Sew Cool ǀ Celebrating Sewing Machine Day
Did you know that today is Sewing Machine Day? We’re really excited because the sewing machine is a pretty big deal for our undies biz. But before we delve into why it’s so important to Jockey, here’s a brief look back.
Sewing Machine Day times two
This holiday is so special, it’s celebrated twice a year. First on June 13 to recognize English inventor Thomas Saint receiving the very first sewing machine patent in 1790. And again on September 10.
Today celebrates the date Elias Howe received the first United States patent for a sewing machine using a lockstitch design in 1846. While he wasn’t the first to develop the machine, his concept was more refined and contained three features still present today: a needle with the eye at the point; a shuttle operating under the cloth to form the stitch; and an automatic feed.
Seams pretty amazing
Prior to the invention and use of the sewing machine, clothing was sewn by hand… stitch by stitch. Can you even imagine? We can’t! It was a time-consuming, tedious process made much swifter and much more efficient by this remarkable development.
To celebrate this mighty piece of machinery and get a better understanding of its significance at Jockey, we sat down with Josephine, a sewing guru who’s been at Jockey a whopping 37 years, and Erin, a technical designer and pattern maker.
A new product is born
A brand new style (anything from a t-shirt to underwear to shapewear) starts with a sketch from our designers, which is then handed off to the Product Development team. That’s where Erin and Josephine come in.
Once Erin receives the sketch, she drafts the patterns and filters them to Josephine or Sue (a product development assistant & garment maker) who then sew 2-3 “prototypes” of any cut-and-sew garment (meaning it has seams) right at Jockey’s headquarters in Kenosha, WI!
These prototypes are used in various ways: some are used to test fit, while others are used for meetings and presentations.
So, here’s why the sewing machine is still so vital: as the garment is scrutinized and studied, touched and tugged, it can go through the prototype process up to 10 times (changes in fabric, stitching, colors etc. create the need for a new garment). Meaning those handy-dandy sewing machines are getting a whole lot of use!
Trying, testing & perfecting
Prototypes are then sent out to factories where additional product samples are made. These samples are used to test fit and quality. Jockey also has an internal wear testing program—employees try new products and share their thoughts about fit, fabric and changes after washing and wearing.
As the product development process continues, garments continue to be adjusted, refined and improved until the final result meets Jockey’s high standards of comfort, quality and fit.
Try out our products to see for yourself how this process makes a difference in the quality and fit across all of our underwear and clothing collections. Shop here: Jockey Underwear (Jockey.com).
The entire life cycle of a new product is pretty remarkable. But, especially in today’s marketplace and on this special holiday, one of the things we find sew cool is that it all starts with a sewing machine.