How to use straw braid machines and missing parts

Hi Millinery friends,

I hope someone can help me. A friend gave me two straw braid machines, Anita B and Dresdensia B made by Grossmann. The factory was taken over by nazis and it was wiped out 1945. My friend was given them in her turn with no explanation how to use them. I have searched through the internet of course but need to know more. The blog Hatstruck about straw braid machines would have been very helpful but the pictures don´t show and the links don´t work either. Any tips on where to find more information is really appreciated.

Dresdensia B at the top pictures, is a chainstitch machine and is missing a second feet that I think guides the straw braid so that they are overlapping when sewn together. I think it should be mounted in the hole on the plate on the presser foot. Can the machine be used without this “guide” or do I need to find one?  How would it be used without the guide? In one picture of a straw machine I saw a lifter at the right of the needle and I’m wondering if I need that too? I read about a thing that was used when the button of the crown is sewn, is that the thing that should be on the side? Below the thread tension there is a lever (red arrow), there is one on Anita B too, what is that for?

Anita B at the bottom, is a zig-zag machine and it does not have a presserfoot and I´m wondering if it can been used without it?  I read that Anita is used to sew wire to the edge of brims and crowns but what are then the guides (red arrows)? Could the machine also be used to join braids side by side?

I also wonder about needles. Does anyone know what needles would fit and should be used? Size? Does it have to be needles for industrial machines or can needles for domestic machines be used? I saw in a previous post that a person made the needles shorter so maybe I have to try that as well.

Except the missing feet I think the machines are in good condition for not being used for a very long time, but they need a very good cleaning. I feel responsible to make them work, get to know how to use them and pass this knowledge on.


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