Military, aerospace, healthcare, casino, hospitality, and transportation industries also utilize the services that sewing contractors have to offer.
For the aircraft industry, sewing contractors produce items including: ground service covers, blankets carpet, and seating. For industries such as amusement parks, retail stores, and banks, they make products such as courier bag, transit bags, and security bags.
In addition, contractors produce a wide variety of more general fabric products, including: custom bags, pouches, soft luggage, protective covers and unfitted protective covers.
Custom bags are made to fit consumer needs and are thus made with specific materials and are made to fit certain sizes.
Pouches are another popular item that can be custom-made. They are a smaller carrying container that can be made for various products including manuals, infusers, flags, cameras, cables, batteries, and auto jacks.
Soft luggage can also be produced, and is made from durable fabric such as canvas, plastic, or leather, and can be at least 21 inches or larger if they are checked in at an airport. Soft luggage also includes sports bags, briefcases, and backpacks. They are an adequate alternative to bulky suitcases, and can be closed by clasps, buttons, or zippers.
Protective covers can be made from canvas or nylon coated with paint or tar and can offer protection against water and other outdoor elements. These protective coatings can be used to cover specific products including dumpsters, cars, outdoor furniture, machinery, and grills.
Unfitted protective covers such as tarps may be used for various uses such as covering swimming pools, covering vehicles during extreme weather, and covering machinery while being transported. Additionally, they are used as ground or tent covers for camping applications.
People have been sewing garments, bags, bedding and the like for thousands of years. In fact, before people came up with the needle and thread, prehistoric humans were making clothes with bone and sinew. After people came up with the needle and thread, they either conducted their sewing at home or paid an artisan to do their sewing for them.
Manual sewing was time consuming and required a good deal of skill. During the Industrial Revolution, craftspeople began attempting to make machines that could make the process faster and easier. The first of these was introduced in London by Thomas Saint in 1790. Some years later, a French named Barthélemy Thimonnier received a number of patents for his sewing machine, which he periodically improved (1830, 1841, 1845, 1847). His machine, unfortunately, was not terribly successful, and, in 1857, he passed away penniless in Amplepuis, France.
No sewing machine was capable of achieving the same efficiency and quality as a tailor until the Singer sewing machine, patented by Isaac Singer in 1851. Singer’s prototype machine could sew up to 900 stitches per minute. In contrast, the most highly paid professionals could only sew on average 40 stitches a minute. His invention ushered in a new age for clothing and textile product production. Within five years, companies like the Singer company were mass manufacturing their sewing machines for not only industrial sewing contractors, but household users as well. With industrial sewing machines, textile factories began to replace seamstresses and tailors as mainstream textile manufacturers. Textile factories could take one product and produce countless identical pieces more quickly and more cheaply than individuals. Soon, off the rack clothing and bags purchased as department stores became the norm.
Today, large scale sewing contractors have more business than ever, but mass production is not the only thing they can do. They also offer custom design of all sorts of textile-based items, from medical bags to military gear. Because synthetic fabrics have expanded so much in the last 100 years, sewing contractors can even cater to needs like: flame retardancy, water resistance and durability.
Sewing contractors utilize a wide range of fabrics, including vinyl-coated nylon, neoprene, Hypalon, canvas, anti-static material, cotton, polyester, felt, plastic, webbing and leather.
Vinyl-coated nylon is highly durable, weather-resistant, and lightweight, making it a suitable and popular choice for protective covers, presentation cases, and bags.
Neoprene is chemical resistant, abrasion resistant and insulative. It is often used to make fly fishing waders, wetsuits and leggings. It is less expensive than comparable materials, but it is not very breathable.
Hypalon, like neoprene, is resistant to abrasion, cutting and chemicals, and is thus frequently used in industrial applications. It is actually stronger and lighter than neoprene, though.
Canvas is a breathable material made from felt, flannel, and twill, and is used for industrial applications as well as bags and curtains. It is popular for custom bags because it is soft yet resilient.
Anti-static materials like ESD fabric are used in the electronics and computer industries. They are popular in these industries because they help contain and dissipate static buildup and electromagnetic discharge. This is important because the presence of this type of buildup can be very disruptive to the functioning of electronics.
Cotton is a soft material derived from the cotton plant. It is dry cleanable, machine washable and printable. It also offers good color retention, good absorbency, good strength and good drapability.
Polyester fabrics are synthetic. They are designed to be: incredibly strong and chemical resistant, mildew resistant, abrasion resistant, wrinkle resistant, stretch and shrink resistant. It is also quick drying and can be made insulative.
Felt fabric is composed of compressed and matted fibers with no discernable thread count. These fibers are usually wool mixed with synthetic fiber, or just synthetic fiber. Dense and non-woven, felt is durable and sturdy. It is suitable for both industrial applications and craft applications.
Plastic is a broad term that refers to a wide variety of versatile, synthetic/semi-synthetic polymer materials. While plastics aren’t typically associated with sewing, any number of them can be modified to fit a wide variety of contract sewing applications. Nylon, for example, can be used to make parachutes, tents, flags and clothing items like hosiery.
Webbing is woven fabric, usually made from polyester, polypropylene or nylon. For extra strength, contractors may make it from material like Kevlar. Contractors make it in two basic forms–tubular webbing and flat wedding. Tubular webbing is webbing that has been woven into a flat tube. Mostly, tubular webbing is suitable for industrial applications and climbing applications. Flat webbing, on the other hand, is webbing that has been woven into a flat solid weave. Flat webbing is very common for use as backpack straps and seat belting.
Leather comes from tanned rawhides, particularly cattle rawhides. It is strong, durable and tear and puncture resistant. It also holds in heat quite well, which can be a good thing in cold weather. Contract sewers use leather to make countless products, including jackets, shoes and bookbinding’s.
After speaking with a customer, sewing contractors kick things off with the planning phase, when one of their pattern designers forms the pattern blueprint for the requested product. The designer then sketches this pattern with scaled dimensions and distinguishable sections. Often, they do this using computer software. Once they’ve recorded the plans in a way that contract manufacturers can understand them, textile experts select the fabrics and create a small sample. Then, sewing contractors share the sample with the client, to make sure that they like it. Once they’ve received approval, they go ahead and produce the full product volume.
Production involves a variety of sewing processes, such as: cutting, stitching, weaving, embroidering and/or printing.
Sewing contractors base their designs entirely on your application. Sewing contractors offer services such as: custom fitting, free prototypes, custom embroidery, and the production and addition of clothing labels to products that are commercially sold.
Custom embroidery can be descriptive images or text, and companies that wish to have their logo printed on uniforms and products may request it. Inside all bedding, textiles, clothing, and garments that are commercially sold, contractors attach a tag that contains information that lets consumers know the materials used, where the product was made, the size of the product, and instructions for washing and drying. The tags may be made of satin, taffeta, or damask, and may be attached to the item by way of printing, weaving, or embroidery.
Sewing contractors use numerous forms of equipment in order to provide the wide variety of services you need for your project to be a success. Equipment can range from a single needle and a pair of cutting scissors, to a full-fledged automated machine.
The main types of textile manufacturing machines are known as straight stitch, serger, and blind stitch. Other types of specialized machines include lockstitch, chain stitch, overedge, walking foot, needle feed, double needle, zigzag, cylinder, bar tack, box tack, and hook/loop fastener.
There are many ways that industrial machines can be distinguished from consumer sewing machines. They are faster and are capable of sewing through more layers and working with more heavy-duty fabrics. These machines feature larger motors and are designed to run continuously for an entire day. They are also self-oiling, and they require minimal manual operation or manpower. One disadvantage of industrial machines is that they have a complex configuration, and therefore require a mechanic to perform regular maintenance.
Working with sewing contractors offers you many benefits. First, they can lend their expertise to your idea. A lot of us have great ideas, but most of us don’t have the skills to follow through. A sewing contractor can take yours from a faint idea to the perfect piece, whether that be a piece of clothing or a shelter. Likewise, sewing contractors have access to resources that you likely do not, such as sewing machines, unique fabrics, premade textiles and custom design software. All of this they access to in one facility, and in-house production means quicker turnarounds and lower costs for you. Another benefit of sewing contractors is the fact that, with them doing textile work for you, you have the time and energy to focus on other things.
Things to Consider
If you’re considering ordering textiles from a sew company, we recommend you check out those we have detailed on this page. All of those sewing companies we have listed are proven experts and innovators. Before scrolling up, stop and put together a list of your specifications, such as: the application of your textile product, the environment in which your textile will be used (extreme heat, extreme cold, wetness, etc.), dimensions, custom stitching requests, color preferences, request volume, preferred deadlines, delivery preferences, budget, standard requirements, etc.
With your list in hand, begin browsing those high quality sewing companies we’ve detailed on this page. Pick out three or four with the most potential to meet your needs. Then, reach out to each company and chat about your project. Once you’ve done that, compare and contrast their answers, making special note of their customer service, and decide which one is right for you.