Seam Types

Ìntroduction to Seams
A seam can be defined as : the application of a series of
stitches or stitch types to one or several layers of material.
8 classes of seams are defined in the ÌSO classification.
Seams are described as :
flat
superimposed
lapped
bound
ornamental
A seam is load bearing and should be similar in physical
properties to the material being sewn.
lat Seams
Ìn these seams, sometimes called Butt
Seams, two fabric edges, flat or folded,
are brought together and oversewn
with a zig-zag lockstitch, chainstitch or
covering stitch (Class 600).
The purpose is to produce a join where
no extra thickness of fabric can be
tolerated at the seam, as in underwear
or in foundation garments.
The looper thread(s) must be soft, yet
strong and the cover thread may be
decorative as well as strong.
Superimposed Seams
These generally start with two or
more pieces of material
superimposed over each other and
joined near an edge, with one or
more rows of stitches. There are
various types of seams within the SS
class.
A superimposed seam can be sewn
with a stitch 301 or 401 to create a
simple seam. The same seam type
can also be sewn with stitch class
500 (Overedge stitch) or Combination
stitches (i.e. stitch class 516) to
create neat load bearing seams for
lingerie, shirts, etc.
apped Seams
· Two or more plies of material are lapped (i.e.
with edges overlapped, plain, or folded) and
joined with one or more rows of stitches.
· rench seaming involves 2 stitching
operations with an intervening folding
operation - a flat, folded seam with only one
row of stitching visible on the top surface,
commonly used for rainwear.
apped Seams
· The ap elled type, involves only one
stitching operation - a strong seam with
fabric edges protected from fraying.
· Commonly used for making up jeans
or similar garments.
Bound Seams
These are formed by folding a binding strip
over the edge of the plies of material and
joining both edges of the binding to the
material with one or more rows of stitching.
This produces a neat edge on a seam
exposed to view or to wear.
Ornamental Seams
A series of stitches along a straight or
curved line or following an ornamental
design, on a single ply of material.
More complex types include various
forms of piping, producing a raised line
along the fabric surface.
dge inishing Stitching
inishing the edge of a single ply of material
by folding it or covering it with a stitch.
The simplest of these operations is Serging,
Type 6.01.01, in which a cut edge of a single
ply is reinforced by overedge stitching to
neaten and prevent fraying Ìncludes other
popular methods of producing a neat edge
like hemming and Blind Stitch hemming.
"uality issues & Solutions
Seam quality issues
1. Puckering
2. Seam grin
3. Seam slippage
4. Skipped stitches
5. Unbalanced stitches
6. Uneven SPI
Skipped Stitches
Causes Solutions
ailure of hook, looper, or needle to enter
the thread loop at correct time
Check machines clearances and timing.
Check needle is inserted and aligned correctly
Use needle with deeper scarf.
Thread loop failure
Change needle size/style
Check thread take-up and check loop formation
lagging of fabric due to poor presser foot
control or too large a throat plate hole
Adjust presser foot pressure
Change throatplate to match needle
Needle deflections or bent needles
Use a reinforced needle
Check needle clearance and reset needle guard
Ìncorrect sewing tension in needle or under
thread
Adjust thread tension
Poor loop formation
Check loop formation
Verify thread selection
Check thread twist and thickness
Staggered Stitches
Causes Solutions
Needle vibrating or deflecting
Ìncrease needle size
Use reinforced needle
Ìncorrect or blunt needle point Change needle
Ìncorrect needle-to-thread size relationship Change needle thread size to appropriate size
eed dog sways Tighten feed dog
Poor fabric control and presser foot bounce
Adjust presser foot pressure
Change feed mechanism
Unbalanced or Variable Stitches
Solutions Causes
Ìncorrect sewing tensions
Adjust top or bottom thread tension as
necessary for balanced stitches
Ìncorrect threading Check for correct thread path
Needle thread snagging on bobbin case or
positioning finger
Polish bobbin case and thread contact surfaces
Reset positioning finger
Change throatplate to match needle
Variable thread tension
Check for correct thread path
Make sure check spring is properly set
Check thread lube consistency
Variable Stitch Density
Solutions Causes
Poor fabric feed control
Ìncrease presser foot pressure
Change to a more positive feed mechanism
Seam Grin
When two pieces of fabric are pulled at right angles to the
seam, a gap is revealed between the two pieces of fabric
revealing the thread in this gap.
Corrective actions
Ìncrease stitching tensions
Use a higher stitch rating
Seam Slippage
A fabric related issue.
Happens mainly in 2 types of fabrics :
fabrics with low no. of warp & weft yarns.
fabrics where C.. yarns are used in the
weave.
The fabric on either side of the seam
distorts as the fabric yarns slide away
resulting in a permanent gap.
Corrective Actions
Ìncrease seam allowance
Use a higher stitch density
Opt for a lapped fell seam
Seam Pucker
Tension pucker
eed pucker
Shrinkage pucker
Ìnherent pucker
abric flagging
Tension Pucker
Caused by high thread tension during sewing.
More pronounced when synthetic threads are
used.
These threads on account of high stretch
properties elongate more during sewing.
After sewing the threads recover from the stretched
state pulling the fabric with it.
Remedy:
Thread tensions have to be kept as
low as possible.
eed Pucker
ncountered when sewing very fine fabrics.
The plies of fabric tend to slip over each other
resulting in uneven feed leading to pucker.
Remedy :
Opting for advanced types of feed
systems like compound or unison feed.
Puller feed is more cost effective.
Shrinkage Pucker
Wash pucker - during the wash process the thread in the seam
shrinks, pulling the fabric with it. More so when using cotton
threads.
Ìroning pucker - normally happens when synthetic threads are
used. The heat destabilizes the molecular structure of the
thread causing it to contract.
Remedy
Choosing threads with low shrinkage properties.
Ìnherent Pucker
Normally seen when sewing densely woven materials.
This occurs because the needle forcibly displaces the
warp & weft ends of the dense weave to a significant
extent.
These displaced ends are pushed upwards to the
surface of the fabric and appear as pucker.
This is also know as 'STRUCTURA JAMMÌNG'
Remedy
Opting for finer needles & threads
Opt for a chain stitch in place of a lock
stitch
Reduce stitch density
Biased stitching
abric lagging
A machine related issue
the throat plate aperture enlarges due to wear & tear
while sewing the needle pushes the fabric through the
aperture before penetrating the fabric
this can also happen when the needle size (thickness) is
changed and if the throat plate is not changed accordingly.
Remedy
throat plates must be changed at regular intervals
after checking for wear & tear
throat plates must be changed in accordance with the
needle size even if there are no signs of wear & tear.
Needle Size - Nm 60 65 70 80 90 100 110 120
Throat plate - Nm 100 120 120 140 160 160 200 200
aperture size
Garment / Seam properties
A garment is made up using a series of different seams.
Therefore, a thread should be chosen for specific seams to ensure
maximum benefits.
Seam ngineering
Seam appearance
Ìs the seam attractive, consistent, and neat?
Seam strength
Have the correct seam type and thread
selections been made for the item being sewn?
Seam stretch
Does the seam allow stretch especially in high
elongation fabrics viz : knits, lycra blends
Seam durability
Do the properties of the seam, thread, and fabric
lend themselve to the desired length of use for the
item sewn?
Seam Strength
Critical factors :
Thread strength
Stitch type
Stitch rating
Seam type
abric type
Needle size & point
Seam strength = SPÌ X STS X 1.5 - lockstitch
SPÌ X STS X 1.7 - chainstitch
e.g.
for a seam with a density of 16 spi & a thread with a 1100 gms STS
seam strength for lockstitch = 16 X 1100 X 1.5 = 26,400 gms.
= 26. 4 kgs
seam strength for chainstitch = 16 X 1100 X 1.7 = 29,920 gms.
= 29. 9 kgs
The seam is sewn at right angles
to the direction of load.
Seam Strength
Stitch Type
The lockstitch is the most common stitch used, but the most easily
damaged.
Chain and overedge stitches offer more extensibility, which leads to
more resistance to stress.
Stitch Density
Seam strength is usually proportional to stitch density.
Ìncreasing stitches per inch gives a stronger seam up to a point.
Sometimes it is more economical to use a stronger thread.
Seam Type
A lap felled seam is the strongest of all seam types because the
fabric is lapped upon itself and shares the stress load along with
the thread. However, the lap felled seam makes a bulky seam.
A butt seam is designed to maintain a flat profile, but in this type
seam the thread bears the entire load of stress in the seam.
Seam Stretch
Critical factors
Thread extensibility
Stitch type
Stitch rating
abric Type
Seam stretch is expressed as a % .
The seam is sewn parallel to
the direction of load.
Seam Durability
Defined as the ability of a seam to withstand
abrasion during :
Distress garment washes like stone, sand, golf ball etc.
Normal machine wash
Day to day wear & tear of a garment
Durability factor for various substrates :
Rayon : 1
Cotton : 3
SSP : 12
Core spun : 30
C Nylon : 150
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