Sewing refers to the art and craft of fastening/attaching/intertwining objects together using a thread and needle in a patterned stitching arrangement.
It is among the oldest textile crafts that archeologists indicated evidence of sewing 25000 years during the Paleolithic era of the Stone Age man. Sewing basically aims at attaching different objects to create covers and clothing as well as mending torn objects among other related attachments. This art has evolved over time from the fully hand craft mechanism to the modern machinery automated process.
The ancient generations used animal bones, antler and ivories incised with an eye where the thread goes through. They then developed their needles to woods and the industrial revolution initiated the modern diversity in sewing needles determined by the materials being stitched together. They range from spinning yawn to mechanized equipment used in the textile industry. The thread has also developed from the past sinew, veins and catgut used by ancient people to the current high profile waving fabric.
Traditionally sewing was fully associated with household linen and clothing. However, it has expanded and is now used for other varied crafts including book-binding, shoemaking, sail-making, upholstery as well as industrial tapestry, embroidery appliqué among others. It is also exhibited in the manufacture of certain sporting products.
Elements of Sewing
The main elements of sewing involve stitch and seam with only a few tools like sewing shears, needle, thread, measuring tape and cloth needed for simple patterns. Complex patterns are always done by automated sewing machines. Additional requirements may include trim attachments of ruffles and hem repair glue. The process of stitching has several minor divisions of crafts like edge-stitching, stay-stitching, plain seam, flat fell seam and zigzag among others. These vary between construction sewing and seams sewing. The fabrics being sewn can be made more rigid and shaped using supportive mechanisms of interfacing, lining and fusing. Their weight can also be added by the means of pleats or reduced using darts.
Step by Step History
Sewing has developed from crude tools to the modern specialized and computerized machines used in the textile industries. The beginning of sewing can be traced to as back as the last Stone Age period, although the rapid development can be credited to most of the 19th century innovations. The first sewing machine was however patented in 1790.
• During the stone ages, it was used to form clothing and shelter by stitching animal hide. It included weaving of striped cuts if backs or leaves of plants in Africa, which was used to make baskets and other simple amenities.
• It then progressed to cloth weaving using natural fibers in the Middle East at about 4000 BCE after which full cloth sewing is believed to have followed in the Neolithic Age.
• The emergence of tailors and seamstresses was witnessed among Europeans and it was more attributed to the occupation of women whose services were practical. It mostly consisted of mending or repairing torn cloths. The sewing of clothes from scratch incorporated a lot of skills such as weaving, cutting, pattern creation among others. The art soon developed to decorative needlework and between the middle age to the 17th century, pins, needles and pincushions were women’s necessities in Europe. The embroidery spread from settlement of people in new areas mixing the Asian, European techniques heading into the 19th century.
• Industrial revolution further expanded the art and saw the earliest sewing machines emerge. There already was need for a military uniform which mean sewing machines further developed and the fist accurate ones was produced by Isaac Singer in the 1850s.
• Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, sewing machines technologies were improved to the current computerized environments evident in the textile industry for mass production of fabrics and related products. The western styles were also spread in the modern dimension from Japanese techniques. Sewing is still practiced by most women in homesteads although the expansion of occupation opportunities and the modern efficiency in service provision has lowered interests.
Sewing Basic Techniques
Before attaching together pieces of clothing to complete the dress design or cover needed, the garment is required. The garment is usually formed by following a pattern which can be simple mathematical formulas based on the wearer’s measurements calculated by the sewer. These measurements are used in determining the cuts needed and how the garments will be attached to each other. It is these processes that are programmed or computerized into the modern technology sewing machines which are then automated for mass production.
The textile industry utilizes this advantage to create numerous ranging sizes of cloths to accommodate the diverse sizes in the human population. The 21st generation sewing includes high power machines to make heavy fabrics with different patterns and alignments. Sewing machines consume a given form of energy ranging from mechanized human driven swing technology to electricity operated machines.
Sewing has a broad scope in the current dimension and includes arts, fashion and design as well as mass production of clothing, homestead and office linens as well as other fabrics. In the field of arts and fashion, different sewing styles are lent in the combination of garments to achieve distinct design different from others. This is used to produce designs based on the cultural modes of dressing. This is mostly occupational since it involves a lot of practical craftsmanship using simple sewing machines. The professionals design dresses for cultural events as well as modern fashion creativity.
The other dimension involves production of all sorts of clothing from footwear to hats and gloves. The practice is still very similar to ancient creativity with technology enabling efficiency in productivity. The practical craftsmanship is labor intensive and artistic designers can take months to develop a new idea and finish the product. However, mass production focuses on repeated instructions where sewing personnel only place or arrange the raw materials in ways that the machine can easily pick them. The sewing machines carry out the instructions to stitch patterns at high speeds with fast moving needles and garment conveyers. A number of phases are involved and scheduled for until the final outcome is achieved.