Meet Ayanda Qonya, a Stitcher

Ayanda has been sewing garments since 2013, and in this article he tells us why he loves his job as a Stitcher.

Ayanda is a Stitcher at a private vintage-inspired leather handbag manufacturer in Cape Town. He shared a little about his career with us, so we could learn more about the day-to-day experience of his life in the textile industry.

I started stitching using my hands about three years ago, Ayanda tells us. With enough practice, Ayanda realised that stitching manually was taking up too much of his time. “In 2015, I started learning how to use a sewing machine which has saved me a lot of time,” he says.

After improving his skill set, Ayanda managed to land a full-time job at Alex and Marla, where as the organisation’s main stitcher, he is responsible for sewing the leather handbags. Ayanda tells us how he landed the job opportunity: “I heard about Alex and Marla through the owner’s sister, who showed her some of my previous creations. A few days after my meeting with the sister, the owner gave me a call telling me that she loved the way I stitched” and the rest is history.

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Stitchers are responsible for following patterns, sketches and design specifications in order to prepare a garment. They need to be able to mark, cut out material and sew parts of a design, whether it is accessories, home furnishings, clothing or footwear. Because Ayanda specialises in leather bag-making, he also needs to know the techniques of working with leather.

Learn all you need to know about a career as a Clothes Pattern-maker

I’ve always loved stitching, and love that the work I do with my hands makes people smile,” Ayanda tells us about his love for his job. Customers always say that the bags we make speak for themselves, he adds.

For those who aspire to get into Ayanda’s line of work, he advises having a passion and love for stitching. “If not, a lack of passion for the job will show in the final product.”

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