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The world's first domestic sewing machine for the right-handed user

Teacher / Consumer Support

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By Noelene Matthews

 

Being a left hander myself, I do remember operating a sewing machine with reasonable ease in my year 8 sewing class many, many years ago. As a teacher I have occasionally thought when viewing some students who were experiencing difficulty that it was a bit easier for me being a left hander. Simple things like placing the bulk of the fabric to the left of the needle seemed perfectly natural while lots of students would place it to the right of the needle and explain that they felt they had more control (Fine until they had more than a small sample to sew!). I know that throughout my years in textile classes some students looked more awkward than others when learning to operate the sewing machine, however I never questioned or gave any thought to the machine configuration being more suited to the left or right handed person.

 

Well someone has and his name is Rex Pulkon. You can find out more about him and his invention on the above web-site.

 

When the original sewing machine was invented, it was of course operated by a hand crank and thus the crank was placed on the right side to suit the stronger right arm of the majority of the population who were right handed. The controls on the right hand side were also easily operated by the right hand and the fabric control and manipulation was carried out by the non-dominant left hand. When the hand crank was replaced by the treadle and eventually electricity why was the configuration not reversed? Check out this web-site for the answer.

 

This website includes interesting historical facts, along with video footage of a machine for the right handed. Although the machine is not currently available for sale it is sure to be available soon. The expected market is unlikely to be experienced right handed machine users who have adapted to the use of the current machines, but new machine uses such as school students or adult non-sewers.

 

Regardless of the final outcome, this site is certainly worth a look. A real case of the technology process in action and how the influence of history can be long lasting.

see also Industry Support

At last, the world's first USER-FRIENDLY domestic sewing machine for the right-handed user

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