Whether you’re a complete sewing novice or consider yourself handy with a needle and thread, it’s likely that at some point in your life someone has at least attempted to teach you to sew, even if it was just sewing on a button at school.

This goes to show what a crucial skill sewing is. Did you follow up on your teachings at school and can easily sew on a button, hem up a pair of trousers, or patch up a tear in a pair of socks? Or if you didn’t, is it a skill you regret not picking up, and are looking to learn some techniques to help with the above and so much more? Read on to find out a few things you may not know about the history of sewing, and how we can help you, no matter what level of experience you’re at.

The origins of sewing

A simple piece of thread and an iron needle probably wouldn’t strike you as being a particularly revolutionary idea at any point in time, but there was a time thousands of years ago when both of these were welcome inventions. The act of using a needle and thread dates back to the prehistoric era. Archaeologists believe that during the last ice age almost 25,000 years ago, man would sew fur, hide, skin and bark together for clothing using a needle and thread. Needles with eyes made of animal bones, ivory and antler have been discovered, and sewing thread was originally made from sinew, veins, plant fiber and catgut as a single strand.

This eventually evolved into fibers from plants and animals that could be spun together to form a stronger thread. It is also claimed that Egyptians spun threads together using fibers from plants and wool and hair from domestic animals, and developed methods of dyeing the threads with different colours using berries and other plant ingredients. Later on, the Chinese and Japanese developed the process of spinning silk threads from the cocoons of silkworms.

Of course, if you attend a KAE sewing course in 2016 you wouldn’t be expected to work on all of your projects by hand, our courses will primarily teach you how to be handy with a sewing machine. The first complete, functioning sewing machine dates back to the 1790s, built by British inventor Thomas Saint.

Sewing with KAE

Now you know a bit more about the history of sewing, it’s time to look at the present and find out more about what our sewing courses can do for you.

Our courses are designed for all levels and needs. Whether you’re a beginner, looking to improve your skills, or consider yourself ready to become an advanced sewer, we have the course for you. The skills and techniques you pick up on a sewing course will not only serve you well in everyday life, but also for other KAE courses. If you’re interested in some of our other courses such as furniture restoration, upholstery or textiles, wouldn’t it be useful to come prepared with sewing skills?

If you would like to try out a sewing course before you commit to enrolling on it, we have a number of taster courses coming up for you to try your hand and find out if it’s for you.

Perhaps you’d like to find out more about the tutors that you would be working with on a KAE course? Take a look at our recent interview with one of our sewing tutors, Tracey Usher to find out how she got her passion for sewing, and what inspired her to teach sewing once she had honed her skills. Tracey has had a fantastic career and has worked as a costume maker on stage productions including The Lion King and Beauty & The Beast, maybe you’ll find yourself doing the same one day.

Top tips for beginners

If you are a beginner to sewing and are looking for some handy tips, tricks and ideas, look no further than our fantastic Pinterest board. The new board is filled with guides, project ideas, and inspirations for both beginner and amateur sewers.

Sewing Pinterest

Have we convinced you to pick up a needle and thread and have a go? Take a look at our sewing courses by clicking the button below.

Sewing courses

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