Textiles, or a collection of fibers bound together to create an item with a purpose, are needed in a vast array of markets, from those in the consumer, commercial and industrial sectors alike. Many companies use textiles as a part of their products that are not actually created by themselves or on-site. To secure these textiles, companies like these often reach out to contract sewing services that supply sewing and textile-related work to clients on a contractual basis.
Quick links to Contract Sewing Information
Process of Contract Sewing
Contract sewing companies and workers take a variety of order sizes, depending on the size and capabilities of their operation. Smaller contract sewing companies, like local tailors, tend to only accept smaller orders, or only accept large orders at higher prices, because the time and labor costs will be much higher for them, and they may take on the added expense of ordering extra material. However, smaller operations are also more likely to be able to mend or create detailed, elaborate custom-sewn products. Larger sewing contract companies, on the other hand, usually have materials in stock, so that they can begin productions sooner and keep prices lower. They will also likely have more equipment, like industrial sewing machines, on site. In short, for every application, there is a contract sewing company to match it.
Materials Used in Contract Sewing
In addition to traditional needle and thread work, contract sewing companies offer design consultation, prototyping, engineering, fabrication and packaging services. They also work with a variety of materials, such as cotton, suede, leather, felt, plastic, polyester and webbing, canvas, vinyl-coated nylon, hypalon and neoprene. More traditional materials like cotton, suede, leather and felt are used in the creation of clothing, bedding and upholstery alike.
- Also a common material for well-made belts and suspenders.
- Has a unique purpose as the defining component of the felt board, used extensively by parents and teachers of young children.
- A breathable material popular for use in the creation of curtains, reusable grocery bags, book bags and backpacks. It is also used to make many industrial mechanisms, like pouches in which tools are stored. Canvas, one of the most versatile textiles, also includes soft flannels, soft felts and twills.
- Vinyl-Coated Nylon
- Lightweight and durable, also works well as a bag material. Because of its weather and water resistance and toughness, it is also a common choice in the fabrication of industrial curtains, presentation cases and protective covers. Unlike canvas, it has very few consumer market applications.
- Hypalon and Neoprene
- Hypalon and neoprene are both synthetic rubbers. Hypalon is particularly known for its resistance to ultraviolet light, chemicals and temperature extremes, while neoprene is noted for its ability to remain flexible in the face of changing temperatures and stable when exposed to chemicals. The two of them, which are both abrasion resistant, are primarily used in industrial sewing applications, but they may also be sewn to create many sport and home-related applications, such as wetsuits, fly fishing waders, leggings and laptop sleeves.
Application of Contract Sewing
Other common products sold by contract sewing companies include: tarps, standard and custom tents, soft luggage, medical bags, instrument cases, umbrellas, ponchos and rain jackets, cushions, slip covers and carpets. Work they do, outside of common needle-and-thread operations, includes embroidery, weaving, fabric dyeing, knitting, twisting, rolling and, if they are capable, waterproofing or coating.
To create their goods, contract sewers use either hand sewing machines or industrial sewing machines. Generally, the former is only used by smaller operations. Industrial sewing machines, on the other hand, are better for mass production. Many, if not most, are computer operated. They can be programmed to perform chainstitch, lockstitch, zigzag, cylinder, needle feed, double needle, walking foot, hook/loop fastener operations and more. In addition, they have larger moving parts and much more robust engines than domestic sewing machines, which helps them puncture and sew much thicker and heavier fabrics in a shorter amount of time. Industrial sewing machines are also frequently self-oiling.