Egyptian mobile app helps hearing-impaired master the art of sewing

Ghada Abdel-Kader , Monday 14 Mar 2022

A first of its kind mobile application has been launched in the Middle East to teach sewing skills to people with hearing impairment.

Group of young designers draw garment construction lines on plain pattern paper
Group of young designers draw garment construction lines on plain pattern paper

“Fashion design was part of my study at a very young age and  I started my career 10 years ago,” says Egyptian designer Esraa Adel, who graduated from a vocational-technical high school’s ready-made garments department.

“I am a lifelong learner. I constantly bookmark things I want to learn every year. I like to learn new things and develop my skills by taking up training programs or online courses to move forward in my career,” the 30-year-old designer adds.

Adel specialises in women’s casual wear designs après midi, soiree and much more. She launched her own line of soiree dresses under the title Fashion Corner Brand.

“I took a course to learn sign language for two months to be able to communicate with the hearing-impaired, then introduced changes to the course content to fit their needs. I offer patron (sewing patternmaking) courses using sign language too,” she adds.

Adel stresses that her stern belief in social work and making a difference for people prompted her to help the hearing-impaired with opportunities to start their own businesses.
Adel gives sewing and design courses for hearing-impaired individuals free of charge at different fashion academies in Egypt.

She teaches drawing mannequins for different female body types, how to choose the right dress for the right body shape, patron drawing and the basics of sewing.

Sarah Mohamed is one of the talented hearing-impaired participants who took the sewing course with Adel.

Mohamed, who lives in Cairo, has a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems.

Mohamed learned how to sketch and sew and started making her own dresses. “I wish to learn tailoring to make designs like those of international brands,” Mohamed says.

She started her own project four years ago and works from home.

“It was a turning point in my life. I pursued my passion and love for sewing, and do designs for myself. It is a great feeling. It helps me in my life to have extra income,” Mohamed adds.

“It was very difficult sewing and tailoring in the beginning. I made some mistakes. Practice makes everything perfect. It becomes easier afterwards,” she adds.

The mobile app ‘Professional Course for Tailoring Clothes with Patron’ was released two years-ago and is available on the Android play store in Arabic version.

“70 percent of users are hearing-impaired and people with disabilities,” Adel says.

The idea for the app won the top prize at the Tamkeen Competition in 2020, which aims to develop software and mobile phone applications for people with disabilities and is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

El-Khalifa Computer Group is an Egyptian Software Company that turned the idea for the app into reality. 

“The company is the owner and it plans out the entire process. It generates the idea, app design, software, and financial part,” Adel says.

The company received a grant from the ministry to give the hearing-impaired sewing courses in Cairo. 

“I was the only one to give this kind of course in Egypt,” Adel adds. “I am responsible for shooting the videos and creating accessible material and scientific subjects for the application.”

 “The app content helps users master tailoring. It takes two months to study before the user can launch their own project,” she adds.

The app consists of 30 tutorial videos for woman’s wear. It includes how to take accurate body measurements and using sewing machines, needles, scissors and fabrics. It shows applicants the full steps of the tailoring process and how to get the best finish for the final product.

The “fabrics dictionary” is a newly added option that is not available in other sewing apps. It has a full list of fabric types and a video on how to identify them by touch. The fabric glossary is for sewing terms, expressions, and terminology.

The app has three features: sign language, audio, and text for the hearing-impaired.

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