The Sewing Machine
Kumbaya focuses on stitching on the sewing machine.
The sewing machine has an immense capacity for upgradation and easy upscaling.
Industrial sewing machines can run with or without power.
They are durable, have readily available standard spare parts, are easy and low cost to maintain.
They can incorporate attachments for specialised jobs.
And all this is possible within very reasonable costs.
For an economic enterprise that works for women, the imperative is to find contemporary, competitive and professional solutions that equip women to participate in the market.
The simple sewing machine is one of the most affordable and transferable technologies available for rural women. Whether it is for women working from home or in an organised unit, it ensures production and an immediate rate of return from very low investment.
Specialised units for CAD cutting, washing, dyeing, and finishing in the nearest urban centres, are facilities today that allow the scale of production from a simple sewing machine to be magnified manifold, with no extra capital investment. These units complement fabrication units with sewing machines.
The sewing machine can deliver an unlimited product range and output, the flexibility of functions making it viable for starting ventures in rural areas. With a simple change of needle and thread it can work from chiffon and silk to leather, canvas, and from garments to bags and quilts. Products made on the sewing machine like garments, home linen and accessories have an eternal market - they are in demand all the time. No other technology allows this kind of scope in a rural area - for adaptability, elasticity in installed capacity, product range, skill, competitiveness in markets; and that is, most of all, so suitable for women.