This study examines the Singer Sewing Machine Company’s strategies for selling family sewing machines on a global scale. In marketing the sewing machine, the American-headquartered Singer focused on ornamental embroidery or “fancy” sewing, defining home sewing as art, to distance the company and the appliance from negative perceptions of women’s garment work as industrial manufacturing. Singer created its Embroidery Department in the early 1890s in response to consumers’ sewing preferences. The department reflects how the home became a site where global capitalism was constructed and articulated. Singer’s Embroidery Department had representatives in many countries, coordinating expositions and other advertising. In the case of Singer in Spain and the United States, women who took part in the department’s work were an essential part of the corporate-integrated operation. This article examines the relationship between Singer’s corporate strategies and gender and culture in Spain and the United States.


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pp. 442-471
Launched on MUSE
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