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Arty stitches, no skill needed

business Updated: Mar 14, 2010 22:10 IST
Mini Pant Zachariah

Sewing machine, anyone? In this day and age of ready-mades! You must be joking!

But Usha International is quite serious about its ongoing one-ad campaign on television, which shows a young, urban mother happily stitching on a fancy looking electric sewing machine while her little girl prances around. The man of the house returns home in the evening to see new curtains, cushion covers, bed covers and a wall hanging.

The ad, created by Ogilvy & Mather, is for the Usha Janome, meant, according to Krishna Shriram, promoter, Usha International, for the urban “hobby” market. Upper end. The basic Usha Jenome model, Allure, is priced at Rs 7,900 and the high end Stitch Magic comes for Rs 18,600.

Shriram says, “In America, four million such electric machines are sold every year, largely to the hobby market. In India, the total sewing machines sold annually, including those for tailors, garment factories and the hobby market, is only three million. Only 70,000 of these are the Usha Janome type electric machines.”

If the sewing machine companies don’t do something, sewing machines in urban homes will soon be history. So the new focus on the hobby market, among upper end consumers. The Janome ad shows the ease of fancy stitching without needing much skill.

Singer India is also importing sophisticated automatic electric models, priced between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8,000, targeted at the hobby market.

Usha will also soon open the first of a chain of haberdashery — an upper end shop for all sewing products — outlets in Mumbai’s suburb, Khar, in collaboration with design studio Grandmother India and designer brand Pinakin to showcase and encourage hobby stitching.