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The Ins and Outs of Contract Sewing

From the shirt on your back to the shoes on your feet, the timeless practice of sewing has influenced our clothing, our accessories, and our communities. Dating back over 25,000 years, sewing has served a necessary purpose of conjoining the simple to the most intricate of fabrics and materials. As modern technology has advanced, machinery and manufacturing processes have contributed to mass outputs at unprecedented volumes, making sewing one of the most in-demand services in the world.

In order to facilitate the large quantities of sewing demands, manufacturing companies, like the Development Workshop in Southeast Idaho, have provided large to small-scale services for government and commercial businesses alike, as well as startups requiring any and all sewing needs since 1971. As their operation continues to grow, so does their ability to provide community rehabilitation services in the form of vocational training, paid employment, and placement services to individuals with disabilities.

The Methods

Throughout the decades, the Development Workshop has applied their various skill sets from humble hand sewn products, to the now sophisticated programmable sewing machines capable of mass production. Additionally, current equipment like their Hot Cutter, Grommet Machine, and Snap Machine allow more complex inclusions into their products. Machinery like these produce anything from large utility bags to wheelchair cushion covers. Where there’s a need for crafted products, there will always be a need for sewing services.

The caveat to in-demand services like commercial contract sewing lies in the need for resources and materials. As products become more commonly produced, supplies to continue mass-scale manufacturing become more scarce over time. This can lead to a change in the way products are created, or the materials used to create them. Clients can equally alter the flow of production by modifying requests or product requirements as materials and demand evolve.

The Styles

As with any trade skill or means of production, many styles are implemented to accomplish similar yet varied tasks. Sewing has adapted throughout the years to implement dozens of distinct styles, including some listed below:

Straight Stitch: One of the most common and simple methods of sewing, the straight stitch consists of one up and one down passage of a needle through fabric. These are applied without overlapping or intersecting established stitches.

Double Needle Stitch: Capable of accommodating various needle sizes in sewing machines, a double needle stitch creates parallel stitching along fabric. This can add strength and durability while also adding mirrored style from both synchronized stitches.

Flatlock Stitch: Found on serger or overlocker machines, flatlock stitching combines two fabrics at their edges, ensuring a flat merger between the two materials. Most seams have overlapping fabrics, while flatlock stitching conjoins fabric sewn by the raw edge.

Chain Link Stitch: Commonly found in the hem of denim jeans, a chain link stitch consists of one uninterrupted thread which intertwines within itself as it passes through fabrics. These stitches can be recognized by a “roping” effect, causing a ripple along the hem.

Bar Tack Stitch: For fabrics in need of extra reinforcement along their seams, such as pockets or belt loops, a sequence of zig-zag stitches are applied either by hand or machine for added durability along stress zones.

The Machines

Modern conveniences and technological advancements have allowed those in the world of stitching to apply more than just hand-sewn methods to their products. Not only are products produced at unmatched speeds compared to hand-sewn methods, they allow more freedom to accomplish more complex or technical sewing tasks. These aren’t isolated to just sewing styles, but also through the application of buttons, snaps, grommets, or other extraneous accessories to fabrics. Below are some of the machines used in commercial sewing facilities throughout the world:

Auto Programming Sewing Machine: Capable of storing various sewing methods within one programmable unit, auto programming machines can create either simple or complex patterns for effortlessly embroidered fabrics.

Hot Cutters: A seamstresses best friend for cutting fabric, this tool allows fabrics to be precisely cut with no added fraying from the material while sealing edges as it goes.

Grommet Machine: If materials are in need of accurately applied holes, a grommet machine can press metallic grommets, or circular eyelets, through fabrics of all kinds. Grommets are found in flags, clothing, sheet metal, or even carbon fiber products.

Snap Machine: Exactly as the name alludes, a snap machine quickly and accurately applies snaps, or fasteners, to materials of all kinds. Anything from jeans, backpacks, wallets, hats, and countless other items benefit from this modern convenience.

The Products

The Development Workshop has specialized in each of the aforementioned styles, methods, and machines as they’ve grown throughout the years. As examples of practical applications of their services, their side business, Complete Angler, sews sport suspenders used by fisherman and active outdoorsmen throughout the nation. Additionally, they’ve procured a five year contract with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to create thousands of women's neck tabs—2,160 a month to be exact.

Government contracts aside, their affiliation with Idaho Canvas has provided opportunities to sew heavy-duty utility bags sold throughout the state. Not only does this yield extra commercial sewing contracts, but more individuals under their employment can benefit from job skill capacities in an increasingly competitive and challenging environment.

The Benefit

Individuals throughout the world, whether affected directly or indirectly, can thank the services of commercial contract sewing facilities for practically any product produced from fabrics or materials. The Development Workshop in particular showcases the shining opportunities given to individuals of all creeds, backgrounds, and capabilities to succeed in various capacities and learned skill sets. Their nine guiding principles reflect in each product, employee, and volunteer they employ, entailing quality, choice, diversity, integrity, respect, independence, accountability, hope, and courage.

Due to their nation-wide availability and clientele, their services can aid any small business, commercial enterprise, or government organization in need of contract sewing. In addition, the Development Workshop also provides numerous business solutions including janitorial services, assembly & packaging, plastic injection molding, manufacturing, and staffing services, all of which are facilitated by their diverse staff and non-profit mission values. Contact their organization to begin your development today.