Sewing machine


Sewing machine
   The earliest known sewing machine was created in France by Barthélemy Thimmonier in 1830, however, mounting pressure from tailors' guilds at the time thwarted its success. In 1846, American Elias Howe perfected and patented the lockstitch machine, first developed in 1834 by Walter Hunt (American). Even though the lockstitch sewing machine could only sew straight stitches, not curves, it radically reduced sewing time compared to hand-sewn garments. In 1850, Isaac Merritt Singer (American) created an improved version that not only could sew curved seams but was operated by a foot treadle. This innovation left the hands free and therefore drastically sped up the sewing process by 500 percent. By 1856, other inventors sought to patent their improved machines, which led Howe to sue for patent infringement. This action resulted in the first patent pool whereby every sewing machine inventor paid a license fee for each machine they sold. In 1877, that patent expired.
   Singer and his lawyer, Edward Clark, recognized the market need for the first home sewing machine and in 1889, Singer invented the first electric sewing machine. By the 1930s, factories and homes converted to motor-powered sewing machines equipped with special features. The first computer-controlled sewing machine was introduced by Singer in 1978, around the same time that foreign-made sewing machines began to flood the market, such as Bernina, Brother, Juki, Necchi, and Pfaff. Today, the sewing machine does much more than sew; it is capable of zig-zagging and embroidering and can overlock seam edges and make buttonholes.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sewing machine — Sewing Sew ing, n. 1. The act or occupation of one who sews. [1913 Webster] 2. That which is sewed with the needle. [1913 Webster] {Sewing horse} (Harness making), a clamp, operated by the foot, for holding pieces of leather while being sewed.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sewing machine — sewing machines N COUNT A sewing machine is a machine that you use for sewing …   English dictionary

  • sewing machine — ► NOUN ▪ a machine with a mechanically driven needle for sewing or stitching cloth …   English terms dictionary

  • sewing machine — ☆ sewing machine n. a machine with a mechanically driven needle used for sewing and stitching …   English World dictionary

  • Sewing machine — Elias Howe s lockstitch machine, invented 1845 A sewing machine is a textile machine used to stitch fabric, cards and other material together with thread. Sewing machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease the amount …   Wikipedia

  • sewing machine — any of various foot operated or electric machines for sewing or making stitches, ranging from machines with a shuttle for a spool of thread and a needle for sewing garments to industrial machines for sewing leather, book pages together, etc.… …   Universalium

  • sewing machine — noun a textile machine used as a home appliance for sewing • Hypernyms: ↑home appliance, ↑household appliance, ↑textile machine • Hyponyms: ↑serger * * * noun, pl ⋯ machines [count] : a machine that is used for sewing things * * * ˈsewing machine …   Useful english dictionary

  • sewing machine — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms sewing machine : singular sewing machine plural sewing machines a machine used for sewing cloth …   English dictionary

  • sewing machine — sewing ma,chine noun count a machine used for sewing cloth …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sewing machine — sewing ma.chine n a machine for stitching cloth or clothes together …   Dictionary of contemporary English