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Sewing Revolution: Development of the Industrial Sewing Machines


Sewing machines have been around for centuries, facilitating lengthy sewing work. Seams that can now be done in mere minutes used to take a long period of time as they had to be done by hand. Professional seamstresses and tailors conducted these works, especially making clothing for the person wearing them.

Technological developments ensured that sewing processes turned clothesmaking into an easier process. The days in which people could only afford to own three or four outfits are in the past; modern machines can now ensure that clothes are bought at affordable prices.

But how were these industrial sewing machines developed?

The Development of the First Machines

Patented in 1790 by Thomas Saint, he created the first sewing machine capable of creating chain stitches. His invention, however, was poorly marketed and his design lost. In 1874, William Newton Wilson found Thomas Saint’s patent in the London Patent Office and proceeded to make a few adjustments.

The new machine design was utilised for industrial purposes, as it was capable of stitching ships’ sails. However, these machine designs had their limitations and weren’t commonly utilised for anything but leather and canvas.

Barthélemy Thimmonier, a French tailor, built the first sewing machine for use with different materials in 1830. His design was patented and he opened a manufacturing company with his business partners to make uniforms for the French army.


The Industrialisation Process

While sewing machines were beginning to help clothes production, they didn’t really speed up the process and reduce the costs until the industrial revolution. The revolutionised ways of producing goods ensured that companies could take on work that family-owned businesses used to do. This guided the way to the global culture of consumerism, even though it resulted in many jobs being lost.

America saw the first industrial sewing machines created by Elias Howe. He improved what already existed and marketed his idea in England. While some infringed upon his patent, the engineer Singer incorporated Howe and Thimmonier’s ideas in addition to other inventors to create a highly efficient machine.

The Sewing Machine War followed, with patents being infringed multiple times. Between 1830 and the late 1800s, sewing machines changed drastically and became popular. They allowed for the production of clothing to become faster and widespread.


Modern Times

Modern industrial sewing machines are complex pieces of technology that come in many shapes and sizes. They are much faster than domestic ones, and they provide sturdy options for clothes making. This production of clothes has become many time faster due to industrial sewing machines, as some can produce 51 feet of seaming in just a minute. Here to stay, industrial sewing machines have made major contributions to the world of today. Ensuring that even the most complicated materials can be worked with.

At Stocks Sewing we offer a wide range of highly efficient and high-quality industrial sewing machines, sure to fit your requirements. Just get in touch with us today if you have any questions about our products.