers now power nearly every embroidery machine on the market. Thanks to Janome’s ideas, we now have that option!

Old Janome Sewing Machines Value

Depending on the model, age, and condition of an old Janome sewing machine, the price might range from $20 to more than $500. Vintage Janome sewing machines, on the other hand, don’t have a huge collector’s market in general. As a result of today’s advanced sewers, vintage sewing machines are still in demand today!

Prior to 1970, Janome machines were known for their silent stitching and robust metal construction. They may be heavy, but they’ll last a long time and have few problems!

The difficulty of locating a Janome machine with a different brand on it makes evaluating its worth even more difficult. For example, a Janome-made Kenmore can be found for a reasonable price, as vintage Kenmore machines often sell for as little as $100.

New Janome machines can be expensive, to say the least. Because of the advanced technology and high level of precision in the construction of these equipment, they are entitled to a high price.

How Old is my Janome Sewing Machine?

Janome sewing machines were trademarked in 1935 and may have been lost to the war effort, according to our hypothesis. These machinery may have been repurposed for the production of armaments, ships and planes. Because Janome’s own history is silent on the company’s activities during World War II, you may have a difficult time locating an early model or determining the age of any that you already own.

When Janome began making sewing machines for Sears and other department stores in the 1950s and ’60s, they did it without the Janome brand on their badge. They also made New Home versions before they felt confident enough to put their own names on their products.

Talking to Janome, antique dealers, and vintage sewing machine repair businesses are the best places to get an idea of how old your Janome sewing machine is. Even on Janome’s own website, there are gaps in the company’s history, making it difficult to determine the exact age of older machines.

If you’ve lost or misplaced your Janome sewing machine’s manual, we’ve provided a link to a support page that can help.

How Do I Find Out How Old Is My Janome Sewing Machine?

The serial number on your Janome sewing machine can tell you when it was made. An authorized Janome dealer can identify your precise model by looking at the serial number, which has nine digits. You can also use this plate to determine which components and accessories are compatible with the sewing machine, as it lists the manufacturer’s location.

The Janome sewing machine’s serial number is where? To determine your sewing machine’s serial number, look for a plate on the rear of the machine. Once you have the serial number, model name, and serial number, you can contact Janome for their records to find the machine’s date of manufacture.

While Singer has a searchable database, you’ll have to dig a little further to find out when your sewing machine was made, Janome doesn’t have that luxury.

Are Janome Sewing Machines Worth It?

In the same way that other Japanese sewing machine brands are worth the money, Janome sewing machines are. The reason for this is that Janome always ensures that their models are long-lasting and stable while always evolving so that everyone may be creative. The company was founded in 1935 and has since become a household name for sewing machines.

The accomplishments of this company throughout the years also contribute to its reputation as one of the greatest sewing machine manufacturers. In 1971, Janome introduced the first sewing machine with programmable and automated functions. When it comes to invention and inventiveness, they even made professional-style embroidery machines for your house, and the first long-arm quilting machines for your home.

There are other things you need to know before you buy a new sewing machine, such as how to choose the best one, and how to shop for one.

Old Janome Sewing Machine Manuals

To get the most out of your Janome sewing machine, you need to read the instruction booklet. This manual is included with the purchase of a new sewing machine. If you bought your machine used, it may not come with a user guide.

If this is the case, you might want to start by looking at the free manual download page for Janome’s discontinued sewing machine.

Reaching out to other sewers on an internet forum may be your best bet for obtaining a free Kenmore 385 or New Home handbook. Old manuals may be purchased for as little as $10 on sites like eBay and Etsy. If you’re in a rush and need an immediate download, this approach is for you!

With some sewing skill, older Janome models are likely to be within your reach. Despite this, reading the instruction booklet is still a must before you begin your antique sewing journey!

In several older Janome machines, features like adjustable feed dogs and knee control are available. Instructions may be necessary if your machine does not have these features.

How to Thread an Old Janome Sewing Machine

Vintage sewing machines, especially ancient Janome sewing machines, offer a simple thread path that can be threaded in a matter of minutes. ‘ Because older Janome models may look and operate differently, it’s important to constantly consult your sewing machine’s handbook for instructions.

To thread an ancient Janome sewing machine, simply follow these simple instructions:

  1. Make sure the spool pin is in the correct position before you begin. If your sewing machine has a vertical spool pin, place a little felt circle under the spool to keep the thread from catching on the pin. Using a cap on the pin’s end will prevent the thread from falling off while you sew using the more typical horizontal spool pin.
  2. As a last step, move the handwheel in your direction. As you do this, the needle will rise. Slowly turn the wheel until the needle stops rising.
  3. In order to ensure a smooth thread entry into your tension discs, raise your presser foot while you’re threading.
  4. The thread guide is located on the machine’s upper portion. In many cases, it resembles a metal hook. Using the guide as a loop, secure the thread.
  5. Next, locate the thread guide on the machine’s upper front panel. Also, make a loop with the thread in the back of it.
  6. Drop the thread down and then back up, looping it around the thread guides on the front of the arm above the needle. As a result, the thread is now secured in the tension discs.
  7. You’ll notice a metal hook protruding from the tension assembly to the left. Drop the thread to the needle after looping it around this.
  8. Thread the needle by passing the thread through the thread guide.
  9. The needle is ready to be inserted.

How Long Does A Janome Sewing Machine Last?

When it comes to the lifespan of a sewing machine, there are a number of factors that come into play. Some Janome owners claim their machine lasted 11 years on their forums, while others claim their machine needed to be replaced after only five years. Consequently, it is impossible to predict the lifespan of any particular Janome sewing machine.

If you’re considering purchasing a Janome sewing machine and want to ensure its long-term viability, check out user reviews. Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan all produce Janome products in accordance with the brand’s quality requirements. As a result, the materials and features of each sewing machine model vary, which can have an effect on how long it lasts.

Is It Worth Repairing A Sewing Machine?

Restoring an antique or vintage sewing machine is well worth the effort if it’s part of a family heritage or was created in small numbers by the manufacturer. However, you can contrast the costs of having it maintained with purchasing a new unit.

Even if your machine has a new manual, you’ll benefit from knowing where to locate Janome machine upgrades. Simpler problems can be handled at home by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, if the situation is more difficult, go to a professional service facility and get an estimate of your estimated costs to see if it’s worth it.

Do Old Sewing Machines Have Any Value?

The age, rarity, and uniqueness of a sewing machine, as well as whether or not it is still fully functional, all go towards its monetary value. If you search online, you’ll find that some people are selling their older Janome machines for thousands of dollars, while others can only get a few hundred for theirs.


Janome Sewing Machine Company was founded in 1921 by Yosako Ose, who designed and sold sewing machines using a novel type of bobbin. Janome purchased an American company called New Home in the 20th century and produced New Home sewing machines for numerous decades. – Janome The Sears Kenmore 385 series was also manufactured by Janome.

Old Janome sewing machines are known for their sturdiness and quiet, smooth stitching. Today, Janome is one of the world’s leading sewing machine manufacturers, and it continues to develop new sewing machine technologies.

Using a vintage Janome sewing machine may be a fun experience. I’m curious to know your thoughts. Let us know what you think by commenting below!


Where are Janome Sewing Machines From?

It was in Japan that the Pine or Janome sewing machines were first produced. The founder’s ability to introduce innovation to the world made these machines popular. In 1969, Janome began making sewing machines in Taiwan for the first time.

By creating its own research lab in 1964, the company transformed the sewing industry and helped it become the world’s leading manufacturer of sewing machines.

Later, in 1988, the company opened a production facility in Thailand. For sales and other functions, the corporation has around six facilities in these countries and offices around the world. One of the sales offices has a location in Africa.

On a recent occasion, it was proclaimed the world’s largest sewing machine factory in Taiwan. Janome is not a company that takes things lightly. In order to continue to study the world of sewing machines and create some unique designs that lead the rest of the swing industry pack, they can tap into different design groups.

Are Janome Sewing Machines Good?

Aside from that, they’ve pioneered a slew of world-first innovations in sewing machines and sewing techniques. In other words, sure, the company does produce high-quality machinery. They can back up that claim with a track record of success. Innovation, efficiency, and high-quality sewing machines are the company’s core values. That’s a good place to start. For decades, Janome has shown its dedication to producing the best sewing machines.

But this does not mean that every machine they make is flawless or free of flaws in some form or another. Any variety of factors could have contributed to these defects, including defective parts, poor metalwork, and so on. Somehow, these lemons manage to get past quality control and end up in the hands of unsuspecting customers who are disgusted with both the product and the firm.

Janome’s sewing machines aren’t any worse because of the lemons. It just indicates that someone made a mistake and it was not discovered until it was too late.