We’ve been so fortunate to have had several visitors share their expertise with our training class recently. The experience and skills that each visitor shares has helped to create such a vibrant and lively learning environment!
Theresa, from Australia, was in Bangalore for several months and contacted us, eager to come in and learn more about our unit. With a lot of experience in both hands-on tailoring and the business side of garment production, we were the first fair trade unit she had spent time in and it was very interesting for all of us to learn about the differences between the way we work and the conventional garment sector. Initially set to spend time with each group in the unit – training, pattern cutting, stitching and finishing – Theresa enjoyed the training so much that she chose to get stuck in with them fully for the time that she was here.
As a skilled seamstress herself, Theresa was quick to identify really crucial basic skills that the trainees needed to work on, such as using a measuring tape correctly and being able to sew with more precision. By the end of her all-too-short time at Jacobs Well, Theresa had the group stitching neat circles, squares and straight lines, plus she designed a fun ‘test’ project of stitching a miniature sari blouse, which required a great combination of creativity and accuracy. Thank you for all your help, Theresa – it was fantastic to have you here!
Sam and her business partner Lina came to Jacobs Well in October to work on samples for their product line, launching in New Zealand next year. By the time they got to Bangalore they had already spent a while in other parts of India, visiting organic cotton farms in the north and getting to know more about the industry and the communities impacted by organic farming. Lina was able to be in Bangalore for a week to see their initial samples start to take shape, while Sam has stayed on for a couple more weeks to oversee further product developments and get to know Jacobs Well even better.
With strong skills in operations and process management, Sam has been a huge help to the unit, overseeing new supply management systems and teaching us incredibly useful tricks like how to measure fabrics by weight rather than opening it all out to measure by hand every time. She has also spent a lot of time with the trainees, working with them on the accuracy of their cutting and sewing. As a great practical task to highlight the importance of these skills, the trainees have been cutting squares from the leftover scrap fabrics in the production unit and assembling them into small baby quilts. They look fantastic, and the trainees have been so satisfied to see their work result in something both beautiful and functional! The fact that it’s upcycling waste fabrics is a huge added bonus and something we’ve been really keen to work on at the unit.
Thank you, Sam! We’re looking forward to working on your garments and having you and Lina back again next year!