National Contract Sewing Month occurs throughout the month of July every year. Depending on the season, you are probably sitting on your couch or in your bed, wearing soft and cozy loungewear, or taking a break from a brisk walk in your sports clothes. This month is all about the manufacturers of the soft goods that made that pair of cozy P.J.s you’re wearing or the shorts you just ran a couple of miles in. It’s all around us, and the people who are responsible for these articles of clothing, the throws we cover ourselves with, or the bedding we just folded after washing are the heroes of this special month in which we celebrate their craft and years of expertise.
History of NATIONAL CONTRACT SEWING MONTH
Every year soft goods manufacturers are encouraged to observe National Contract Sewing Month, which takes place in July and honors millions of Americans who work in the industry creating textile products such as clothing, fabrics, bedding, and in some cases, furniture.
Historically, all sewing was done by hand for thousands of years. However, the invention of the sewing machine in the 19th century and the rise of computerization in the 20th century resulted in the mass production and export of sewn objects. There are still some countries where hand sewing is practiced and even considered a dying form of art.
But let’s get back to this special event in July. It all started in 2019 when CustomFab U.S.A., a contract sewing company in Garden Grove, California, founded and celebrated National Contract Sewing Month. They are a member of the Industrial Fabrics Association International’s Makers Division and had the vision to make National Contract Sewing Month a nationally recognized holiday in the United States. It was established to raise awareness for the entire workforce involved in the contract sewing industry in the U.S., which includes designers, sourcing managers, cut/sew specialists, sewists, machine operators, quality assurance specialists, and other divisions and specialties.
CustomFab U.S.A. was interested in and driven by American-made products and how those can stimulate the economy, promote a healthy supply chain, and protect the country during the lower economic periods. So, they ensured that all contract sewing corporations and their workers were honored nationwide.
NATIONAL CONTRACT SEWING MONTH timeline
The weaving of cloth from natural fibers is believed to have originated in the Middle East.
Thomas Saint invents the world's first sewing machine as a way to streamline the process and business of sewing.
The Industrial Fabrics Association International is established to serve the specialty fabrics industry.
The Industrial Fabrics Association International establishes its Makers Division representing companies that employ machine operators in the fabrics industry.
CustomFab U.S.A. creates National Contract Sewing Month in Garden Grove, California.
NATIONAL CONTRACT SEWING MONTH FAQs
Can you teach yourself to sew?
Learning to sew is no more difficult than baking a cake or building a bookshelf. It is best learned one step at a time, with lots of practice, as with any new skill. Of course, getting good at anything requires effort. You might have a high-priced mixer on your kitchen counter.
Is it cheaper to sew your own clothes?
Making something on your own saves you money on labor and allows you to create something you’re sure to love. However, the chances are that it will not save you money in the long run. Clothing prices are now much lower, while fabric prices are rising.
Do designers sew their own clothes?
The majority of industry designers outsource sample sewing. Almost all clothing lines delegate production to professional sewers and clothing factories. Having said that, many fashion designers do not sew at all.
NATIONAL CONTRACT SEWING MONTH Activities
Get something tailored
While National Contract Sewing Month honors those in the industry that work for big corporations and textile companies, going back to basics and honoring the art of creating clothes is a lovely way to celebrate sewing and its long history. Visit your local tailor and place an order for a suit jacket. Most tailors train on suits and should be able to craft a beautiful piece of clothing to commemorate this special month.
Say thank you the next time you purchase clothing
It might sound arbitrary, but the next time you visit your nearest H&M, Zara, or Mango, take the time to thank the people that work there. They may not necessarily be the ones making the clothing, but they can pass on the message to the suppliers from around the world that make the pieces you purchase and wear. It’s a small act, but it can make a difference in someone’s day.
Support small textile and fashion businesses
Before we had sewing machines, hand sewing was the only way people could create clothing and fabrics. Honor this age-old form of art by looking out for small businesses in your community that make clothes or fabrics that you can buy to support them. The chances are they are too small to employ large teams of sewers or get suppliers that are big corporations, so let them know that what they are doing is essential and unique.
5 Facts You Never Knew About Sewing
We’ve been using Singer for 171 years
The Singer, also known as the most popular and best-selling sewing machine in the world, was patented in 1851.
Sewing had its own golden age
Because of a strong emphasis on fashion sewing, designer patterns, and replicating Hollywood looks, the 1950s are regarded as sewing's golden age.
We used to sew with animal hide
The early sewing thread was made of thin strips of animal hide that were used to sew larger pieces of hide and fur together.
Napoleon invented buttons on sleeves
The French military leader is rumored to have invented buttons on sleeves because he did not want his soldiers wiping their noses on their sleeves.
Needles used to bone
It may sound like something out of “Game of Thrones,” but early sewing needles were often made of bone and ivory.
Why We Love NATIONAL CONTRACT SEWING MONTH
It honors a community of people who are overlooked
When CustomFab USA created National Contract Sewing Month, they intended to honor the millions of Americans who work in the industry creating textile products for the public’s use. This has become a yearly celebration of the skilled workers that produce the clothes, the bedding we sleep in, the sportswear our athletes compete in, and the fabrics we choose to craft custom furniture pieces with. Without these experts in their field, we’d all have to learn to hand sew and make our own way.
It celebrates the skill and expertise of making clothes
Dressmaking and working with fabrics is a celebrated craft that has been part of history for centuries. Finding new ways to dress people in everyday gear and crafting unique, custom-made pieces requires a lot of skill and foresight regarding trends and recurring styles. It is essential to take a step back, run your fingers over the fabric, and appreciate the hard work that went into creating what you are wearing.
It encourages people to learn about sewing and fashion
By celebrating National Contract Sewing Month, we pay homage to the skilled people who spend their days working hard on the garments that we buy to wear. We also have conversations about fashion and trends and patterns. These conversations can inspire others to pursue careers in the fashion and textile industries and bring new awareness to the craft of sewing, without which fashion designers and textile factories would be nothing.
NATIONAL CONTRACT SEWING MONTH dates