Let's get it
Most domestic appliances require and employ an operator. When designing and manufacturing such an appliance, ergonomics dictate that all is done to produce the maximum level of 'user-friendliness' within the design, for the benefit of its user or operator.
(The user-friendly way to have more people sewing)
Design integrity must also recognize and consider that users and operators, are both left and right handed. Whilst using the appliance, in order to adequately carry out all of the functions demanding dexterity, it is essential for the working area to be placed in front of the dominant hand.
If an appliance, such as a domestic sewing machine, is to be 'user-friendly' for both the left and right handed operator, its bias within the design, naturally has to face off to both the left and the right, in order to place the working area in a 'user-friendly' manner for the preferred hand.
Currently, the bias of the domestic sewing machine faces off to the left and therefore favours the left-handed operator (8-10% of users). To cater for all sewers (100% of the market), it is imperative to have a choice of configurations.
Until this is achieved, manufacturers inadvertently, will continue to deprive the right- handed operator of a 'user-friendly' design. Of course users can 'adapt'; of course sewers can make do, but design integrity for all consumers, demands an appliance without favour.
The oversight that produced the ergonomic anomaly (the placing of the hand-crank to the right), within the current design of the domestic sewing machine, has more than outlived its 'used by date' and producers of machines, more than ever, need to recognize the benefit of catering for both left and right-handed users.
The first into the marketplace with this exclusive innovation can change the dynamics of the industry for years to come and reap the appropriate rewards. Manufacturers therefore, of domestic machines world-wide, have a unique and exciting opportunity to enter the market with a configuration that will appeal to all new right-handed sewers, as well as catering for millions of existing users who find the present design extremely awkward.
This change of configuration is a marketing breakthrough, as it means users now have a choice of either, a right, or left-handed sewing machine. This choice provides a manufacturer with a compelling differentiation in the market. Marketers and sales people therefore, will be able to offer future sewers a choice of designs that would suit their dominant hand.
The whole purpose of my proposal to reverse the configuration of the domestic machine is to satisfy the user / operator, not to change the machine's function. Sewing machines need not only to satisfy their various functions, look good, be portable, affordable and reliable but also need primarily to provide 'ease of use'. What is easy for the right-handed operator is awkward for the left-hander and vice versa.
In order to market to 100% of prospective consumers, in a user-friendly manner, manufacturers need to provide a choice of configurations. Sadly, the existing bias unwittingly only appeals ergonomically, to 8-10% of the market who happened to be left-handed. Right-handers have assumed the present designs to be best for them and have accepted the bias without question! The way to have more people sewing (more sales), industry must offer an appliance that appeals to all, not just some.
Of course, both hands are in use during the operation of the machine, but the majority of, if not all functions that demand dexterity, are currently more ably carried out by the left-handed operator.
Any demonstration on today's domestic machine clearly shows that the right-handed operator needs to adapt continually to its configuration.
It is precisely this problem that brought about this proposal, so 'let's get it right' and have more people sewing?
Naturally, due to the changing demands of the industrial unit, it has been necessary to configure the machines to suit each particular function, and there have been numerous examples of reversing the head to satisfy the need to enable the machine to perform a specific operation.
Overlockers have faced each other to work in tandem.
Blind stitch machines have been reversed to deal with left and right hand lapels on suits.
Hemming machines have been changed to work both sides of a job in hand etc.
All of the changes, however, have been made to cater for the function or operation of the machine, not the operator.
At the outset of this venture it was very clear that, in order to clarify the reasoning behind this proposed change, an operational and market distinction needed to be made between the commercial and domestic industries.
The manufacturers of industrial machines produce large, powerful, single function units costing thousands of dollars, and which are designed specifically for the commercial market and to carry out one particular function.
Conversely, the makers of the domestic sewing machine produce a multifunctional unit that is comparatively small, portable and priced to suit the family budget, and is designed to carry out a large variety of functions to complete all of the necessary operations involved in constructing a garment from beginning to end.
It is the obvious contrast of size, function and cost that places industrial and domestic machines in two entirely different markets.
Manufacturers, consumers and patent offices throughout the world concur with this difference and patent offices, particularly, have agreed that our application is confined only to the domestic market and it can be clearly shown, therefore, that the reason for the proposed change has not previously been considered and is most certainly not in the public domain.
The very nature of the household machine demands a high level of dexterity in order to carry out approximately 12-16 different functions that should rely on the use of the natural hand.
Hence the reason behind the proposed change.
During the past 40 years, including 20 years as Australia’s leading single independent retailer of domestic sewing machines, Associated Appliance Company conducted many thousands of sales, product demonstrations, lessons, and repairs of the domestic sewing machine. The consistent anomaly that has been ever present with the users of the domestic sewing machine, is that because the configuration places the working area in front of the left hand, the right-hander always has to adapt. Thousands of observations have shown that the working area for the majority of operators should be placed in front of the appropriate hand on the right side. Once the anomaly is identified there has been a unanimous awareness that the orientation is back to front.
Associated Appliance Company has received enthusiastic support from many key players in the Australian market for the invention. Many market participants believe there will be a strong demand globally for the right-handed sewing machine.
The next stage in development is commercialisation through selling licensing rights to sewing machine manufacturers in countries where Patents have been fully Granted. Commercialisation of the invention will improve ease of use by the majority of the user population. Approximately 85-90% of the population is right-handed. Monopoly rights to the right-handed configuration will also give a manufacturer a significant basis for competitive differentiation, the ability to stimulate new sales, and to capture market share. The proposed business model is to license the commercialisation rights to sewing machine manufacturers and derive income through the following:
An expert advisory firm has been engaged to assist in this commercialisation phase and currently expressions of interest are being invited from the manufacturing industry.