If you’re a vintage clothing enthusiast or a sewer, the kind of stitching used on an item can tell you a lot about the era it was made in. Whether you’re sewing your own clothes or trying to figure out how to resell your thrift finds, knowing different types of garment stitches will help you make better decisions. Here’s a guide to the most common stitch types and how they are used in garment manufacturing:
1. Running Stitch
A running stitch is a simple, loose-thread stitch that holds fabric layers together until a stronger stitch can be used. This stitch is also used to make hemming. To create a running stitch, start at the point where you’d like to begin sewing and insert your needle into the fabric about 14 inch away from that point. Then, run your thread over the needle and pull it tight. Repeat this step until you’ve finished the seam. Leave a small tail and tie or anchor it with a knot at the end to secure the thread.
2. Blind Hem Stitch
A blind hem stitch is a multi-thread chain stitch type that’s executed with a single needle and has no visible front or back. This is a durable and tight-fitting stitch that’s ideal for hemming or topstitching stretchy fabrics. It can also be sewn in a straight or zigzag pattern and is commonly found on workwear, military uniforms, and sportswear.
Garment makers use different stitch types for different parts of a garment and based on the fabric and design requirements. Garment Manufacturing Technology is a great resource that dives deep into the classes of garment stitches and their practical applications, or you can check out this blog post by Apparel Merchandising Learner to get a quick, visually illustrated cheat sheet for understanding the different types of stitching. Stitch Clothes