Vigorelli ZZ/A "ROBOT" Model
What strikes you first when gazing upon the Vigorelli is it's strange thread spool holders, and then maybe the color.
There is very little information about this sewing machine besides the following statement mined from some blog posting comments, " Vigorelli was an Italian brand that started as a spin-off of Necchi (being Mr Vigorelli a former Necchi engineer) in the same town. The Robot model was the first one having an internal camstack that let you change up to 5 different stitch “on the fly”."
It makes sense to me.
The Vigorelli is in the words of a friend very "sturdy" looking. Indeed it is. It's also quit a rare machine but not necessarily remarkable. I spotted the machine at Sister Thrift, my favorite thift shop of course.... It was sitting against the wall and piled high with all kinds of other junk. The only tip off was this ugly green plastic sewing machine cover of which I could only see the handle. You know it had to be hidden because it's been sitting there the entire time I've shopped this thrift shop and I just noticed it. It was sitting in some sort of home made sewing table and marked and astounding $49! Wow, that's sort of pricey...
I pulled it out of the table and took it to the check out counter to examine more closely. Of course the first thing I noticed is that it was entirely frozen up, as in, no movement whatsoever. What luck! I've never had the opportunity to bring a comatose machine back to life. Listen... it's an opportunity not everyone understands but believe me, those who know really know what i'm talking about here. They've started to know me there at sister thrift and when they saw me looking at the Vigorelli they got pretty excited.
I guess it's been hanging around for quite a number of years and I could tell they were anxious to be rid of this boat anchor. They threw an offer on the table I couldn't refuse: $9.95 and I could leave the table.
SOLD! I didn't even know until I picked it up later that it came with a whole bag full of feet and accessories including the holey grail of vintage machine paraphernalia..... The original manual! I could go on forever about this machine but I'm not sure anyone really cares that much about it being a rather unheard of name and questionable lineage. I do happen to really enjoy this particular passage from the embroidery manual that was included with the machine. I think it reaches much further than simple embroidery and it's good to see the manufacturer was passing these inspirational tidbits along to the home or "shop" sewer.
Here's a slide show of the entire photo album:
It took me around 10 hours to get it up and running properly. This included lots and lots of oil and adjustments to the zigzag mechanism which only did about a half a zig before it zagged. There are two remarkable features of this machine that sets it apart from other machine of this era. It has a needle position selector that lets you select left, center, or right needle and... it also uses a cam to activate the zigzag stitch. This zigzag setup is similar to the Singer 500A but much more simplistic. The cams are made of some sort of plastic and the Singer 500A is all metal in that department.
All in all it's a pretty awesome machine that produces a very nice stitch. Dream machine? no...... but a good collector's items yes!
OH yeah.. "Robot" referred to the automatic embroidery mechanism... fancy right?