As the creator and owner of United Sewing and Design, Mary Ruth Shields has established integrity, quality and social impact as the central principles guiding herself and her team members.

Mary has been working in all facets of manufacturing by sewing for over 40 years. She works closely with each customer as a trusted collaborator in the processes of product development and manufacturing, focusing on and supporting their individual concepts and goals.

In her consultations, she applies her holistic knowledge base including product analysis; materials and construction analysis; costing; market and consumer analysis; and sourcing to move clients’ projects to their intended goals.

When you work with Mary, you also benefit from her career as a practicing artist. She combines hard-nosed business practicality with the artistic sensibilities of craftsmanship and attention to detail, design principles, and the ability to judge the compatibility of materials with your design. This affords you a unique advantage in the manufacturing industry. She uses a transparent, step-by-step process to convert your concept, which may not yet be manufacturing ready, into a product that you can be proud of that works for its intended purpose.

Connect with Mary on LinkedIn


Industry Garment Construction Methods is a great handbook for designers, merchandisers, and buyers who need to know what construction methods to use and how they relate to quality and costs.


Naugatuck Valley Textile Industry (Images of America) includes lots of interesting facts such as the origins of Keds sneakers and Naugahyde as well as the impact of European immigrants on the textile industry of the Naugatuck Valley in CT.