Cloth Napkin Making Using Industrial Sewing Machines

cloth napkin making
In my visit to a garment factory, I have seen that the factory was making cloth napkins for hospitals (healthcare). In a separate section, a couple of sewing operators were stitching a large number of napkins.

In their set-up, one single operator was stitching the whole napkin. If you have seen the regular napkins made of cloth, there is not much stitching work. An operator needs to hem all four edges of the Napkin.

Each operator receives bundles of cut pieces from the cutting section in trollies. In the cutting section, workers spread the fabric layer on a cutting table. Then a cutter cut the fabric in square blocks as per napkin size. The cut size is a little higher than the finished napkin size. For cutting napkin pieces, the factory uses straight knife cutting machines.

Though the factory uses progressive bundle production system in the garment stitching lines, in napkin making section, they do not need to follow the progressive bundle system. Individual operators can complete the stitching of the whole piece. I have shared the stitching method in the following video. 

Video Credit: Ly Houn

In this video, you can see the operator is using a single needle lock machine to hem napkin edges. The napkin size shown in this video is 20 x 20 inches. 

A folding device (attachment called as hemmer) is used for folding the fabric edge before stitching the seam. This attachment helps the operator maintain equal width of the seam and the operator can sew at a higher speed.

If you observe the video, the operator is taking around 30 seconds to complete making one napkin. The operator is doing backtack stitching on the four corners. Backtacking is necessary to secure the stitches on the seam. One more thing needs to observe carefully that the operator is not stitching the napkin edges in a sequence, instead of that, the operator is stitching parallel edges like this: First edge - third edge - second edge - then the fourth edge. Bartacking is done in sewing the second edge and the fourth edge of the napkin. 

The operator is using a trimmer for cutting the thread after stitching each edge. By using an under-bed trimmer (UBT) machine, thread trimming can be cut by the sewing machine. 

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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