Sewing has a rich history and it’s been done all over the world. Learning some facts about sewing can show how advanced society has become and how fashion has changed over time. Sewing supplies weren’t always as easy to find as they are now, and they certainly didn’t make sewing machines for kids back in the early days of sewing, but our ancestors did sew long before we were here and created much of today’s sewing culture.
The Needle Didn’t Always Look The Way You Think
One important item of sewing is the needle, and although needles have been used for centuries, they weren’t always made of metal. Originally, bone needles were used by people to keep themselves warm with stitched together furs. Ivory and horn were later used for needles.
Germany Gets Credit For Traditional Needles
The Egyptians did use metal needles and used copper pins to fasten clothes. In the 14th century, Europeans started using steel needles that were brought over from the Middle East. The first steel needles were made in Germany in 1370, and these needles had a hook at the end that was used to hold the thread.
Thread Was Made From Crazy Materials Originally
Just like needles, the thread has evolved over time. Seamstresses and tailors had a thread that was made from leather thongs, gut, and grasses. Today, the thread is mostly made from cotton, wool, linen, or silk. In Britain, a thread of linen or silk was thought to be more superior to cotton and was sold loosely until spools were invented in the mid-1700s. Choosing the right thread is important for your sewing quality. Using cheap quality thread can be like feeding your sewing machine poison.
The Sewing Machine Improved More Than Just The Time It Took To Make Clothes
The invention of the sewing machine, by Elias Howe, revolutionized sewing. This machine helped speed up industrialization across the world and, because it was so popular, it helped lead companies to mass produce clothing for retail. It also lowered the cost of making the garments. Now women could go to the store to buy cheaply instead of having to spend time at home making clothing, so it gave women the freedom to work outside the home.
Sewing Machines Used To Be Almost Indestructible
The original sewing machines were very durable since they were made out of cast iron. It is rumored that Singer, the maker of the machines, worried that the market would become too saturated with these machines and they would continue to be passed on from generation to generation. The company then started creating flimsier machines that would have to be replaced at some point. They then offered a buy-back program for originals, and the older, original machines were smashed with sledgehammers, so they wouldn’t find their way back into the market.
Button Placement Was Never Designed For You
If you look at clothing, you will notice that women’s buttons and men’s buttons are on different sides. The reason for this is because garments with buttons were expensive, and only women who were wealthy and had servants could afford these types of garments. They were then sewn on the left side to make it easier for the servants to help these women dress. Even in today’s fashion, this still hasn’t changed.
Is sewing a super interesting subject? For most people, probably not. But it just goes to show all of us that sometimes the most interesting of facts can come from the most ordinary of topics.