In a long-term, grid-down event, things will inevitably wear out. In this situation, you will need the skills to either repair or replace what you will need. Clothing, fabric, and canvas items are no exception.
Do you have the skills needed to repair or replace them?
Here is a quick list of basic needlework skills that would be necessary for one to know in this situation:
Hand Sewing – This is your traditional needle-and-thread sewing. You should be able to make basic repairs such as patching, replacing buttons, and closing torn seams. This not only applies to clothing, but to equipment such as tents, tarps, and backpacks as well. Hand sewing is as basic as it comes. Everyone should know how to do it. This skill, of course, can be used to make new items also. Make sure to store a good selection of needles from small thread sharps to larger upholstery needles to cover a variety of situations.
Machine Sewing – Using a sewing machine can greatly speed up the process of repairing something or creating something new. Sewing machine skills would be very valuable to have anytime you had to be self-sufficient. Concerned about having no power? There are some technicians who will convert electric sewing machines into manual ones. In that case, the skills that you gain now could also be used in a grid-down scenario.
Knitting – This skill typically uses long needles to create items from yarns or thick threads. To be able to knit sweaters, warm hats, or blankets would be very beneficial for the colder months. For colder climates, this would be an absolute necessity.
Crochet – This skill is similar to knitting, but it uses hooks to weave together the yarns rather than using long needles. The skill may seem almost identical to knitting, but it uses a different set of motions and stitches. It is typically used to make many of the same articles as one would with knitting. Many other household items such as dish rags and wash cloths can be made as well.
Quilting – This skill builds upon hand-sewing and machine sewing skills to piece together fabric swatches and then to attach the resulting pieced-together sheets with batting or other stuffing to create thicker blankets. Quilting is useful for repairing sleeping bags, for making coats, or for (of course) making quilts.
That is a run-down of the basic needlework skills one would likely need for homesteading and long-term survival. There are many other needlework skills that are out there, but many of these, (such as embroidery, cross-stitch, and needlepoint,) are more useful for embellishment rather than for survival. However, the skills gained from practicing some of these other skills could still be beneficial when applied in basic sewing situations.
In any case, knowing these skills would allow you to be able to repair or make items if you ever found yourself without the option to just run down to the store to replace them. In a grid-down scenario, that would likely be the case. Needlework skills may not sound like the most exciting activities to some, but they are necessary for everyone – whether you are the one performing these skills or not.