What did they use before sewing machines?
They began using bone needles with eyes to stitch animal skins together at least 2,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age; started making needles from iron about 4,000 years ago, at the very beginning of the Iron Age; and first used thimbles in China about 2,000 years ago, during the Han dynasty.
How did the sewing machine affect the South?
The sewing machine shifted the burden of sewing from housewives and seamstresses to large-scale factories, providing greater productivity and lower prices. Women who had been busy at home could now find employment in these factories, increasing their family’s income.