THE RUNNING STITCH MACHINES

The Running Stitch, also referred to as Straight Stitch, is one of the basic hand sewing and embroidery technique on which most other forms of stitching and embroidery are based. The procedure for working the stitch involves inserting the needle into a fabric and taking it out at small intervals.The length of each stitch may vary depending on the purpose it is used for, but generally the thread is more visible on the right side of the fabric compared to the wrong side

 

Running Stitch Uses

It is one of the most popular stitches used for a wide range of purposes starting from garment making to embroidering various articles like pillow covers, dresses, scarves, blankets, purses, lamp shades, curtains, table mats and bed covers.It is also used for appliqué making and hemming the sides of handmade fabric materials to give them a smother finish. Running stitch is often used for making leather articles such as jackets, belts and bags.

 

Running Stitch Variations

Its variations allow you to create designer patterns using this one simple stitching method. The most popular varieties include:

Double Running Stitch or Holbein Stitch – Double Running Stitch simply means working a second line of Running Stitches over the first one make a solid stitch line. You need to work the second row in the reverse direction, placing the stitches between those of the previous pass so that there are no open spaces in between each stitch. The Double Running Stitch ideal for embroidery outlining as it produces a single bold stitching line.

Basting Stitch – It is sometimes referred to as the Tailor’s Tack and involves making long Running Stitches mainly used for holding 2 pieces of fabric together. It is commonly used in dressmaking to roughly sew the pieces together to hold them in place during the final sewing.

Darning Stitch – Closely spaced parallel lines of Running Stitch, used as a decoration or for repairing worn out or torn areas of a fabric is known as Darning Stitch.

Double Darning Stitch – When the Darning Stitch is worked using the Double Running Stitch, it is referred to as Double Darning Stitch. This stitch has closely spaced parallel solid stitching lines which makes it perfect for embroidery borders.

 

THE RUNNING STITCH MACHINES' CHRONOLOGY

Although Bean’s patent (US 2.982) and Rodgers’ patent (US 3.672) running-stitch machines, the second and fourth U.S. sewing-machine patents, experienced little commercial success, small manufactured machines based on Aaron Palmer’s patent of May 13, 1862  (US 35.252), were popular in the 1860s.

US 35.252  AARON  PALMER  (May 13, 1862)
US 35.252 AARON PALMER (May 13, 1862)

The patent model above is a small brass implement with crimping gears that forced the fabric onto an ordinary sewing needle. The full needle was then removed from its position and the thread was pulled through the fabric by hand.

One of the early commercial manufacturers of the Palmer patent was Madame Demorest, a New York dressmaker. She advertised her Fairy sewing machine in Godey’s Lady’s Book, vol. 66, 1863 and stated:

In the first place it will attract attention from its diminutive, fairy-like size and with the same ease with which it can be carried, an important matter to a seamstress or dressmaker employed from house to house ... What no other sewing machine attempts to do, it runs and does not stitch, it sews the more delicate materials an ordinary sewing machine cuts or draws....”

The Fairy sewing machine sold for five dollars and was adequate for its advertised purpose, sewing or running very lightweight fabrics. The machine was marked with the Palmer patent, the date May 13, 1862 and the name “Mme. Demorest.”

DEMOREST
DEMOREST

 

A machine identical to the Fairy, but bearing both Palmer patent dates, May 13, 1862 and June 19, 1863 and the name “Gold Medal,” was manufactured by a less-scrupulous company.

1866
1866

This machine was advertised as follows:

“A first class sewing machine, handsomely ornamented, with all working parts silver plated. Put up in a highly polished mahogany case, packed ready for shipment. Price $10.00. This machine uses a common sewing needle, is very simple. A child can operate it. Cash with order”.

Some buyers felt they were swindled, as they had expected a heavy-duty machine, but no recourse could be taken against the advertiser. Similar machines were also manufactured under the name “Little Gem” and " Family Gem". 

FAMILY GEM
FAMILY GEM
1866
1866

US 35.252    (May 13, 1862)   Aaron Palmer
US 38.837    (June  9, 1863)   Aaron Palmer

 

Running-stitch machines were also attempted by several other inventors. Shaw & Clark, manufacturers of chainstitch machines, patented this running-stitch machine on April 21, 1863 (US  38.246). From the appearance of the patent model, it was already in commercial production. 

Shaw & Clark Running Stitch Machine
Shaw & Clark Running Stitch Machine

 

 

On May 26, 1863, John D. Dale also received a patent (US 38.658) for an improvement related to the method of holding the needle and regulating the stitches in a running-stitch machine. Dale’s patent model was a commercial machine. He also received a second patent (US 44.686) on October 11, 1864.

John D. Dale  Running Stitch Machine
John D. Dale Running Stitch Machine

John Heberling patented several improvements in 1878 and 1880. His machine, which was a little larger and in appearance resembled a more conventional type of sewing machine, was a commercial success.

Heberling John       US  204.604       Sewing Machine         June  4, 1878

Heberling John       US  227.249       Sewing Machine          May  4, 1880

Heberling John       US  227.525       Sewing Machine          May 11, 1880

 

 

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