It’s about scale

Let’s see.  Some things that I have learned this week.

1.  Treadle sewing machines are in need.  I think that, to a “T”, all of the teams in AF see the need for them.  They are a game changer.

2.  They would need to be sustainable.  I don’t know about you. but I look forward to a time when there are fewer or little or no US Forces in Afghanistan.  So, local parts, local repairs, local services for the machines will be important over the longer term

3.  There are a bunch of others working on putting more sewing and fiber-related goods into Afghanistan, in support of the CSTs and FETs.  Check here to see. They have a whole other scale of effort underway.

4.  And yes, there are folks looking at the economic aspects of it, too.  Like Thunderbird.  Really — that Thunderbird.

5.  it’s way to hot here.  I went for a run last night, leaving around 8pm, and it was still 107 degrees.  10 miles and some time later, after I’d cleaning up, it was still 97 degrees.

So, that’s what’s weighing on my mind these days.  Bundles, super secret projects (#6 should kick off in about a week), and sewing machines.  Oh, and that work these — there are still some angry / pissed off / violent people here in Baghdad, and we’re doing our best to help our battle buddies in the Iraqi Security Forces as they work to advance the security both of the city and the region.  Never a dull day, never a dull day….

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4 Responses to “It’s about scale”

  1. Pat in Washington Says:

    Thank you for the link to Clara’s Calling website. What a fabulous effort! I know my grandmothers and probably great-grandmothers all sewed on treadle sewing machines. I always wanted one just because I thought it could be fun to have one if the power went out. Getting treadle sewing machines to the Afghan women so they can have a means to sew for their families and to support themselves is such an excellent idea!

  2. Sharon Austin Says:

    Wonderful to see how many programs are working towards this common goal of making lives better for Afghanistan women. Makes me proud to be part of the effort!!

  3. Magpie Sue Says:

    I’ve been reading some of the older posts, catching up, and I have to say to the FET’s: “YOU ROCK!” Would that we could get more of them on the ground, with translators.

    Wish I had some useful input regarding sewing machines. The issue of maintainence is a biggie. The comment about getting used machines from India seemed like a good idea. I wonder if China also has non-electric machines they would part with? The thorn is how to connect with someone in either country who would be willing and able to help… and then transportation. Yup, you’ve picked a mighty big whale to hunt. ;- )

  4. Dottie Says:

    Have you considered hand-crank machines? They would be easier to transport in portable cases. Old black straight-stitch Singers are inexpensive and sturdy, and parts seem to be available world-wide. If the Singer has a bolt-on motor, one can purchase an aftermarket geared crank that bolts on where the motor was fastened, with a spoked handwheel to replace the solid handwheel. (Sometimes the bobbin winder needs a bit of fiddling in order to work, depending on the model of the machine.)

    The UK charity Tools For Self Reliance – – sends machines to Africa, and has posted extensive information about refurbishing machines. And Treadleon – – has an article about handcrank conversion.

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