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Design Process Threading a Needle Group A3

Gunakshi Kambley- SDM Harish . P- TAD Labakorcy- AD Pankaj Turkar- LAD Prachi Gupta- PHD Sagar Sharma- NMD Savinay. S- TGD

National Institute of Design


Contents • • • • • •

Synopsis Observation and analysis Opportunity areas Problem Statement Ideation and Conceptualisation Conclusion and learning


Synopsis Design; an aspect so important and coherent to our lives that we miss to notice its existence, in the simplest and most mundane activities of daily life, like applying butter on bread, brushing teeth, cutting nails etc. Out of the given activities, we chose the activity of threading a needle and over a period of two weeks, followed a step-by-step process to understand the activity better. The process started with observing potential users of the two basic components, thread and needle, where analysis brought out opportunity areas for improvements or interventions to ease the activity of threading a needle in large. Ideation for individual sub-topics under the main activity and further conceptualisation was done after finding opportunity areas.


Stage 1: Mind Mapping A mind map was created as the first guiding step for our process. The map gave us an understanding on the aspects that we needed to touch while observing the activity, for getiing a better understanding of the activity.

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Stage 2: Observation The next step was to observe the activity being performed by different users in the most natural setup and environment. Our focus group consisted of users whose occupation is based on the two most basic components of this activity; thread and needle. The group included 5 tailors from the nearby Krishna Kunj area and two trainers from the Lifestyle & Accessory Department and Apparel Design Department of NID, respectively. USERS: Rajshree Ben- Trainer and Studio Manager (Lifestyle & Accessory Department, NID) Shakir Bhai- Trainer (Lifestyle & Accessory Department, NID) Deepak Bhai- Tailor, Krishna Kunj, Gandhinagar Naveen Bhai- Tailor, Krishna Kunj, Gandhinagar Naanji Bhai- Tailor, Krishna Kunj, Gandhinagar Johnny Bhai- Tailor, Krishna kunj, Gandhinagar All of the above users were observed closely, under the various aspects desfined by the mind map, which gave a very important insight into the activity.

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Observations The areas of observation were divided into 7 parts amongst the group for a clearer view. The same can be summarised as follows: ENVIRONMENT: Further divided into physical setup and surroundings. Physical Setup: The tailors’ shops had a cluttered arrangement. Common objects included a seating object ( chair, stool etc.), a machine, machine table, rakcs, tubelights( white light), bill desk. All shops were rooms closed form 3 sides and had an average area of 7’’ by 10’’ by 10’’. The labs in NID were large and had a planned set up. Storage of important tools like thread and needle was mismanaged. Surroundings: Krishna Kunj is set around residential space and thus has less traffic. The labs are uch quieter as they are set up inside a college. User Study: Most of the users are between 30-50 years of age and have an experience of 20-30 years in their profession. They are very passionate about their profession. Only one user, namely Naanji Bhai started stitching along with running an electrical shop due to low earning. None of the tailors wear footwear inside the shop, as a sign of respect. Light conditions: Both natural and artificial sources of light are used at all places. White light is preferred over yellow/bulb light, as yellow light tends to strain the eyes. While working on machines, extra lights are put on to improve the light supply , along with existing natural light and tubelight as both the user and the machine form shadows around the work area, which hinder proper vision. Physical and emotional state of the user while performing the activity: All the users had an average experience of 20-30 years. Hence they maintained a calm state and performed the activity with much ease. The posture only slightly changed during hand- threading while changes were seen during machine threading, as threading is a long process. Most of them had a skin heardening on the hand used for cutting the fabric and thread becuase of a prolonged use of the heavy fabric scissors. 3


Hands: The dominant hand picks the thread. The hand shifts accoording to the steps of the process. No fidgeting with the tools is observed and the process is performed smoothly. Seating: Most of the users have ordinary wooden stools and plastic chairs. Seating is done near the wall, where wall is used as a back rest, when required. Though the labs at NID had different type of seating altogether. Apparel Design used round metallic stools while Lifestyle and Accessory Design lab had modified and seemingly planned stools, woven with jute. Storage and retrieval of thread and needle: Threads are stored in makeshift boxes like machine cases and big cardboard/ plastic boxes, racks etc. objects. Needles are also stored in boxes filled with loads of other objects. Even needles with proper packaging are dumped in a corner in huge drawers stuffedwith lots of other objects. For storing needles while working, makeshift methods like magnets, strips of clolth are used to hold the needles. Types of materials and needles: Types of threads used were polyester, cotton and nylon as the main purpose was stitching clothes; light fabrics like cotton, georgette, chiffon etc. Stainless steel needles were used and the eye, hence the length and thickness of the needle changes according to the thickness/heaviness of the material.

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Stage 3- Analysis The entire analysis was also distributed under some common areas which can be described as follows: Ethical and psychological state of the user: The users are ethical people and follow a certain way of working. There’s a certain way in which they have learnt and followed things over a long period of time. They like the traditional way of working, certain resistance to change is seen. Users do not give much attention to managing the space. Physical setting: Users have adapted themselves to the available infrastructure to a level, where they don’t feel uncomfortable any more. Working with makeshift things is a large part of their lifestyle. Workstation: The area of the workstation is scattered and poorly managed. There is no proper space for storing elements. Storage and retrieval: There are no proper objects for storage. Thus procurring things like needles or threads is a time consuming. Environment: Factors like air, light, sound affect the process of threading. Safety: Safety is not given much attention. Storage and retrieval of needles is improper which makes them fall often. Picking them up with bare hands can pose chances of getting pricked. Using heavy, uncomfortable scissors are used to cut small tips of thread and fabric. Its use over a long time has made their skin hard and swollen up the joint bone of the thumb. They have adapted to even this, so much so that they consider this skin hardening/ mark as a symbol of their profession. Process: The time taken for the process depends on a lot of factors like retrieval and storage of elements. The condition of the thread’s tip decides the time taken to thread the needle in a large manner. The machine process of threading the needle takes longer than the hand needle.

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Stage 4- Opportunity areas After the analysis, every body chalked out areas where they found an opportunity for an intervention, to add ease to the activity of threading a needle as a whole. As most of the users use machine needles, our opportunity areas are based around the respective act and not the act of threading hand needles. * * * * * * *

Improving light conditions around the machine needle- Pankaj Turkar Making the process of threading the machine needle easier- Sagar Sharma Reducing physical stress while performing the act- Savinay. S Managing needle storage- Labakorcy Managing storage of thread spools- Harish. P Managing workstation- Gunakshi Kambley Getting sharp thread tip for easy threading- Prachi Gupta

Analysis map

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Opportunity map


Problem Statement Group problem statement: The aim is to ease the act of threading a needle by improving around the various sub-elements/ processes affecting the act in large. The individual problem statements have been mentioned in the individual opportunity areas.

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Chapter 1- Improving light conditions for threading machine needle (Pankaj Turkar) Problem Statement: To improvise the lighting conditions around the needle assembly of the sewing machine by using available light. Observation: - Two types of light sources, Natural and Artificial. - Working in the direction towards the light source. - Using Fluorescent and CFL lights as artificial light sources. - The region around the sewing machine needle was the least illuminated. Analysis: Insufficient lighting not only increases the strain on the person, but also makes the threading process time consuming. Ideation: • • • •

Placement of plain mirror under the sewing machine needle. Placement of concave mirror under the sewing machine needle. Fixing adjustable mirror near the sewing machine needle. LEDs on flexible shafts.

Concave Mirror : The function of the concave mirror is to converge the ambient light to a focal point. The light is focussed only at the needle which makes the threading process easier.

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Users while threading the machine needleopportunity to improve the light around the machine needle itself.

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Concept sketches

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Chapter 2- Making the process of threading the needle easier (Sagar Sharma) Problem Statement: Needle in the sewing machine is fixed and its a complex task to remove it and put thread in it. Observation: What i observe in all the process was that threading in the needle of the sewing machine is more difficult and complex than threading a normal needle. Like i already said that needle in the sewing machine is fixed so its difficult for user to put thread in it, user have to bend to the level of the needle. Which is a difficult task for a old person and because a person can’t move it so they have to move themselves from their comfort zone or from there sitting place and it takes much more time than threading a loose needle. There are lots of other problems like there are very much distance between spool and the needle and thread have to travel a lot through many things which make things more complex, difficult and time consuming. Analysis: In sewing machine we can’t move the needle so, it will take more time and effort to put the thread in needle. .Ideation: 1. We can put the spool near the thread itself, so that there ail be less possibilities of tangling the thread and we can change the positioning of the spool also. 2. Making a mechanism for the needle itself like we can make a window just above the eye of the needle, which window a user can slide and widen the eye of the needle to make it more bigger. So that user can easily put the thread in needle and after putting it he can easily close it work. 3. Making the process easy of removing and putting the needle in the the sewing machine is also a idea to solve their problem. 4. Develop a mechanism for sewing machine so that user can easily put the sewing machine to their eye level so that user can easily put thread in needle. .Concept: After ideating on all the problem the user is facing and the practicality of the different ideas. I came up with this final concept that making the process easy of removing and putting it again in the machine is the best solution. So that user can easily remove the needle put the thread in it and again put it in the machine.

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Posture changes during threading the needle

Removing a machine needle

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Ideation sketches

Concept sketches

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Chapter 3- Reducing physical strain while threading the needle (Savinay . S) Problem Statement: Improvement of the seat is needed to reduce stress and strain during threading a needle and subsequent activities. Observation: • • • •

They are using mainly ordinary wooden stools or plastic chairs There is no specific seating Seating height is fixed No backrest or armrest

Analysis: These kind of unscientific and uncomfortable seating systems increase physical strain and it affects the users’ comfort and work efficiency. .Ideation: • Sliding technique on seat with locking system. • Height adjustable base with locking system. • Adding small box on the front top of the armrest of both for keeping needle and spools for instant use. • Better balance and stability on base-stand with rubber bushes for grip. • Adding a stable backrest and armrest. • Adding a cushioned seat . .Concept- Sliding technique on seat with locking system: Adding a sliding technique on seat provide the user to adjust the distance with the working table and make it comfortable for threading needle of the sewing machine.

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Images of a few seating systems

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Ideation and concept 16


Chapter 4- Managing needle storage (Labakorcy) Problem Statement: To speed up retrieval of the needles and to ensure user safety. Observation • Initially needles are placed far from the working area along with many other things like cut fabrics and plastic bags. • After using it, it is kept either in a cloth which is attached to the machine or in a container with spools of thread. Analysis: • Retrieving the needle is a time consuming process. • There is a chance for the needle to fall over which makes it hard to find and furthermore, it is hard to pick it up. .Ideation: 1. A quilted fabric stacks together where needles can be place in different layers. 2. A box with projections which is cut in the middle so that the needle can be easily picked. 3. A magnet attached to the machine. 4. A rotatable mount with test tube like holders 5. A drawer inbuilt in the machine which is divided into sections for placing needles and other small accessories. 6. A provision is made to store the needles on the inner surface of the lid.

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Needles are either stored using make-shift ways like magnets or are placed with a lot of other things that makes it difficult to find

Small needle packaging is dumped in one corner along with a lot of other objects- difficult to find.

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Concept sketches and prototype

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Chapter 5- Managing storage for thread spools ( Harish . P) Problem Statement: To device an efficient arrangement for quick identification and retrieval of the thread spools. Observation: • The thread spools are dumped in a box and the retrieval of required spools is time consuming. • The spools get tangled and there is significant wastage as the knot has to be discarded. • Least importance is given to the storage and management of the spools. Analysis: When the spools are stored in an orderly manner, the accessibility is improved and less time is wasted on retrieval. .Ideation: 1. Thread spool box The drawback with the conventional holder is that it is hard to maintain it. The user ends up just tossing the spools into the box. Since the spool holder is not surrounded by the box walls, the user is forced to arrange the spools on the support. 2. Thread spool tree Inspired from a tree, the holder has branches on which the spools are placed. The holder is capable of rotating. The branches are colour coded. Therefore it is very easy for the user to manage the thread spools. 3. Thread spool spiral The spool holders are arranged helically on a pillar. This pillar has the capability to rotate. Since there is sufficient space between spools (vertically) it becomes easy to retrieve the required spool. 4. Thread spool slide Inspired from a slide found in an amusement park, this is a very simple design to identify, retrieve and manage the colour spools. Because of the design, gravity assists the storage of the spools. 5. Thread spool rack Using the management technique named KANBAN, it is possible to manage a large number of spools. The system ensures instant replenishment of used spools with new ones.

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thread spools are stored in a very mismanaged way, so much so that it takes atleast 10 mins to find the right colour through the bundle.

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Concept sketches

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Chapter 6- Managing workstation (Gunakshi Kambley) Problem Statement: To make improvements in the workstation so as to ease the access of basic elements (needles, threads, scissors) to aid in the activity of threading a needle Observation: • The workstation is poorly managed • Placement is not the best, leads to user needing to move to fetch basic elements • Basic elements and peripherals such as the needles, threads and scissors are placed away from the workstation and are scattered Analysis: The workstation is the place of actual work and if feasible storage is provided as a component itself, it will aid the act and reduce the time required to gather the basic elements required thus improving efficiency Ideation: 1. To change the shape of the table to a trapezoidal form so that there is more space at the front to keep needle, thread, scissors which are most required while performing the activity 2. A collapsible extra space that is hinged to the side of the sewing machine table, to give more space 3. A shelf with racks which move up and down to facilitate reach of a user in case he is standing or even sitting 4. To have a door which will have shelves and arrangements on the inside to hold the materials, the door can attach at the side to avoid hindrance 5. A drawer that slides out of the table at the front 6. A chandelier kind of arrangement, right above the sewing area with a lever at the side where the user sits, which will bring the arrangement down when seeking material and otherwise stays up, in turn decorating the space 7. A tray lift mechanism driven box under the table towards the right side of the machine to act as the storage element.

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The tray box below the table can be incorporated in the table itself, with a handle well within reach of the user while he sitting at the table, it is easy to lift up and locks when fully pulled and is a box that has compartments to hold the thread, needle and scissors. This creates better storage, reducing the time required to fetch the things and thus increasing productivity.

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Concept sketches

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Chapter 7- Getting sharp thread tip for easy threading (Prachi Gupta) Problem Statement: The aim is to get a sharp, unfringed thread tip before threading the activity, in order to reduce time and increase efficiency while performing the activity. Observation: A heavy and uncomfortable pair of fabric scissors is used to cut a tiny thread tip, every time before threading the needle. The act is called cleaning the thread. The need for threading, hence cleaning the thread might occur atleast 1620 times in an average working period of 8 hours due to various reasons like breaking of thread due to continuous use, loosening or tightening of thread along the stand, changing the thread (color) etc. Every time, the heavy pair of fabric scissors is used. Even after a special tool for just cutting threads is available, none of the users makes use of the tool as they are habitual of using the scissors and have become comfortable with them over time. They haven’t changed even after knowing that the big tool is uncomfortable and unnecessary. There is contentment with the long followed way and no need of changing is felt. Analysis: The condition of the thread tip decides the time taken in the process of threading in a large manner. The use of such a heavy, big tool for such a small purpose is unnecessary in terms of requirment and slows the process of threading. Opportunity: There is an opportunity to eliminate or reduce the need to use the scissors and get a good through easier ways. Challege: The users are too used to a particular tool and reluctance is seen towards new tools/ methods. Breaking the habit might be a challenge. Ideation: Initial ideas: * Making a solution that on dipping would hold the tip together. * Making a cap/cover for the thread tip. * Making single ply threads which would completely eliminate the prob lem of fringed ends. * Making threads with a coating that would hold the plies together. * Making a guillotine-based system where the thread is cut by a blade, controlled by a lever. * Making a mechanism of cutting thread based on opening and closing of lens cap in point and shoot cameras. 26


Bad thread tip

Good thread tip- obtained with scissors

A concept based on the guillotine system or the clolsing and opening of the lens cap in point and shoot cameras where the cap is controlled by a movable knob/ button. Blades would be used instead of sliding cap. Another way makes use of scissors for the purpose of cutting, scissors fitted into the machine table. Hence, this would be an addition done to the machine table. The movement of the scissors’ blade is controlled by a button/ knob, similar to the mechanism in the camera.

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Conclusion and learning Under Design Project, we started off with activities that are performed daily by thousands of people, they are common activities. But the subject made us sennsitive towards these very simple-looking activities and gave us an understanding of how the simplest of activities are formed of so many complex processes, there is an involvement of so many other factors that affect the activity. The subject, over two weeks has made us more sensitive and alert towards these various small, but important factors. We have immense respect for people who go through the long process of close observation and analysis, and making products and services for making things and life easier for us, so much so that we completely ignore the effort that goes behind them. A sense of responsibility has been inculcated because of the subject. Design is responsible.

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