Sewing machine sales surge during pandemic

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — The news has been filled with stories of businesses crippled financially by the coronavirus outbreak but a few industries have seen just the opposite impact.

One of those is the sewing industry.

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Continental Sewing Center, a family-owned Lexington shop, can attest to this.

“Not only nationwide but worldwide sewing machines are in high demand,” says Continental Sewing owner Kevin Croucher.

The trend started even before the coronavirus, but not to the magnitude it’s at now.

A few years ago the dying art was being reborn with garment construction, the making of clothes and recycling old clothes.

“There’s such a huge new renewed interest that we’ve never seen so this is probably the golden age of sewing that has really started a couple years ago and this has really added to it,” says Croucher.

And then came the pandemic. Self-isolation inspired people to take up the new hobby.

People making face masks has really driven up the demand – but even making clothes, gifts, just about everything.

Croucher says they’ve been able to keep up with the demand, but barely.

“People pick them up pretty quickly to the point that we can’t even really get them out on the display shelves, they’re leaving at such a high rate,” says Croucher.

Not only are they selling new ones, they’re doing more repairs now than ever.

“There’s been a huge surge in people just going into their closet bringing out machines that haven’t seen the light of day in maybe 10 or 20 years,” says Croucher.

One challenge is getting parts but they’ve still managed to get machines fixed within a few days.

“We’ve been blessed,” says Croucher. “We’ve been really busy all summer long.”

Sewing is one of the few activities COVID-19 hasn’t been able to plague.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.