My husband, Rusty Sieber, owner,
operater, and mechanic for Shelco
with a roll of fabric ready to be biased
When my husband worked as a cutter in a garment factory, he continually heard, “Where is that bias? Didn’t it come yet?” Those statements gave him an idea. What if read more
I made the bias close by so that it didn’t take so long to get here? In 1976, that is what he did. He found equipment, hired a contractor to build a building, and opened a bias binding business right next to our house. We named the business, Shelco, after his son, Shelby. The business thrived until the movement of the factories to overseas.
Bias binding is the edge put on many garments and decorator items, like nightgowns, blouses, dresses, and bedspreads. To make bias binding, fabric is cut on a 45 degree angle instead of straight down or across the material. The angle allows some stretch for going around corners and keeps the finished edge from looking like a twisted rope. For the bias that we make, companies provide material that matches their product.
After receiving a shipment, we place each bolt of material onto an upright rod connected to a platform that spins as the fabric is removed, something like a paper towel holder. The two edges of fabric are sewn together to make a long tube. We then pull the tube into another machine that runs it through a cutting blade at the desired angle. After being cut, the fabric winds up automatically onto a cardboard tube.
Former employee, Dianne Kerstetter,
sewing the two edges together
Removing the roll of bias material, we continue by
inserting it onto a rod of another machine and raise a spinning circular blade to cut the roll. After the entire roll is sliced, we remove the rolls of bias binding and wrap them in paper or pack them in a box for shipping back to the customer.
|Material being cut|
on a 45 degree angle
|Slicing the roll|
|A roll of bias binding and Sandy Hart, a former employee,|
wrapping a rolls for shipping
As stated in my last blog, no garment factories exist in our area any longer. We still make bias for motel furnishings and Amish bonnets. Our business is still operating because the building and the machinery are paid for and the only overhead is electricity and heat which can be turned off when no one is working there. The little bit of work we still receive my husband does by himself.