"Industrial sewing" is a term used to describe the process used in factories to mass-produce a wide range of clothing and other goods that are created by sewing different components together along the course of a structured process. In order to make the mass production of sewn items as cost effective as possible, it is not unusual for the operation to make use of a series of industrial sewing machines that are configured to perform specific functions. As each garment, sleeping bag, or other sewn item passes through each phase of the production process, specific activities take place that help to prepare the item for the next step toward completion. The piecemeal construction process helps to speed up the process, allowing a sewing factory to manage a heavy volume with relative ease.
With an industrial sewing process, the typical factory will make use of a process that involves first cutting out the sections that will eventually be assembled into the finished goods. With many items such as shirts, pants and even winter coats and sleeping bags, it is possible to simultaneously cut large lots of the same sized components. As those sections or components are finished, they enter the industrial sewing areas and are gradually assembled into completed units.
Unlike home sewing or the commercial sewing that is done by tailors and small shops, the machines used in industrial sewing tend to be more specialized. For example, an industrial sewing machine may be configured specifically to allow quick and easy completion of seaming while another may be configured specifically for hemming. Most factories will arrange the specialized machines into a logical sequence that makes it possible to assemble the different parts of the product in succession, with the hemming usually being a last step before the finished good is forwarded to an inspection area. After the inspection is complete, the good is considered ready for transport to buyers.
With the mass production involved in industrial sewing operations, it is possible to turn out an impressive number of finished units per production hour. In order to keep up with demand, the plant will normally maintain a number of industrial sewing machines of each type in operation. Frequent inspections and maintenance are included in the work day, making it possible to quickly pull a malfunctioning machine out of the production line and replace it with a different unit of the same configuration. Doing so helps to minimize delays that would otherwise tend to disrupt the production cycle and adversely affect the total output for the production day.