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Sewing and Education in Puerto Rico

In most parts of the United States in the 1920s, sewing was part of the education of all young girls, whether in classes at school or at home. Needlework of all kinds--knitting, crocheting and embroidery--and the use of sewing machines were seen as a material way for a young girl to help support her family. Many working women found jobs in textile mills and garment factories to support themselves and add to their family incomes, both on the island and in "the States." Poorer women took in piecework at home, and were often involved in the labor-intensive production of handmade garments that only the wealthy could afford.

Needlework was not only a utilitarian pursuit. Sewing allowed young girls to express themselves artistically, and to learn concentration, attention to detail, and discipline. These qualities had many applications in life beyond the specifics of a damask tablecloth or a well-made dress.

 

 

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The manufacturing process


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