The “overly fantastic” Brother donation

Last week educators from Brother–of sewing machine fame–came to campus to train faculty and technicians in the use of Brother sewing, embroidery and cutting machines. The company has donated 25 high-tech machines to the School of Art and Design, and they’re game changers.

“Overly fantastic!” said Fashion Design professor Lauren Zodel. “The capacity of what it can do! The intricacy of the stitches and the level of aesthetics was higher than I expected.”

Barbara Mikolajczyk providing instruction for the Brother multi-needle embroidery machine

The multi-needle embroidery machines will allow students to create their own embroidery instead of having it be out-sourced. The cutting machines make it simple to cut through thick materials; faculty were able to cut through leather with ease during the training. Specialty quilting and felting products allow students to add artistic affects and textures to their garments.

Barbara Mikolajczyk providing explanation of the multi-needle embroidery machine

Faculty watched as the The Brother PR670 stitched a design that had been created in the design software. It takes custom-drawings or image files and turns them into 2D or 3D embroidery. “It’s a companion to any Brother embroidery machine” said Barbara Jones, National Educator.

The Brother PR670 stitching a design that was created in the design software

“I learned how to cut fabric and create original layouts, to size, scan and trace images and create designs that can be attached as embellishments. The digital part was so accessible!” Fashion Design Prof Cecilia Tsypina.

Professors Philippa Lindenthal and Cecilia Tsypina with Cindy Hogan

“We discussed using the correct scanning mats for materials and fabrics. The ScanNCut DX machine will automatically detect the mat and function for virtually perfect cuts!” Melissa Heinz, Product Development Manager.

Cindy Hogan assisting faculty member Cecilia Tsypina with the ScanNCut DX

Brother had been on campus two months prior to the training to tour the campus to get ideas of how to support the students.

“We had seen a lot of multimedia art that Fashion Design and Fine Arts students were doing. It inspired us to broaden our horizons in supporting FIT” says Brittany Arena, Marketing Specialist at Brother International.

Mario Maldonado, Fashion Design Technologist

“I like the computerized functions. This is the future,” says Fashion Design technologist Mario Maldonado. “The threading is by the numbers. The rest is up to the computer. I like the ways it can simplify things. I’m amazed. You can even go sideways, left and right. They thought of everything.”

Mario Maldonado, Fashion Design Technologist

“We’re delighted to be part of the Brother training,” said Eileen Karp, Chair, Fashion Design. “The potential for our students and faculty is phenomenal. There’s a big learning curve, but there are videos and training resources that are part of this wonderful donation.”

The Brother PR670 finishing up the design

Says Eileen Karp “The Fashion Design department is thankful to the Brother team for their wonderful instruction in using the features of both the home and industrial machines donated so generously for our students.”

The Brother team: top left to right: Melissa Heinz, Brittany Arena, Cindy Hogan, Angela Wolf.  Sitting: Barbara Jones, Fashion Design Chair Eileen Karp, Barbara Mikolajczyk

“We’re very excited to see what the students create–cool things we haven’t seen before,” says Arena. “We know know they will exceed anything we can imagine!”

Says Prof. Zodel “I already have students who want to use them for their thesis projects!”

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