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Sewing polyester seat_belt webbing for industrial applications is easy nowadays, but what was industrial sewing like 200 years ago? Granted, no polyester webbing fabric existed then, but there certainly were many other fabrics!
In the early nineteenth century, industrial sewing was vastly different than it is today. It was more limited then - mainly production of clothing and shoes. This is unlike today's variety of applications, which also includes items like:
• toys incorporating different fabrics
• sports equipment utilizing numerous fabrics
• flexible signage - e.g., banners, flags
• event structures using polyester narrow fabric
• transportation/packaging systems using polyester webbing fabric
• luggage using various fabrics
• furniture with all its fabric variations
The early nineteenth century industrial sewing world also differed from today in technology, or lack thereof! Then, industrial sewing was like domestic sewing - handcrafted and usually requiring much time.....i.e., no sewing polyester webbing into a quick safety strap for a weekend rock-climbing trip! However, when the first sewing machines arrived, that all changed.
So how did industrial sewing get from its slow-moving beginnings to the fast-paced, high-producing field of today? In 1807, Austrian tailor Josef Madersperger created the first working machine. In 1830 came a machine created by French tailor Barthelemy Thimonnier. Sewing machines didn't appear in America until 1832, beginning with a machine invented by mechanic Walter Hunt.
With the advent of Walter Hunt's machine, American sewing was "off to the races"! Throughout the 1840s, new machines were continually created as innovative thinkers refined machine quality. By 1851, Isaac Singer (recognize that name?) had created his machine. Nine years later, he founded his incredibly successful Singer Sewing Co. As sewing machines gained popularity, they revolutionized industrial sewing, changing it from a time-consuming "art" to a business of mass production and fast turnaround.
Although companies were not yet sewing polyester webbing, creating fabric signs, or incorporating polyester narrow fabric into event structures, they were on their way to the great world of modern industrial sewing!
Throughout the 1850s, competition was fierce among sewing machine makers. As creators designed new machines, they fought over ideas and patent infringements. This period became known as the "Sewing Machine Wars". In 1856, a group of creators ended their war and created a patent pool called the "Sewing Machine Combination", improving production of machines.
By the late nineteenth century, industrial sewing machines were commonplace, and fast, easy production was the name of the game! Sewing machine improvements continued throughout the late nineteenth century.
In the twentieth century, sewing machine modifications continued, resulting in better efficiency, function, and design. These changes kept industrial sewing up with the times, meeting increased demands and branching out into additional applications like those noted above.
Today, whether you have a need for sewing polyester webbing into safety nets, stitching fabric on doll dresses, creating a tent for a corporate picnic, or designing that perfect piece of furniture, modern industrial sewing machines are the answer. With the advances these machines have made since their beginnings 200 years ago, the possibilities are virtually endless!
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