Was reading some documentation about British supplied Confederate clothing this morning. I came across a description of an original Tait coat that was discribed as being "entirely machine stitched". I would presume they didn't mean the buttonholes. This reference got me to thinking. I hate it when that happens!
First, were the British ahead of us in sewing machine tech?
Did they exploit child labor in the Irish/English clothing factories?
Could these machines top stitch heavy wool?
Were there deluxe machines (more capable) and bargan basement brands (less capable)?
Was machine work used on civilian clothing done more than military items?
Was there any capability to blanket stitch a raw edge?
Did slaves provide the power (like they did on wood lathes and stuff)?
Were the machines in factories much more capable than what a lady in Richmond might have had?
You know...questions like these.
Did they machine sew leather goods?
I do not want this to devolve into a whizzing contest over hand/vs/machine arguement...we've had enough of that already. I just wondered what COULD have been done with the existing sewing machine tech of the time.