by Alexa Francisco
In our previous update (find it here), we introduced you to the newest member of our family, the Juki LH3528A. She’s a double-needle, double-bobbin industrial sewing machine that creates the even top-stitch you’ll find holding together the panels of whatever hat you wear, be it trucker, baseball, or flat brim.
Over the past week in getting to know the Juki, my suspicions have been confirmed- she is indeed, a fickle bitch of a machine.
It's no secret that there is a complete lack of transparency plaguing the modern business world. We think it's bullshit, and have been inspired to create a video series called “Behind the Screens” as a means to remedy this issue. As we learn the ins and outs of running a sustainable business, we hope to inspire others and spread lessons learned along the way by documenting the process (with some adventure thrown in too, of course).
And what makes it even more tough to deal with is that it’s seemingly impossible to find any information on its operation besides what’s in the manual, which, honestly seems like it was written in sparse code for a mechanical engineer- not a small-batch seamstress like myself.
This is just one example of the many challenges we have to face head-on if we’re going to run this business according to our own rules. So I’m going to keep at it, and within the next week or so will have a video of her up and running. Hopefully, a hat being constructed underneath and victory brew resting on the table.
To add to that, we managed to get our hands on yet another machine that was on our checklist- the Passap Duomatic 80 knitting machine. This is for all the beanie lovers out there! Now I’ll be able to make them at a manufacturing speed which is badass and also means that we can officially make all the products we want for Grandeur in-house!
After the machines are mastered, of course…
Originally we were looking for partners in sourcing, however, month after month we kept running into issues. Either the product being made wasn't up to standard or it didn’t make sense for us to engage in from a small-business perspective. That’s when we decided to look into what it would take to make our products ourselves.
We decided I had enough skill to handle the machines we would need to operate and decided to commit to in-house production. An effort to preserve all in which we care about- morals, craftsmanship, ethics, etc...
Small-batch hatmaking isn’t much of a thing at the moment because there are a lot of moving pieces and there are many improvements to be made as far as materials used are concerned. Besides our sheer love of hats, that’s why we’ve decided to tackle them first.
Now that we’ve gotten the proper machinery, we’re ready to take the next step forward into the production process. That means getting to know these machines like the back our hands, refining our patterns, and testing fabrics.
Writing about these things can be difficult because the only blueprint we have to go off of is what feels right to us. But we're beyond excited to take you along the journey in building Grandeur from the ground up. If there’s something specific you want to see or part of the production process that interests you, drop us a line. We won't bite, though the Juki might take your finger.
by Alexa Francisco
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