How to Sew a Spacesuit, Fashioning Apollo

I started reading an interesting excerpt this morning on technology site Gizmodo about a new book out by Nicholas de Monchaux titled Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo.

It’s a story about the Apollo Spacesuit, one of the most intricate garments ever assembled, a project nearly too difficult for even NASA to complete. A piece that shows how Playtex helped to put a man on the moon.

As my interest expanded, I decided to gather as much information as I could about the process of making a spacesuit, how hard was it? While the practice of sewing a spacesuit was the same as sewing over pieces of clothing, much of the process was very different, out of this world in fact.

“The tolerances allowed — less than a sixty-fourth of an inch in only one direction from the seam — meant that yard after yard of fabric was sewn to an accuracy smaller than the sewing needle’s eye.

To achieve such precision, many women used a modified treadle that, instead of starting and stopping the Singer’s operation, fired one stitch per footfall through the multiple layers of a suit’s surface. For the hundreds of feet of seams in each suit, this meant venturing stitch by tiny stitch across the length of a football field, with a single misstep leading to a discarded suit.”

It’s definitely a book that I’m going to purchase as it really pushed, and still pushes, technology to the limit. Fashion that’s fully functional in every way.

This book is now available to purchase on Amazon.