textile

Textile factory. Flag factory. I think about the time where women used to buy bolts of fabric and make clothes out of them. I don't know if I could ever rely on doing that for myself. I'm sure there are still folks out there who continue to do that, but I'm sure they have become increasingly rare. I'm not sure why we seem to have strayed away from this self-sustainability and independence. Polyester and cotton patterns, all different colors and textures. My Nonna and Zia used to do this. They had an old Singer sewing machine, operated by this wrought iron (steel?) foot pump. It was this giant rectangle. And the machine always just seemed a marvel to me. It was huge and full of unknowns. Something I never dreamed of or felt comfortable using. It would hum and come to life when used. There were no electrical components. It was all self-operated and energized. Black / brown with golden lettering I think. There was a place for the thread to go so that it would spool and go through the machine so that pants could be hemmed, dresses could be let out, and clothes could be made and stitched together. I'm not sure about the originating story of the Singer sewing machine; I'll have to ask my mom about that - It's possible I've already been told but forgot. I'm assuming it was purchased here in the States; It would've overwhelming to lug that all the way from Sicily. And I'm pretty sure Singer was made in the states. But many a time we'd call on Nonna or Zia Angelina to do a little sewing for us, and I like to think they always did it was joy and pride and love. Self-reliance. Ignoring arthritic fingers. Humming songs to themselves. Songs from Sicily, songs from Italy. Would they keep their rings on or off? How long would the spend over this sewing machine, pumping the pedal? Where would they buy their fabrics? When we cleaned out Nonna's house, you couldn't imagine all the fabric and buttons and thread we found. We ended up donating a lot of it to the local nuns. I hope they used it and continue to use it, or gave it to someone who could. There is a pushing forward motion that happens with the sewing machine. You take hold of the fabric with both hands and both sides, and push it through where the noisy needle does its work. 

Author: Roe

29. she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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