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Ergonomic Improvements in Textile Industry

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Apparel manufacturing is a labor-intensive assembly line process requiring significant amounts of repetitive and skilled manipulations. Therefore, like any other manufacturing industry, it has its own share of ergonomic problems where poorly designed and unorganized workstations contribute to musculoskeletal discomfort among the sewing operators. Research has found that ergonomic interventions including redesign and proper adjustment of workstations, use of ergonomically-designed seating, and training in low-risk methods and posture substantially improve workers’ efficiency.

Button Holing Machine


  • Button holing machines are primarily variations of zigzag lockstitch machines or zigzag chain stitch machines with clamp feed systems for feeding material. Similar to button sewing in earlier generations of buttonholing machines, the x-y direction movement of fabric clamp was controlled by cam-follower driven mechanism, resulting in long machine setup time during changing of the shape of the button
  • Nowadays, the x-y direction movement of fabric clamp is controlled by microprocessor-based drives, which require no physical change of cam. With the press of a button, different shapes of buttonholes can be made in the same
  • One very important change from the past is no change of blade required for different lengths Earlier with the change of length of buttonhole cutting blade size was also required to be changed; this resulted in machine downtime. Now one small size blade does the cutting by multiple cutting strokes along the length of the button.
  • Auto-lifter is present in many models that use a new stepping-motor system reducing operator fatigue. It is also possible to change over the stroke of the auto-lifter from a one-step stroke to a double-step stroke, which offers easier positioning of a material on the machine.
  • In the past there was clear difference between straight buttonholing and eyelet buttonholing machines, while the straight buttonhole machines are lockstitch type with cutting happening after sewing of buttonhole, eyelet buttonhole machines were chainstitch machines with the cut-before or cut-after mechanism. However, with electronic shape control mechanism and having multiple blade options in one cutting block, straight buttonhole machines are offering unlimited choices.
  • Other important features that improved the quality and performance of buttonhole are separate upper and lower thread tension control mechanism, tacking or stabilising stitch around the cut, etc. and ergonomic and user-friendly features like integrated LED-sewing light, semi submerged sewing head,
  • The “active tension” (electronic thread tension mechanism), enables not only duplicating the same sewing conditions with ease but also of ensuring upgraded seam quality with
  • One very important change from past is no change of blade required for different length of Earlier with change of length of button hole cutting blade size was also required to be changed; this resulted in machine downtime.

Now one small size blade does the cutting by multiple cutting strokes along the length of button.

  • Select the machine carefully based on the product one is doing presently and also keeping the future expansion plans in mind since the machines come with variety of specifications to handle varied designs and usability. The speed of the sewing button hole can vary between 3600 – 4200 SPM with the maximum width of 4 mm – 5 mm. The length of the button hole may vary from 6 mm – 70 mm in various models available in the market, while 30 – 51 patterns are provided in the system of the operation panel as standard for easy changeover of pattern.
  • Some button holing machines are equipped with basting stitch mechanism, which is effective for button holing on elastic materials such as knits. Due to the free programming possibility and a sewing field of 6 mm x 70 mm, the fields of application are unlimited. The fine adaptation of the button hole to various materials is done at the touch of a
  • The optimized sewing kinematics guarantees an excellent stitch pattern, even with difficult Some brands not only allow a longitudinal, but also a transversal installation so that an easy change of a long and crosswise button holes can be made. Generally, the upper and lower thread trimmers were driven by one motor.
  • However, in some brands and models, the upper and lower thread trimmers operate independently. Almost every brand offers an alternate cutting device for a clean cut without pulling (chopping cut mechanism) the




  1. Integrating seat, work surface, and
  2. Maximizing functional work
  3. Optimizing ergonomics of the work
  4. Focus Sitting and standing


  1. Integrated seat with repeatable ergonomic
  2. A sloped ergonomic work surface forms around the user.
  3. Large supportive work





  1. Sitting and standing functionality


  1. Shock absorbing
  2. Height adjustable
  3. Integrated spool
  4. Contoured work surface to fit the body



  1. Standing over the work
  2. Trigger-based sewing machine
  3. Sewer holds the machine, not the fabric


  1. Fabric clamping
  2. Standing work
  3. Two-axis movable sewing Dual handles for better control.

Ergonomically Designed Sewing Workstation


The form is an innovative new ergonomic sewing workstation that reduces the risk of sewers developing repetitive stress injuries while creating a safe environment that fosters greater productivity.




  • The form uses a set of risers to allow the work surface to be adjusted between sitting and standing positions several times over the course of the workday. This adjustment plays a major role in the reduction of repetitive stress injuries in both the upper body and the lower body, while also contributing to improved general
  • This user-centered methodology has also been applied to several other areas of the workstation, such as the layout of the storage and the positioning of the spools which are in easy, the comfortable reach of the sewer.
  • The form incorporates a unique climate control system to allow sewers to adjust the temperature of their working environment to a setting that keeps them
  • Advanced, programmable settings and reminders allow businesses to send order numbers directly to the sewers and perform updates and maintenance on the machine remotely, while also allowing sewers to create individualized work plans with reminders to help prevent them from remaining in a static position for an extended period of
  • A form is an essential tool for sewers and businesses, that allows them to create a safer and more productive work environment while improving the overall quality of life for the
  • Benefits:
  • The form provides an easily adjustable and adaptable work environment that allows the sewer to take control of their workstations, making themselves more comfortable, while also reducing the risk of developing repetitive stress injuries
  • The form provides an organizational hierarchy that is superior to other products on the market, allowing sewers to easily find and reach the tools they need without compromising their long term
  • Form creates an environment that keeps sewers more comfortable through the use of a unique industry-leading climate control system which in turn allows sewers to be more productive while working.
  • The form takes advantage of modern OLED touch screens to allow sewers to quickly and easily interface with the workstation while keeping energy consumption to a minimum
  • The form uses sound deadening and vibration-absorbing panels attached to its frame structure that absorbs factory and machine noise, while also helping to reduce the vibrations that are common in current sewing workstations.
  • The form incorporates homey customizable touches such as an integrated coat hook, color, and brightness-adjustable sewing arm integrated light, as well as a message center that allows sewers to send and receive messages and calls while on break
  • Form takes advantage of the latest in direct drive sewing motor technology allowing the unit to keep energy consumption levels to a minimum, while also reducing vibration and noise
  • Form incorporates a surface access bobbin hatch that allows users to easily gain access to the bobbin without having to bend over and reach under the table

Designed for The User

The form is the first industrial sewing workstation designed with the user in mind. It focuses on providing the optimal position for the sewer while increasing their comfort through the use of its climate control system, and ergonomically designed storage solutions. Sound and vibration are kept to a minimum through the use of sound deadening and vibration-absorbing material incorporated into the frame of the workstation. Form prioritizes the long-term health and safety of its users and does not compromise.

Easily Adjustable and Customizable

The form uses electronic riser motors to allow users of all abilities to easily raise and lower the workstation to their desired height. Both lighting and climate can be controlled simply through the three OLED touch screens that display clearly the current settings and can provide help menus if needed to assist in adjustments.

Intuitive and Culturally Integrated

The form incorporates three large OLED touch screens that allow users to easily access settings and customize menus. Large, easy-to-see and understand infographic buttons are used to help improve user interfacing and to make learning how to use the machine a quicker process. Region-specific languages and formats can be chosen from the settings menu, and several control layouts are available and easily customizable based on user preference.

Universally Accessible

Form’s full range of adjustment allows users of all shapes and sizes to get comfortable while sewing. Once the sewer has become comfortable with the workstation, menus and button layouts can be customized based on the job at hand and the skill of the sewer.

Improved User Ergonomics

The large range of motion in table height allows users to choose from an infinite number of positions based on their height and whether they would prefer to sit or stand. The ergonomically tapered sewing surface allows sewers to rest their forearms on the table surface while sewing, reducing stress on the sewer’s hands, forearms, arms, shoulders, and necks. The improved placement of storage in the command center allows users to reach all of their required tools without having to reach outside of the comfortable range for the average user; improved placement of the thread spools as well as the bobbin case also aids in preventing awkward motions that may lead to repetitive stress injuries over time.

Versatile Form

Provides ample table surface to allow projects of all sizes and shapes to be supported while sewing, while also conserving factory floor space. Form’s powerful direct drive motor is also capable of sewing a variety of fabrics, from light silky fabrics to heavy leather and synthetic fabrics.

Sustainable Materials Used

The form incorporates sustainability into many aspects of its design; however, it also uses a variety of environmentally responsible processes and materials in its production. The form is constructed from a recycled aluminum frame, and uses a PaperstoneTM work surface, while the command console is constructed from recycled glass-filled ABS plastic. Where recyclable materials can’t be used, strong durable materials are used to increase the lifespan of the component and reduce the likelihood of replacement.

Reliable/Durable/Easy to Maintain

Through the use of tough materials and modular components, Form provides a solid platform for a long-lasting reliable workstation. Modularity allows old components to be easily replaced and new components to be added, making it easy to keep an old machine running, or to upgrade to a new standard. The form also takes advantage of the latest sensors and software to be able to keep track of its maintenance schedule and to perform updates and maintenance remotely.


The form is priced to compete with some of the more expensive workstations on the market; however, Form becomes much more affordable when the increased production of its sewer is taken into account and the reduction in paid disability leave a business may have to take on when sewers develop repetitive stress injuries.

Integration of New Technology Form is the only industrial sewing workstation to incorporate advanced order and messaging software accessed through three large OLED touch screens. Sewing data can be logged virtually and updates and maintenance can be performed remotely. The form is also the only industrial sewing workstation to incorporate a state-of-the-art climate control system, allowing users to set the temperature of their workstation to their preferences.

Opportunities for differently-abled

Why Does Disability Matter?

  • Because over 20 million people (according to the 2001 census), who constitute 13 percent of the country’s total population, suffer from disability in India. However, the WHO pegs this figure at 70 million – you probably already employ someone in this category and they may be among your employees.
  • Because discrimination against disabled people is not just unethical, it’s also unfair and a huge waste of human

Important Facts

  • 73 percent of the business houses do not have any CSR policies to employ physically-challenged people in their organizations
  • A 1999 survey by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People revealed that the private sector employs a mere 0.28 percent of people with disabilities, while the public sector employs 54 percent. Multinational Corporations had hired only 0.05 percent of disabled people in India.
  • With the ratification of the UN Convention on rights of persons with disabilities, the Indian government has declared its commitment to apply rights-based legislation to the private sector soon

The Business Case

Many organizations are already addressing disability, often as part of a wider diversity strategy. They recognize that diversity within their workforce brings many business benefits and is a central factor in determining efficiency, productivity, and overall business success. The case for including disabled people in a diverse workforce is compelling. Employers of disabled people have consistently found that:

  • They have been able to widen the pool of recruits, which is especially useful where the skill pool is limited or employees are in short Disabled people are as productive and reliable as other employees
  • Disabled people in work tend to have better attendance records, stay with employers longer, and have fewer accidents at work.
  • Most only require minimal and very basic adjustments at work
  • Staff morale and team development are enhanced when businesses are seen to be equal opportunity employers
  • They have been able to retain employees’ valuable skills, experience and expertise within the organization, at the same time avoiding the costs of recruiting and training new people
  • Organizations accessible to disabled customers are more accessible and appealing to all consumers and stakeholders.

Interviewers must ideally have attended disability equality or awareness training. They should be briefed on disability and the organization’s disability recruitment policy. A suggested briefing is given below. In addition, interviewers may also find it useful to have training on ‘communicating confidently with disabled job applicants’. Disability briefing for interviewers:

  1. not to discriminate against disabled
  2. not to treat disabled people less favorably than they would treat others, for reasons related to disability
  3. not to discriminate in the way arrangements for and offers of employment are made and as a result of any physical features of the premises used for employment purposes
  4. to make reasonable adjustments to remove any substantial disadvantage faced by someone with a disability or health condition, which might include allowing appropriate support or facilities for the disabled person at interview and more interview time if there is a discussion of issues related to disability and reasonable adjustments at the interview

Workplace Adjustments 

  • There are three kinds of reasonable adjustment that might need to be considered, individually or in combination:
  • Working arrangements – The way the work is done, managed or

For example, if it is not possible or extremely difficult for the employee to attend meetings away from the site, providing teleconferencing or videoconferencing is an alternative. Another example would be to allow the employee to work from home some or all of the time, in order to avoid or cut down on the health impact of traveling.

  • Working hours – Altering the times the employee works to accommodate time off for treatment or This could vary from full-time flexible working to part-time or job-share arrangements.
  • Other arrangements – This type of reasonable adjustment includes everything from equipment and personal assistance through to major alterations to the, In reality, the most common reasonable adjustments in this category are likely to be such things as orthopedic chairs, ergonomic keyboards, and computer software.

Examples of workplace adjustments 

  1. The design of a particular workplace makes it difficult for someone with a hearing impairment to hear because the main office is open-plan and has hard This substantial disadvantage, caused by the physical features of the workplace, is removed by relocating the person in an adjoining section, which is situated in a smaller, carpeted room.
  1. Before a man who is deafblind starts a new job he comes into the workplace to see what is required. He and his employer agree on what needs to be done. His employer arranges for paperwork to be provided in Braille, trains colleagues to communicate with him, and provides disability equality training to his manager and colleagues
  1. It may be appropriate to get advice and information on support from an Access Consultant or a Disability Employment Specialist. This should be done as soon as possible because the process for securing adjustments can be slow. It may also be necessary for the disabled person to return to the workplace, prior to actually starting work, to ensure that adjustments are suitable and complete

Infrastructural Accessibility 

One of the most important barriers is accessibility at the office that includes adjustment and modification of machinery and the adaptation of the work environment to provide access to the place of work, to facilitate the employment of individuals with disabilities. To make the office environment accessible, the ideal situation will be to have an environment that is universally designed. Taking a mainstream approach to disability will:

  • Help you to anticipate adjustments that will be beneficial to many people, including those with disabilities and health conditions
  • Save money on retrofitting
  • Enhance your reputation as an advanced, disability-friendly, and proactive organization or business.
  • Ensure consideration of disability becomes part of ‘business as usual.

Access Audits

An access audit is regarded as the first step towards improving accessibility. An Access audit is an important tool to identify barriers, within a building but also external areas such as play spaces, car parking, etc. The audit provides a “baseline” assessment against which initial recommendations can be made. With the results of the access report, service providers are better equipped to bring key personnel and management to specific meetings to discuss what they are able to achieve within short and long-term time frames.

The elements covered in an access audit depend on the type and nature of the environment and services under consideration. Buildings and sites vary considerably and, although there will be common elements between particular types, no two will be exactly the same. Generally, the elements covered in an Access audit include:

  1. Getting to the premises – access from road or car park, lighting, signage, surfaces, and street furniture
  2. Getting into the premises – entrance, steps, thresholds, doors, lobby/reception area, seating, and lighting
  3. Getting around the premises – corridors, doors, stairs, lifts, signage, floor surfaces, tonal contrasts, and lighting
  4. Using the services in the premises – toilets, washrooms, changing and bathrooms, bedrooms, eating areas, bar, room layout, lighting, heating, switches, handles, seating, furniture, telephone, alarm, health and safety issues, management and staff attitudes
  5. Exploring alternative ways of providing access to services – where a physical feature makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a service to be accessed. For example, offering a home service, installing a call bell for help at an approved height, providing a piece of equipment, or offering extra assistance from trained staff
  6. Getting out of the building in an emergency – fire exits, emergency routes, lighting, and warning systems and safe refuge.
  7. Communication systems – communication and instruction materials both printed and websites, training materials, manuals, instruction sheets, etc.
  • A complete accessibility audit involves visiting the venue, completing an access survey, taking photographs, and discussing other access issues with the management. It is important to ensure that the appointed body commissioned has ample experience in access auditing. It is not enough for the auditor to be a registered architect, engineer, or building surveyor.

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices are technical tools or services such as alphabet boards, text telephones, or text-to-speech conversion software used to assist people with physical or emotional disorders in performing certain actions, tasks, and activities. These can be crucial to the functioning and performance of an employee with a disability at the workplace. Below are examples of the most commonly used devices

a)  Assistive Listening Devices

Induction loop systems

Induction loop systems enhance communication for hearing aid users by reducing the background noise and amplifying useful information. There are various models available and options include portable, desk-top, under-counter, and discreet personal units, and kits that can be installed to cover individual workstations or entire meeting rooms.

Portable amplifier with headphones

The built-in or add-on microphones provide stereo sound amplification for general listening. It makes listening to conversations easier, whether in the cafeteria, in small groups, or in meetings. Some models come with an option to pick up sound from environments where an induction loop system is installed.

b)  Computer Aids

With the help of some adaptations and specialist software, most people with vision impairments are able to use office computers independently. Following is a list of the commonly used aids to enhance the accessibility of computers in the office environment.

Screen magnification lens

Magnification lenses come as plastic sheets that can be placed in front of the computer screen, and offer various levels of magnification. Some models can be clamped in front of the computer monitor. However, the magnification quality achieved using the lens is not as good as the one achieved by using screen magnification software.

Large print keyboards

There are two large print keyboards available. There is a standard size keyboard available with large print on the keys, which is 400% larger letters compared to standard keyboards. The keyboards are available in black letters with white or yellow backgrounds and white letters with black backgrounds.

Voice recognition software

Voice Recognition Software enables the user to have an alternative to typing text into a computer. This is a possible solution for people who have difficulty with their hands or who have dyslexia and is not usually the recommended option for a person who is blind or partially sighted who can learn to touch type. This is because the combination of equipment that is required to make the voice in and voice out work together is expensive and requires extensive training.

  • A few companies, with support from Disability Employment Specialists, have successfully tried hand-holding and supporting disabled employees through the induction This has assisted in the ongoing identification and resolution of issues until the disabled employee is comfortable in the new work environment.
  • Care must be taken to encourage independence and confidence in the disabled person and to avoid causing resentment from other
  • In some situations, it may be appropriate to assign another member of staff under a ‘Buddy System’ to support and mentor the new employee for a specified period of time. For example, some people experiencing a condition such as Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, may find it difficult to interact and communicate with other people.
  • A reasonable adjustment might include (with the individual’s consent) briefing colleagues about the person’s needs and organizing a mentor or buddy in the workplace. Because people with Asperger’s often interpret written and verbal communication in a very literal way, it may be helpful to check back that someone has understood any new information or

Managing performance and disability

  • In some organizations and businesses, the responsibility for performance and disability management lies with HR staff, a disability coordinator, or someone else with specialist knowledge. In most cases, however, responsibility will lie with a line manager who may not have the special skills and knowledge.
  • For this reason, it is important to implement a standard, well-defined Disability management should be put into practice in all aspects of recruitment, selection, and employment, including performance. To do this effectively, you must also ensure that all your policies, procedures, and practices are supportive to both the process and to disabled people in the workplace. The disability management approach should all relate the factors that need to be considered, including:
  1. How the individual’s disability is showing or may show itself in the workplace
  2. How these effects can be removed by making reasonable adjustments
  3. How reasonable  adjustments  will   be   implemented   and  assessed for effectiveness

Disability management process

  • Stage 1: Identify employees who need management or support related to disability.
  • Stage 2: Initiate and manage the interview, assessment, decision-making, and review process. When managing a disability or a long-term health condition with a new employee, discuss with the person where adjustments are required and what these might be. This will involve:
  1. Examining the person specification and job description to identify key tasks and capability standards for that individual in that job
  2. Arranging assessments with specialists such as   Access Consultant, Ergonomics Expert, and Disability Employment Specialist.
  3. Collating reports to interpret and evaluate assessments to decide which adjustments are reasonable and appropriate.
  • Stage 3: Reasonable adjustments should be implemented and tested to evaluate their effectiveness for the individual in that particular job.
  • Stage 4: Where no effective reasonable adjustment can be found consider redeployment as an alternative to dismissal.

Career Development

  • One common mistake is to overlook someone with a disability for promotion to management or a supervisor position because they cannot carry out some of the tasks due to their impairment. It is best practice to carry out regular performance reviews to provide a chance to discuss whether someone could carry out the tasks associated with promotion or transfer
  • Some disabled people may need help to develop confidence in their abilities to undertake management training or other promotional opportunities offered to When appropriate, provide targeted training specifically for disabled people, for instance, by offering proactive personal development if you want to encourage disabled people to apply for supervisor or management positions. In addition, consider making reasonable adjustments, perhaps by assigning some minor tasks of the role to another member of staff.
  • It would probably be reasonable to swap some, which cause difficulties or are impossible, with other members of a team or This flexible approach means that you can capitalize on people’s abilities and not be held back by unimportant limitations.


  • A mentor is wise and reliable Mentoring is a useful way to encourage and support people’s career development and can be particularly useful in providing an opportunity outside the usual line management relationship to build confidence and to explore areas of weakness confidentially.
  • In some cases, it may be useful for the individual to be mentored by another disabled person, perhaps where that person has successfully moved up the career ladder. However, just because both people are disabled, they are no more likely to be able to relate to one another’s life experiences than people who are non-disabled. For this reason, all mentors, whether disabled or non-disabled, should go through disability equality training prior to becoming a mentor.

Buddy System 

A buddy system is another type of mentoring, where a particular individual is assigned to look out for another.

  • This could include working alongside someone while learning the job or providing someone to go to if there is a problem
  • This is a useful type of support system both in the short and the long term for some disabled people. It will always be useful for a disabled person to know who to turn to if a problem arises and should prevent any problems from being ignored or becoming unnecessarily difficult.
  • However, the support should be regularly reviewed so that dependency is not A planned withdrawal should be agreed upon and monitored.
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