101Equipment / Process

Basic concepts in sewing

Luftkuss Atelier

The basic process of making clothes is the sewing process. Sewing is a joining technique formed by a quartet of needle, thread, fabric and machine according to certain techniques.

During the sewing process, a sewing thread is dipped and passed through the material to be sewn in accordance with the thread placement rules. The reason for this process is to combine, consolidate or embellish. 

The sewing process is one of the main factors in the formation of a garment, and it occurs as a result of the interaction of fabric and sewing thread. The sewability of a fabric directly affects the quality of the garment to be produced from this fabric. Sewing efficiency has an important place among the variables that affect the sewability of the fabric.

Sewing performance is related to skipped seams, seam puckering, seam slippage, thread breaks and seam opening. Even if sewing faults can be repaired, they cause increased costs with customer dissatisfaction and returns.

The reasons for sewing mistakes are choosing an unsuitable sewing type or sewing technique, inconsistencies between thread type and number, needle shape and size and fabric, and incorrect adjustment of the feeding mechanism. Sewing faults also depend on the performance of the operator.

Variables that affect stitch quality and appearance: Thread, Fabric, Stitch Type, Machine Speed, Upper thread Tension, Lower Thread Tension, Presser Foot and Transport, Needle Shape and Type, Temperature on Needle

Sewing types

Sewing types vary according to the material, machine or technique used. Most common sewing types are as follows:

Hand sewing: The sewing thread is grasped by the material to be sewn.

Lockstitch: Thread loops formed by a particular sewing thread system are grasped by a second sewing thread.

Single thread chain stitch: It is a type of stitch in which a single thread passes through the fabric layer or layers and is looped with itself on the opposite surface, where it looks like the intertwined links of a chain on the reverse surface of the fabric.

Double thread chain stitch: Double thread chain stitches are made up of two thread systems. The loops in the first thread system are passed through the fabric (the material being sewn) and are attached in the form of chains with the loops of the second thread system (looper thread) to form loop chains. It is less elastic than a single thread chain stitch.

Lockstitch - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Stitch formation process in lockstitch machine

  • It passes through the fabric with the thread on the needle. The thread gripping end of the hook plunges through the gap between the needle and the thread formed by the short channel on the needle.
  • As the needle moves upwards, the thread grip tip expands the upper thread loop it catches and enables it to be clamped with the lower thread.

Most common sewing errors

The most common sewing error occurs when the thread cannot escape from the needle tip as the needle enters the fabric. If the needle is thick, the thread breaks and the single thread system in the knitting is broken.

Even when the garment is first worn, there will be some slippage in the seam and it will become visible after a few washes. Much less obvious seam defects are seen in woven fabric as it will hardly expand due to both thread systems (warp and weft) caused by the needle. However, sewing defects in fabrics occur in synthetic fiber fabrics, but their nature is different.

In case of insufficient finishing, melting damage occurs due to the heating of the needle due to high sewing speeds. These kinds of defects can also be seen in knitting, but a less resembling seam is formed. The sewing needle sticks due to molten particles and the sewing thread breaks as a result.

In printed fabrics, the sewing needle can pull the broken thread ends from the light-colored back to the dark-colored front, resulting in unsightly colored stitches.

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