A simple and easily used item used by sewists who make clothing apparel on sewing machines is a tailor’s tape measure. This long, narrow tape gives you the ability to accurately measure the garments you make on quality sewing machines like the Juki TL20000Qi and fit them to the wearer. From their humble beginnings, tailor's tape measures have become a sewing kit essential to every dedicated sewist.
The Very First Measuring Tapes
Technically speaking, measuring devices similar to the modern tailor’s tape measure were used back in the days of Rome when measurements were made using marked strips of leather. Yet the current tape measure used today for projects created using sewing machines did not come into existence until much later.
Complex Techniques Replaced by Humble Idea
Although it would be a while before the cloth measuring tape used by sewists who work on Juki sewing machines would be invented, its basic idea came about quite humbly. It originated as a simpler solution to measuring the human body.
Tailors in the 1700’s used many different and convoluted ways to measure the body to fit clothing. Each method had its own flaws and none of the measuring methods were particularly easy. As most of these techniques used complex formulas and calculations plus lacked a standardized way to take measurements, those who made clothing were always trying to come up with a better, easier, and more accurate way to do just that.
Francois de Garsault and L'art du Tailleur
It was not until 1769 that French tailor Francois de Garsault published his book, L'art du Tailleur, describing his tailoring techniques. One of his methods was how he measured and fit clothing. The measurement tool he used was described as a long strip of paper marked with notches and metric marks. The paper was easy to use, followed the body contours, and gave him a consistent tool to use in the production of garments.
Paper Measure Changes Garment Industry
Between his revolutionary measuring techniques and his paper measuring tool that was illustrated in his book, de Garsault changed the tailoring industry significantly in the following years. Many people took this idea and used it with their own measurement systems to prevent others from copying their measure or clothing designs.
By the turn of the century, this tool had been widely adopted and adapted until it was eventually introduced in Britain. At this point, it was made of cloth and had a standard measurement system. From then on, tailors used cloth tape measures as well as other measuring tools like compasses and straight rulers to create well-fitted garments such as those you might sew on your Juki TL20000Qi.
A tailor’s tape measure is one of the simplest, yet most important tools used to measure garments created on sewing machines. Whether you are a beginner working on a basic machine or an experienced sewist using quality Juki sewing machines like the Juki TL20000Qi, you will frequently use a tape measure. This humble, yet revolutionary tool will help you make custom sewn garments that will fit the wearer perfectly. A tape measure is an item that should be in every sewing kit!