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Sewing can be described simply as the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with needle and thread. It is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic Era. Although usually associated with clothing and household linens, sewing is used in a variety of crafts and industries, including shoemaking, upholstery, sailmaking, bookbinding and the manufacturing of some kinds of sporting goods. Sewing is the fundamental process underlying a variety of textile arts and crafts, including embroidery, tapestry, quilting, appliqué and patchwork.
For thousands of years, all sewing was done by hand. The invention of the sewing machine in the 19th century and the rise of computerization in the later 20th century led to mass production of sewn objects, but hand sewing is still practiced around the world. Fine hand sewing is characteristic of high-quality tailoring, haute couture fashion, and custom dressmaking, and is pursued by both textile artists and hobbyists as a means of creative expression.
Whether the object to be sewn is made of leather, fabric, paper, or plastic, the basic components of sewing are the same: stitches and seams.
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