You may be aware that September brings the beginning of Autumn and cooler weather, but you may not know that September is also National Sewing Month. Declared in 1982, by US President Ronald Reagan, the trend began in America and has since tiptoed across to the UK. September celebrates those who have a passion for sewing or provides a perfect opportunity for those who haven’t indulged in the craft before to try it.
The art of sewing remained practically unchanged until the 19th century, until the introduction of the sewing machine. However, hand sewing is still a part of many people’s lives. Furthermore, in the knitwear industry hand sewing remains a vital part of providing the highest quality in which no machine can match. William Lockie pride themselves as producing some of the best knitwear in Scotland, and partly owe this to their traditional practice of hand sewing.
Teviotdale Mills have an obvious interest in sewing, so to commemorate National Sewing Month we visited the William Lockie factory to speak to the sewing supervisor and discover what processes are involved when crafting their world-famous knitwear which is stocked on our website.
We were told that all the garments in every type of yarn at William Lockie endure a hand sewn process. This means that every garment, be it Cashmere, Lambswool, Geelong, Merino or Camelhair requires expert hand sewing at some stage.
Whales are the name given to the section that is sewn on for the roll, vee or crew neck, or pocket lid for cardigans.
Whales on a Camelhair pocket lid
Whales on a Lambswool collar
The process is as follows:
A lambswool cardigan
FOR VEE NECKS: Once the collar has been linked onto the body, the hand sewer creates a ‘V’ shape by sewing either side of the collar together.
FOR CREW NECKS: In a similar process, the hand sewer closes the collar to form the round, crew shape.
FOR CARDIGANS: To finish the pockets, the pocket lid is hand sewn on either side onto the body of the garment.
FOR ROLL COLLARS: Likewise, the neck finishes are hand sewn to form the roll neck design.
A cashmere zipped sweater
FOR ZIPPED GARMENTS: The front trims are gently closed by the hand sewer, then the zip is stitched onto the body.
Once hand-sewn the garments go through an intense examination process affirming their commitment to producing the highest quality garment possible. Any garment with even the tiniest flaw will not make the cut, as only those in an absolute perfect condition succeed examination. Any who fail are returned to be re-manufactured.
Now that you may know a bit more about the process that goes into the sewing stage of Lockie garments, you might even love them a little more than you did before.
Here’s two of our favourites from our Teviotdale Mills website that really showcase the beautiful hand sewing by William Lockie:
If you want to find out more about National Sewing Month visit http://nationalsewingmonth.org/ for further inspiration, articles and news.