Asheville-based manufacturer Diamond Brand Gear, is part of the launch of an industrial sewing program for Western North Carolina sewing manufacturers. The program is part of the brand’s efforts to revive the art of sewing that used to permeate the area, said DBG.
The course is a result of a collaboration between more than 20 WNC manufacturers, funding from the Carolina Textile District, and the support of Blue Ridge Community College and AB-Technical Community College. Lauren Rash, COO of Diamond Brand Gear and the catalyst for the program, said the collaboration was key to making the program a success.
Courses will follow a curriculum developed by the Maker’s Coalition and Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center. Free for all incumbent workers, the courses will well-equip them for a career in sewing post-graduation. Students will learn sewing terms, fabric structures and types, how to read tech packs, and basic sewing skills and techniques for industrial straight stitch, coverstitch, and overlock machine.
“As a region, we’ve lost many of our sewing skills, and we feel it is important to bring the craft back to the area where so many cut and sew businesses are setting up shop,” stated Rash. “Diamond Brand Gear recognized the need for workforce development and approached it in a collaborative effort to help the sewing community at large.”
The first course will be taught Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. from October 1 to December 19 at Blue Ridge Community College. The second course will be offered in the spring at AB Tech. While the first course will be offered only to employed individuals and incumbent workers, the second course will be open to both incumbent workers and, for a nominal fee, non-employed individuals. Both courses will be offered in both English and Spanish, and all materials and tools will be provided.
Anyone interested in a career in sewing is welcome to reach out to Diamond Brand Gear or any of their Carolina Textile District partners. For participant inquiries, please email Lauren Rash at firstname.lastname@example.org.