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Renovating the wheel
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My mother makes quilted blankets for charity along with many other women. Each resultant blanket, or quilt, or duvet, whatever you call it, consists of a layer of fabric on each side, sandwiching a thicker, fluffier filler material in the center, which can be wool or a synthetic equivalent, and this
gives the blanket much warmth. They stitch right through the blanket with yarn by hand, so that this inner filler material is held in place. These stitches are separate from each other; it is not a continuous thread from one stitch to the other, but rather they double-stitch through, then cut the yarn and tie it each time. The pattern of these stitches is a grid which covers the entire blanket, with a space of a few inches between each one.
So, there are a lot of them and this is the most time-consuming phase of making a blanket. What would speed the whole process would be a machine which performed this stitching for them. It could even be something other than the yarn, but it must not be uncomfortable to user of the blanket and must be durable over many years of use. So, metal staples are out. Perhaps some type of "button" which pierces through and locks to a corresponding button on the other side. Dunno...
I hoped something in the upholstery industry might be available, but an inquiry at one shop which sells upholstery machines yielded nothing. Not that I think they know everything. I also searched a wee bit online, but found nothing. So, maybe someone can point me in the right direction, or come up with an invention or at least a good idea for one. Not sure how commercial duvets are made, but I should take a look next time I see one.
you might find something here...
[xandram, Jan 31 2011]
Tying a quit by machine.
Doesn't look exactly like hand-tying, but this is what people use -- just a tight zigzag stich back and forth. [jutta, Aug 04 2012]
Bonding with heat instead of stitches. [jurist, Aug 05 2012]
Hot Melt Sewing Machine
This machine might work on certain types of quilts with a polyester-type outer fabric sandwiching a fusible batting. [jurist, Aug 05 2012]
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||so this isn't a personal idea/invention but a consumer question?
||I've no idea but I imagine that the soft buttons on mattresses are sewn on by machine!?
||If these quilts are made for charity, surely most of the value
is in the effort put in by the quilt-makers?
||In which case, this is like saying "My friend is being sponsored
to run a marathon. A motor car would enable him to do this
far more efficiently."
||I imagine these handmade ones are quire valuable. my friend made me one and it was too nice to let the animals sleep on it so I hung it on the wall.
||Perhaps a sailmaker could be of help.
||// imagine these handmade ones are quire valuable//
But a quire is only one 20th of a ream - that isn't very valuable at all.
||I remember having a machine-made quilted bedspread in the mid-1970's which used a thermal bonding technique to replace hand stitching in quite elaborate patterns. Perhaps you could adapt that technique. I have attached a link which alludes to the process, but doesn't really adequately describe the precise equipment needed and how a home quilter might procure and operate it. [link] (As an aside, the quilt itself was inexpensive but fulfilled its purpose and lasted longer than the marriage for which it was purchased.)