These are just a few of a few different fibre groups you will learn about when you sign up for the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute’s Basic Sewing programme with local tutor, Pepe (Tangi) Mataroa.
The 10-week community programme was designed with “not-so-able” students in mind.
Identifying activities that catered to students with limitations and challenges was something programme coordinator Violet Tisam was passionate about.
“The course is initially for the ‘not so able’ students, however due to insufficient numbers within this demographic, we had to open it up to the wider community and anyone that wanted to learn the basics of ‘Tui Auri’ to make the programme viable.”
The course covers four main components: teaching students how to operate a domestic sewing machine, sewing simple articles and garments and learning the different types of fibres and fabrics and how to care for them.
With 50 per cent of the students enrolling from the National Disability Organisation in Nikao, most students couldn’t wait to start sewing the next best thing to hit the fashion scene.
Starting with a total of eight students, Tisam says although student retention was difficult at times, those that were eager to learn stayed on and are achieving well.
Class tutor Mataroa says the first thing the students learned was how to make a pin cushion. As the students learnt more of the basics they went on to sewing simple clothing items.
And she says there’s now interest in an evening class to cater for daytime workers.
A wide variety of courses are available at CITTI for those wanting to learn a trade or creative art.
Tisam encourages Rarotonga residents to keep an eye on the institute website for updates of course titles and start dates.
The institute is known for designing programmes with the “average” person in mind and aims to better Cook Islands peoples’ skills for the overall development of the country.