Funnily enough, there is a celebration of something happening at every day of the year.
Sometimes, these celebrations are fun… like I would totally enjoy International Carrot Cake Day (that was on Feb 3rd), International Relaxation Day (August 15th) or even World Kindness Day (13th November).
Some of these are just plain creepy/bizarre: Like can you believe that there is a Root Canal Appreciation Day (sorry, but who celebrates things related to Dental). There also is an Evaluate Your Life Day– and I don’t know about you, but if I really spend time evaluating my life, the days that follow would be Eat a lot of Ice-Cream Day and Spend the whole day watching TV Day and Don’t ever leave your bed day.
Jokes aside…. we’ve been in big celebration this week, as it was the week that contained International Sewing Machine Day. For a store like ours, that dedicates a whole floor to a full range of sewing machines; a place where silence is forever broken by the sounds of a needle, thread and feed-dog… this day (June 13th, 2016) is practically like New Years Day for us.
So, like on any special day, we reminisce on the good ol’ days. Days when the sewing machine wasn’t even there, and how this invention just changed everything!
All of this started off with a bunch of failed inventions and prototypes created by inventors across the globe in the 16th century and forward. Here is a fun fact: as much as majority of our sewing machine purchasers in the domestic market of today are female… the sewing machine was conceptualized, designed and engineered by men. The earliest date I found off the world wide web was the year 1755, where a German Engineer called Charles Wiesenthal created a machine with a double pointed needle. This was perhaps the first attempt into a device that assisted in sewing, but owing to many many flaws, he wasn’t dubbed the inventor title. Back to the drawing board, I guess!
A few decades passed, and an English inventor called Thomas Saint created a design for a sewing machine which was to be used on leather/canvas material. This machine looked something like this (image to the left).
He didn’t patent it, market it or advertise it. So essentially, the world did not consider him the inventor (a point to note for inventors of today. Always patent!)
I’m cutting this history part a bit shorter… because eventually there were further developments by inventors/engineers from France, Australia, The Americas…. GOSH this was some intense history: I’m sure there was a point where historians were arguing about who The Inventor really was. The world today gives this honorary title of The Sewing Machine Inventor to two gentlemen: One Isaac Singer and One Elias Howe in the year 1851.
Elias Howe’s lock stitch machine, 1845
P.S. Does the name Singer ring a bell?
What was life like before this helluva invention??
Was pretty hard on women, in terms of household-sewing. Can you believe that there used to be an organized family clothing management system in every home? Women would be at home hiring seamstresses to work with them in managing their family clothing. It was not like everyone walked around in a new dress
An early model of the Singer Machine
every other day. Families limited their wearables to like one Sunday dress and one set of work clothes that they would wear for the rest of the week. I don’t blame them, because it took 14 hours to stitch a shirt for a man….10 hours for a simple summer dress. Affordability was a big issue.
Now that the sewing machine was finally in the picture…
…. we had more time- it would now take someone an hour and 15 minutes to stitch a shirt for a man. A breakthrough that the world very much needed.
Next Steps: Commercialization.
The moment manufacturers saw the time save, and therefore the potential money-making angle in this device, investments started to pour in. Singer soon became the largest producer of sewing machines in the world. Lifestyles changed right after: more clothes were being manufactured, and the cost of making apparel dropped significantly. Households could now afford to buy their dresses, and this economics sort of led women to seek other jobs. Other industries grew thanks to the mechanization of sewing: like, if you were stepping into the Cotton Growing Business in the late 1800’s .. good for you! Because the demand for cotton went up exponentially high, as garment manufacturers were trying to hit the increased demand for ready-made apparel.
……how this one invention changed life as we knew it.
Today, like many other inventions, the sewing machine has completely evolved. Industrial machines are the power-horses, performing a singular function at high speeds.
What I like to talk about is…the domestic side. Perhaps one of the saddest side-effects of having others sew for you, is that many people don’t value the home-economics of sewing your own cloths/home decor. But, on the other hand, the smart cookies that have continued to keep the sewing tradition on in their families get to enjoy something way more than a sewing machine.
We have reached level sophistication in terms of how classy the domestic sewing machine is. Touch-screens, USB sticks, ability to execute pre-set embroidery, stitch regulators… and with every 5 years, brands are introducing features that really make you go WOW.
Let me end this historic writeup into a couple of questions.
The Ultimate Sewing Machine in today’s Domestic Market The BERNINA 880
- What machine is your dream sewing machine?
- What feature of your sewing machine do you use the most?
- What feature of your sewing machine you wish you used more of?
Enjoy this week by spending some extra time with your sewing machine. It is after-all, a great companion. For some people, it is the reason that they are still sane!
Celebrate International Sewing Machine Day with Classic Quilts in one of the following ways:
- Selfie Competition: Upload a selfie with yourself and your sewing machine on FB or Instagram and use the hashtag #lovemymachinedxb and win a goodie bag from CQQ. Upload your selfie before the end of day of Thursday, 16th of June 2016
- Get your machine cleaned up for FREE by our service center during the entire month of Ramadan. Call us and book an appointment. This is limited to BERNINA owners.
- We went live on Facebook on 13th of June, 2016- that was International Sewing Machine Day; and we displayed Fabric Painting on the B580. Watch it now, in case you missed out, on our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/ClassicQuilts/
- Till the 26th of June, 2016, we are selling all new BERNINA sewing machines and Handiquilter Quilting machines at a 10% discount
- And of course, reading this post is a way to celebrate this beautiful day!
Till the next Blogpost!!
(A Quilt Admirer; A Fan of All Quilters)
Classic Quilts and Quilting is a happy store located in the heart of Jumeirah 1, in a very pink building called Jumaira Plaza. We encourage and entice people into the art of sewing and patchwork quilting. Visit our website http://www.classicquiltsdubai.com or just hop into our store and together, we can create beautiful things!
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ClassicQuilts
Call us at: +9714 3497943