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What constitues handmade?

VKK3450

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So let's take shirts. Does it have to be handcut, but then they can use a sewing machine to stitch it? Or does it all have to actually sewn by hand (which I can imagine is impractical, no matter how much you are willing to pay).

What about shoes? Do all the stiches and holes and everything actually have to be done by hand with needle and thread?

Sorry if its basic, but while I can imagine measuring and cutting by hand as opposed to those big machines which just stamp stuff out, I dont see any shirtmaker actully hunched over a needle and thread doing the side seams of a shirt. Maybe the sleevehead, where you might see some gather...

K
 

jefferyd

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I know you didn't mention suits, but there is even greater debate about hand work in suits. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention it but I have started a blog to look at just that; I cut a jacket which I will make by hand and as I do it I will show the difference between the hand and machine technique. In each step I'll discuss what I think is better- by hand or machine, and show how to tell the difference on a finished jacket.
 

forex

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Originally Posted by jefferyd
I know you didn't mention suits, but there is even greater debate about hand work in suits. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention it but I have started a blog to look at just that; I cut a jacket which I will make by hand and as I do it I will show the difference between the hand and machine technique. In each step I'll discuss what I think is better- by hand or machine, and show how to tell the difference on a finished jacket.

that sounds interesting,when are you going to do it?
 

VKK3450

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I'm also interested in suits, just didn't mention it in my post.

Your blog sounds like it would be interesting to a number of people here. A little while ago we had a bunch of suit dissection threads which did a similar thing. You might like to dig them up.

You should post a link to it.

K
 

TIEALIGN

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IMO, Handmade = made by hand with the assistance of a sewing machine on some or all seams. The machine is controlled by the maker and not by an automated system. Hand Sewn = sewn by hand with a needle and thread no machines. As mentioned above hand sewing is not always best. Even though its the most labor intensive and requires quite a bit of skill to do well it may not hold up as well as a machine stitch. Depending on what is being made a combination of hand sewing and machine stitching might be best or pure hand sewing might be best.
Originally Posted by VKK3450
So let's take shirts. Does it have to be handcut, but then they can use a sewing machine to stitch it? Or does it all have to actually sewn by hand (which I can imagine is impractical, no matter how much you are willing to pay). What about shoes? Do all the stiches and holes and everything actually have to be done by hand with needle and thread? Sorry if its basic, but while I can imagine measuring and cutting by hand as opposed to those big machines which just stamp stuff out, I dont see any shirtmaker actully hunched over a needle and thread doing the side seams of a shirt. Maybe the sleevehead, where you might see some gather... K
 

T4phage

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Originally Posted by jefferyd
I know you didn't mention suits, but there is even greater debate about hand work in suits. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention it but I have started a blog to look at just that; I cut a jacket which I will make by hand and as I do it I will show the difference between the hand and machine technique. In each step I'll discuss what I think is better- by hand or machine, and show how to tell the difference on a finished jacket.

That would be quite interesting!
A question though: Are you also a trained sewer (tailor?)?
I mean, if I tried to sew two pieces of cloth together, it would look like the dog's breakfast compared to a machine stitch. And any comparison based on my work would mean absolutely nothing at best, and at worst, very very misleading.
 

RJman

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Handmade is overused as a marketing term, especially with respect to anything expensive. Copywriters will tout it as "handmade", with the assumption that because it is expensive it must be good, and handmade is assumed to be good.

Even where something does actually have handwork (certain stitches, for instance), there is good handwork and bad handwork. I;d rather have a good machine-stitched buttonhole than a bad handmade one, and for the longer joins on a shirt or a suit I'd prefer machine-stitched as being tighter and stronger.

At any rate, there are machines that mimic handwork and hand picking, not in order to confer any quality bestowed by real handwork but in order to have the look of it.
 

FidelCashflow

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When most manufacturers say "handmade" they mean without assistance of any mass-production machines, but they still use small machines operated by individuals like sewing machines. I think if you actually narrowed it down to someone who didn't use any mechanical device, the list of handmade clothing brands would be extremly short.
 

VKK3450

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Originally Posted by TIEALIGN
IMO,
Handmade = made by hand with the assistance of a of sewing machine on some or all seams. The machine is controlled by the maker and not by an automated system.
Hand Sewn = sewn by hand with a needle and thread no machines.
As mentioned above hand sewing is not always best. Even though its the most labor intensive and requires quite a bit of skill to do well it may not hold up as well as a machine stitch. Depending on what is being made a combination of hand sewing and machine stitching might be best or pure hand sewing might be best.


Thanks for chiming in TIEALIGN.

Thats what I would think, but it's good to hear it from a producer. I can imagine that handsewing has its appeal in certain circumstances, but I couldnt for the life of me see how it would be preferrable in most stitches.

As RJ says below, I would prefer machine stitches in many occasions over handstiches. Yes, there is an artisnal aspect in the latter, but from what I have seen the former is cleaner and more durable.

K


Originally Posted by RJman
Handmade is overused as a marketing term, especially with respect to anything expensive. Copywriters will tout it as "handmade", with the assumption that because it is expensive it must be good, and handmade is assumed to be good.

Even where something does actually have handwork (certain stitches, for instance), there is good handwork and bad handwork. I;d rather have a good machine-stitched buttonhole than a bad handmade one, and for the longer joins on a shirt or a suit I'd prefer machine-stitched as being tighter and stronger.

At any rate, there are machines that mimic handwork and hand picking, not in order to confer any quality bestowed by real handwork but in order to have the look of it.
 

jefferyd

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I'm really glad to see a lot of the comments here- it seems we have a very well-educated membership!

I have some stuff ready, I'll start posting to my blog in the next day or so, but here's a teaser;



That's a jacket front which has both hacking flap and ticket pocket. The automated machine has done the following in one operation-

Folded the pocket jets
Placed the flap & pocket bag
Sewn through jets, flap and bag in one step
Cut the center of the pocket, then cut the prongs at the end

All that remains to be done is to turn the pocket, tack the ends and close the top of the back, it's done.



This is a pocket that is partly done by machine, partly done by hand, but would generally be considered a hand-made pocket because it takes about an hour to make a pair of them compared to about 30 seconds for a machine-made pocket, and it requires a fair amount of skill.

So which one is better? The hand made pocket is much flatter, softer, more discreet, and I personally find it much more attractive. However, if I was in the habit of stuffing a blackberry and whatever else in my pockets, the delicate hand-stitching might not stand up to the strain and a machine-made pocket would be preferable.
 

jefferyd

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Video WOULD be great, but I'm just getting my head around my still camera, which doesn't have video capability. Maybe some day in the future. You should really see the pad-stitching machine in action- now THAT's something! Discovery Channel's "How It's Made" did a segment in a pretty modern suit factory- you could see the pocket machine in action, among others, if you could find that show.
 

voxsartoria

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jeffreyd, for a guy with only 12 posts, the content levels of your comments are truly generous.

Don't stop, baby. Keep it coming.

- B
 

kaxixi

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Vox, check JefferyD out on AA. He's got the last word on canvassing in a post that Doc linked to here.

JefferyD, thanks for taking the time to post.
 

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