Tuesday, June 19, 2012

So, how do sewing machines work anyway? Here's your answer!

Have you ever wondered how a sewing machine works? I know I have. I mean...how on earth does the machine bring a thread through one side of the fabric and out the other, locking it in the process? And how does it do it so fast? When was the sewing machine invented and was it by some guy named "Singer"?

This great mystery will be solved once you watch this video, an episode from the classic TV program, The Secret Life of Machines, hosted by Tim Hunkin. Hunkin is a cartoonist, engineer and -- best of all -- automaton-maker. He's made dozens of large, interactive, mechanical sculptures, simulators, and rides to amaze and amuse. His deep understanding of machines, ability to create cartoons, and playful approach make him one of the best teachers around. In the video, Hunkin uses a 6 foot long sewing needle and four people to slowly sew two large sheets of foam together in the same manner as a sewing machine. You also will learn some interesting history (via cartoons) along the way.

Here's a snippet of a drawing by Tim Hunkin related to sewing machines from his book titled The Rudiments of Wisdom: An A-Z of Random, Peculiar and Fascinating Facts...

Tim Hunkin cartoon about sewing machines

You can see the complete drawing here.

Here is where you can see more of The Secret Life of Machines with Tim Hunkin.

[ Thanks Ron! ]

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Blogger Catherine Robson said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing this.

June 20, 2012 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Dug North said...

No problem! I've been meaning to figure this out for years and finally got around to it. I find it especially gratifying that it was an automaton maker who showed me the answer!

June 20, 2012 at 9:12 AM  

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