Merrow M-2DNR-1

I had a little free time this afternoon so I thought I’d sit down and see if I could remember how to thread the Merrow purling machine. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t used it in several years! They are not very common and people often ask me if I want to sell mine so I decided that I needed to either start using it more or sell it to someone who would.

It took me a few minutes of staring at the machine to remember exactly how to thread the looper but then it all came back to me. The looper is below the needle plate and must essentially be threaded blind. The needle is raised to it’s highest position and then a wire threader goes through the hole in the casting and through the eye of the looper. You know you’ve done it correctly if you get a stitch. šŸ™‚

I looked up the age of this machine on the Merrow site awhile back and it was manufactured the year I was born. How funny that I have two machines (this and my Singer Rocketeer) that are the same age as me. Anyway, I had a little fun making a short video so you could hear the characteristic Merrow “purr”. My voice sounds funny – do I really sound like that? I don’t sound very natural but it was awkward holding the camera and operating the machine at the same time. Also the video got cut off at the end, I don’t know what happened – I’m still learning this stuff!


Originally uploaded by stickman1215


The last time I used this machine, I needed some ribbon to finish off a pot of lavendar for my DMIL. I cut up a fat quarter, sewed the strips together and then purled the edges. Now, what else can I make with this? I’m thinking that perhaps a longer stitch length might be more useful so maybe I will order some other cams.




Filed under Sewing Machines

34 responses to “Merrow M-2DNR-1

  1. Melissa

    Interesting! So is it similar to a rolled hem a serger produces? Do you use regular thread in it? Just curious as I’ve never heard of such a machine. Thank you for sharing. šŸ™‚

    • Yes, the stitch is similar to a 2-thread rolled hem on a home serger. In the video I used regular serger thread but I often use embroidery thread in the needle (which is the only thread that shows).

  2. cidell

    Hunh. I’m glad you showed a video because I really had no idea what this machine could do šŸ™‚

  3. Colleen P.

    Haven’t watched the video as everyone else in the house is asleep and I’m one of those that has to have it loud!

    It looks like it does a very fine narrow rolled hem. Is that correct? Does it also allow for insertion into that hem? The finished product looks very much like wire edge ribbon.

    I think you could have a lot of fun with this doing exposed facings on blouses, camisoles and tanks. It would reduce the bulk of finishing the edge but would still have some heft to it, as well as being visually interesting. Of course you could do scarves, possibly out of two very lightweight silks…maybe “faux” cutwork? The possibilities are intriguing!

  4. Colleen P.

    As to the question of whether to sell it or use it more often-do you own a serger that does as good a narrow rolled hem? I have a lovely Pfaff overlock, but the narrow rolled hem is nowhere near as delicate as the one on your ribbon-it’s nice, it’s just not THAT nice. It could just be me, but none of the overlock machines I’ve used does such a tiny and well covered edge. You know as soon as you sell it, big silk scarves will come back with a vengeance and you’ll wish you’d kept it!

    • I do but it’s not nearly as beautiful as this! The problem, as always, is space. If I get any more industrial machines I will have to make some decisions.

      • Colleen P.

        That would be a tough decision for me too! The edge it makes is really gorgeous.

        You could use it on that reversible cotton jacquard in the previous post…

  5. I think you have a really nice voice! And thanks for sharing how the machine works…it really proves that if you have the right machine for the job, you get superior results!

  6. Crystal

    What a great idea – make your own ribbon!

  7. Wow. What a fantastic machine! How did you end up with an industrial machine like that?

    • It belonged to a friend and she wanted a portable serger for rolled hem so I traded her my Bernette 334. I got the better end of the deal! šŸ™‚

    • shams

      LOL, Peter, I can hear you salivating from here.

      I had never heard of a Merrow machine and it is very cool. The purr is a nice sound – almost like one of those old fashioned prop airplane whirrs.

      I would use it on pieces of sweatering and then sew them together so that the purl edge is on the outside. Very very cool! (And, I agree, you have a nice voice.)

  8. JDpenelope

    So interesting and educational. Loved the video and hope to see more. Your voice is great and I hope you can commandeer someone to be cameraman, giving you more possibilities for demos.

  9. Rosie

    Great video Gigi and the ribbon is just delightful – great present for your DMIL!!

    Happy New Year love!

  10. Thanks for sharing. I’ve always wondered what a merrow machine looked like, and how it actually worked. Now I know!

  11. Sewer

    Learning to thread the Merrow serger was a big accomplishment for me. As you may know, three needles have to be threaded.

    I’ve used a Merrow purl machine, which, thankfully was already threaded. I found it really easy to use, much easier than the Merrow serger.

  12. vernonfashionstudio

    What an interesting machine. Thanks for sharing and I agree with the others, you have a lovely voice. I don’t think anyone likes the sound of their own voice.

    Deciding whether to keep the machine or sell it will be a tough one. If you have the space to store it then keeping it is a no brainer. Most home sewers have limited space so single-task machines are a luxury.

  13. I think you have a lovely voice and that machine is fantastic. I want one. No, I really don’t need it or have a way to get it into the house. But I love the way it sounds when it is running and that alone appeals to my industrial-loving geeky side.

  14. Kris

    I have been lurking for a while, and went back to see your posts on your other industrials.. I absolutely drool! I might be getting a juki 890 coverstitch (above and below) and it has a 220 clutch motor on it. I want to replace the clutch motor with a 110 servo motor. I would like your opinion on this, if you have time to give me one.
    Like I said, I have been lurking for a while, and I am inspired by you and others to start sewing more clothing for myself and my family. I am so very impressed with the pieces you make; everything looks amazing! Thank you for giving me inspiration to push ahead and improve my own skills

    • Thank you, Kris! I have clutch motors on all of my machines. I know many people like servo motors because they are completely quiet when you’re not sewing but the hum of a clutch motor doesn’t bother me (I turn my machines off when I’m not using them). Clutch motors are also more powerful but, of course, that won’t be an issue with a coverstitch as it would be with a machine sewing heavy goods.

  15. Kris

    Thank you so much for your quick reply! I had an antique consew 250 blindstitch that had a clutch motor, and it was very hard to control. Can you adjust them? I will keep the clutch motor if I can adjust it a little, and somehow use it in a regular outlet. Or does a 220 machine come with some type of converter? I wasn’t knowledgeable enough when I had the blindstitch to even ask questions, but I’ve learned a lot in the past few years, (and it just makes me realize how much more I have to learn)! Thank you again for your knowledge!

    • If your motor is not dual voltage then you will need to either have a 220 line put in or use a converter. If you’re having trouble with control, all you need to do is install a smaller pulley. I find that most control issues are from lack of experience/use. Once you use the machine on a regular basis, control improves immensely. Still, in the meantime, installing a smaller pulley is a good solution.

  16. Gigi, it was great to see this in action. How fast and lovely it works! I really enjoyed seeing this.

  17. Colleen P.

    Finally got to watch the video-


    That machine is fantastic. I see what you mean about the way it sounds, it just sounds so BUSY in a self-satisfied “I’m such a wonderful smoothly running machine” kind of way.

    I would have a really hard time parting with that one…and it’s not THAT big…it’s easy to store…LOL!

  18. Colleen P.

    I thought you were German, for some reason! LOL-Here I am expecting that beautiful soft flowing German accent and you’re just as American sounding as the rest of us!

  19. Colleen P.

    That explains it then! My friend Astrid is German and I swear I could sit and listen to her read the phone book-never have understood why people think it harsh. Oddly though, when she’s visiting the US she almost entirely loses the accent, and when she goes back home it comes right back.

  20. chloeE

    absolutely intriguing, & wonderfully sounding machine!!
    have you ever done a “lesson” on commercial machines?

  21. WOW! I don’t have room for industrials or I’d buy a few too. An industrial, as you’ve proved, makes a superior stitch.

    Your voice is fine. The equipment is not able to pick up all the nuances of your voice and you don’t have a sound studio to isolate and enhance. One other thing, our voices do sound differently in our heads than to the people that listen to us. Nonetheless, your voice is very nice. Keep those videos with sound coming.

  22. sewsy

    Gigi, what a lovely friendly voice you have.The other day I was reading Ann’s blog, and clicked on the video she posted of a performance she gave.

    It’s a lot of fun to put a ‘voice’ with a still picture. It makes the pictures come to life.

    Ann sings beautifully, btw; but, I guess you already knew that! šŸ™‚

  23. Great idea making a video Gigi – now you have a record of the threading for future use!