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Youngsters in the US lack sewing skills

Youngsters in the US lack sewing skills
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A stitch in time saves nine. Not knowing how to sew and repair, American youths contributed to 14.3 million tons of textile waste in a single year in...

New York: A stitch in time saves nine. Not knowing how to sew and repair, American youths contributed to 14.3 million tons of textile waste in a single year in 2012, says a study.

A significant gap exists in the degree of clothes repair skills possessed by members of the baby boomer generation - people who were born between the years 1946 and 1964 - and millennials, the findings showed.

"In 2012, Americans created more than 14.3 million tons of textile waste," said researcher Pamela Norum, a professor from the University of Missouri in the US.

"Much of this waste is due to clothes being discarded due to minor tears or stains - easily repairable damages if the owners have the skills and knowledge to fix them," Norum added.

The study surveyed more than 500 American baby boomers and millennials about their clothing usage practices.

While baby boomers generally had much more knowledge of clothes repair and laundry than millennials; millennials who reported to have taken sewing classes or who had been taught how to sew by a family member had more overall clothes repair skills than those that had no education on the subject.

This indicates the need for increased education on what once was considered common clothing maintenance knowledge, Norum said.

"Traditionally, these skills were learned in the home or in secondary school," he said.

The researcher suggested delivering this kind of instruction in settings that may extend beyond the school environment, such as social media and online videos.

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