The Lost Art of Sewing

As part of our continuing series with the New York Times, we profile homespun designer Jan Erickson of Janska.

Colleen DeBaise By Colleen DeBaise

In honor of Fashion Week, today we’re profiling Jan Erickson of Janska, a Colorado Springs, Colo., clothing company that makes comfortable, colorful apparel right here in the United States.

Erickson is committed to revitalizing the craft of sewing, which pretty much died out in this country two decades ago, when most clothing companies began outsourcing their manufacturing to overseas operations. Today, a growing number of designers want to make their clothing in the U.S., but there are too few sewers left who are properly trained in the field. “It’s not just getting people who have a home economics class,” she says. “It’s finding more commercial sewers who can operate all sorts of different sewing machines, and be quite fast and accurate.”

Sewing, Erickson says, is an underappreciated art. “If you look at any piece of clothing in your closet, somebody cut all the pieces and then somebody sewed all those pieces together,” she says. “I am sometimes just blown away.” Erickson takes pride in the work her 14 sewers do at Janska’s factory. “We put that intention of love and care and comfort into the clothing,” she says. “I think that is what people are picking up on.”

See more of Erickson’s story on the New York Times or on our site here. And watch her video below.

Posted: September 9, 2014

Colleen DeBaiseThe Lost Art of Sewing