Elna #1 "Grasshoper" Antique Sewing Machine

By Katya Ryabtseva on

Tag: elna, vintage sewing machines

This machine was made by the Swiss firm Tavaro S. A., Geneva, Switzerland. The Company started manufacturing sewing machines in 1934 and the Elna was introduced in 1940. Designed by Ramon Casas it was the first modern free arm portable machine and proved extremely popular. Manufactured until 1952 the Elna under went very minor modifications during its production most notably to the motor and its housing.

Initially the Elna did not carry a model number but has since become known as the Elna No.1, it also has the affectionate nick-name of "Grasshopper".

via sewmuse.co.uk

elna #1 grasshoper

elna #1 grasshoper poster

elna #1 grasshoper

elna #1 grasshoper

elna #1 grasshoper

elna #1 grasshoper

elna #1 grasshoper

The extension table transforms from the caring case of the machine.

img 1,2 from ismacs.net
img 3,4 and 6,7 from sewmuse.co.uk
img 5 from squidoo.com


11 Comments on "Elna #1 "Grasshoper" Antique Sewing Machine"

  1. Tommy
    2011/04/11   04:10
    We also had the opportunity to sew on the Elna Grasshopper and found it very interesting to work on. It takes a little while to get used to threading and winding the bobbing but eventually the machine works very nicely even after 60 or more years after it has been manufactured. You can find the full review here: http://www.sewingmachinereviewer.com/elna-grasshopper.html
  2. Mary
    2011/04/26   16:57
    I have 2 Elna Grasshoppers and use one of them when I travel since it is easier to transport than a larger electronic sewing/quilting machine. As a die hard featherweight owner/user I was surprised to find that I prefer the Grasshopper. It is very smooth running and has more space around the needle. I tend to burn my hand on the featherweight reaching through to lift the presser foot. As a quilter I appreciate the larger distance from the needle to the upright arm and greater height to the horizontal arm. Being raised on an old White with a knee control I adapted to it again very easily. Yes, the bobbin winding took some getting used to but I wouldn't go back to a featherweight for any price!
  3. Colleen
    2011/06/11   18:32
    Does the Elna Grasshopper sew in reverse or back-tack? I just purchased one and I don't see any knob that will do this. I see the stitch length adjuster with the stitch length tightener knob, but is that it?
  4. Dianne
    2011/06/21   05:37
    Yes, that is it. Dianne
  5. Zelda
    2012/02/21   14:00
    I am so lucky to have found a little machine like this in beautiful condition. It was suppose to go to the garbage bin after cleaning of a building in the city. She is a priceless beauty.
  6. diane
    2012/11/13   16:49
    Ihave a green grasshopper and do not know the voltage of the machine. was this ever made with a 220 volt motor ? how can we test the voltage? I do not want to try it on 220 volt because this can damage the machine and is I use it with a transfo of 110 the motor turns well but has no power.
  7. silvia dover
    2014/10/02   17:31
    We have a green grasshopper in perfect condition. It has been in the family since grandmother bought it. But now she has forgotten what product she used to pour dropwise in the little holes. The manual is in Spanish and it says "petroleum". Obviously it is a wrong literal translation as in Spanish, petroleum means "crude oil" but not the refined products such as gasoline, kerosene etc. Could anyone help us to find out what lubricant we have to pour? kerosene maybe? Thanks a lot!
  8. marnie Bean
    2014/10/04   14:56
    Hi, the manual says to use kerosene. Just bought one today off Gumtree, in really good condition. Can't wait to start using it. The guy I bought it from said that you could also use WD40 as it just a very light oil.
  9. Marnie
    2014/10/04   15:01
    Sorry, just read your post again Silvia. It says that all the points that need oiling are painted in red. It says oil for all the points and shows Kerosene for just the shuttle. Hope this helps.
  10. Tor Magnussen
    2015/07/28   21:57
    Does anyone have a manual? pdf will work, but av copy is best. I also want to by a reduction gear. tor.magnussen@gmail.com
  11. Barbara Phillips
    2018/08/24   13:03
    Use sewing machine oil or tri-flow oil in all the red spots to oil your Elna machine do not use WD40 and the kerosene is only for the shuttle

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