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Clothing Related Machinery

The major steps in the manufacture of clothes are four as follows:
  • Harvest and clean the fiber or wool 
  • Card it and spin it into threads 
  • Weave the threads into cloth 
  • Fashion and sew the cloth into clothes.
A number of machines are employed in the process. Here is a list of the major machines used:
  1. Sewing Machine 
  2. Loom 
  3. Cloth Testing and Rolling Machine
Other Clothing Related Machinery
  • Cloth Related MachineryCloth Inspection and Separation Machine
  • Bundling Cloth Rewinder
  • Spinning Machinery
  • Cloth Inspecting and Rolling Machine
  • Glass-Fiber Cloth Testing and Rolling Machine
  • Baby Protective Cloth Machine
  • Cutting Cloth Machine
  • Powertemp Cloth Drill Machine
Cloth Spreading Machine
  • Cloth Laser Engraving & Cutting Machine
  • Powder-Point Laminating Machine
  • Cloth Shearing/Cropping Machine
  • Cloth Spreading Machinery
  • Column Plane Cutting Machine
  • Post Mould Cutting Machine
  • Sheet Making Machine
  • Dyeing Machinery
  • Cloth Coating Machinery

1. Sewing Machines

Sewing MachineA wide variety of plain or patterned stitches is made with the use of sewing machines. The process includes gripping, supporting, and conveying the fabric past the sewing needle to form the stitch pattern. A two thread stitch called the lockstitch is employed to give the desired effect. Other stitches include overlock stitch, chain stitch, embroidery-type stitch, etc. There are two types of sewing machines: 
  • Home sewing machines (use of lockstitch) 
  • Industrial sewing machines (use of lock-stitch and overlock stitch--done by a serger)
The fabric shifting mechanism may be a simple workguide or may be pattern-controlled such as jacquard type. Some sewing machines have a work holder frame or a work-feeder that can move along a curved path, or a work-feeder with a work clamp.

The industrial market has come to be dominated by several prominent brands such as Juki, Brother Industries, Merrow, Durkopp Adler, Pfaff, Consew to name a few.

History of the Sewing Machine

Sewing Machine NeedlesPrior to the invention of the sewing machine, everything was sewn by hand--an art form that is over 20,000 years old. Archaeologists have discovered bone needles with eyes, used to sew together skins and furs, dating back to this time. This proved that the first sewing needles were made of bones or animal horns and the first thread was made of animal sinew. Iron needles were invented in Germany, dating to the third century BC and the first eyed needles appeared in the 15th century. 
  • Karl Weisenthal, a German inventor, in 1755, devised the first sewing machine needle, but did not produce a complete machine
  • Sewing MachineThomas Saint, a British, invented and patented the first workable sewing machine in 1790. It was designed to sew leather and canvas, mainly on boots, using only a single thread and forming a chain stitch
  • Barthelemy Thimonnier, a French tailor, patented the first practical sewing machine. This machine produced a chain stitch, employing a hook-tipped needle, that was moved downward by a cord-connected foot treadle and returned by a spring. By 1841, eighty of his machines were being used to sew uniforms for the French army. Unfortunately, his factory was destroyed by a mob of tailors, who saw the new machines as threat to their livelihood. Thimonnier died in England of bankruptcy
  • The idea for a double-thread sewing machine was devised by Walter Hunt of New York in 1834. The machine used a reciprocating eye-pointed needle that worked in combination with a shuttle carrying a second needle, making an interlocked stitch. Hunt, later, abandoned the project
  • Elias Howe was the inventor of the first American-patented sewing machine in 1846. It was a lockstitch mechanism with a grooved, eye-pointed needle and shuttle that sew 250 stitches a minute, outstitching the output of five hand sewers. Between 1854 and 1867, Howe, from three hundred dollars at the early patent stage, earned close to two million dollars from his invention
  • Issac M. Singer, an American mechanic, patented the first rigid-arm sewing machine in 1851. It was based partly on Elias Howe's concept and Singer was sued by Howe for infringing his patent, but a compromise was reached where Singer paid a royalty. Singer's machine included a table to support the cloth horizontally, instead of a feed bar; a vertical presser foot to hold the cloth down against the upward stroke of the needle, and an arm to hold the presser foot and the vertical needle-holding bar in position over the table. His milestone was his invention of a foot treadle instead of a hand crank. By 1867, Singer became very rich and had 18 children to various wives and mistresses; he died in 1875 leaving behind 24 children
  • The rotary bobbin was incorporated in 1850 into a machine patented by Allen Benjamin Wilson, an American. Later an intermittent four-motion feed for advancing the material between stitches, was also incorporated in the same patent
  • By 1920s, the electric motor was added, which revolutionized the history of the sewing machine. It decreased the cost of the machine as well as cost of stitching, thus expanding the range of an infinite number of clothing manufacturers and stores.
The Sewing Machine Market Today 
Most modern sewing machines, especially used for bulk production of cloth, are computer controlled and use stepper motors or sequential cams to achieve very complex patterns. Most of these are now made in Asia and the market is becoming more specialized with the demand going higher and higher.

A Partial List of Sewing Machines Available in the Market
Flatlock Machine
  • Arka Machines 
  • Bartack Machines 
  • Pintuck Machines 
  • CAP Embroidery Machines
  • Flatlock Machines
  • Computerized Sequence Machines
  • Chain Stitch Chenille Machines
  • Heavy Duty Top and Bottom Lock Stitch Sewing Machines
  • Fagotting Machines
  • Garment Sequin Making Machines
  • Belt Loop Machines
  • Overlock Sewing Machines
  • Shell Stitch Decorative Sewing Machines
  • Corner Stitching Double-Needle-Feed Lock Stitch Sewing Machine
  • Chainstitch Machines
  • Button-Hole Machines
  • Skip Stitch Machines
  • Leather Stitching Machines
  • Computerized Lock Stitch Sewing Machines
  • Shell-stitch Machines
  • Hole Bidding Machines
  • Embroidery MachineQuilting Embroidery Machines
  • Feed Off Arm Machines
  • Button-Stitch Machines
  • Fancy Knitted Yarn Machine
  • Fancy Braid Yarn Machine
  • Multihead Embroidery Machines
  • Crochet Embroidery Machines
  • Narrow Fabrics Machines
  • Bottom Folding Machines
  • Eyelet Button Hole Machines
  • Chain Stitch Overlock Machines
  • Multi Needle Machines
  • Blindstitch Lock Stitch Button-stitch Machines
  • Multi-Head Computerized Embroidery Machines
  • Domestic Sewing Machines
  • Handle Operating Chain Stitch Embroidery Machines
  • Industrial Stand T-Type Machines

2. Loom 

A loom is a device for weaving thread or yarn into textiles. In the process, it holds the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. Loom is available in the form of small hand-held frame, large free-standing hand loom, automatic mechanical device, electrical cable assembly or harness (wiring loom), etc. Dobby loom, Jacquard loom, and power loom are most widely used types of looms.

Types of Looms
  • Dobby LoomWarp-weighted looms
  • Ground looms
  • Frame looms
  • Back strap looms
  • Foot-treadle floor looms
  • Rigid heddle looms
  • Haute lisse and basse lisse looms
  • Power looms
  • Jacquard loom
  • Knitting looms
  • Dobby looms.
  • Dobby Loom
A Dobby Loom, an alternative to a treadle loom, is a type of floor loom that controls the warp threads using a device called a dobby. In a manually operated dobby, a chain of bars or legs is used, each of which has pegs inserted to select the shafts to be moved. The selected shafts are raised or l