Stitching: Types And Techniques

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Stitching: Types And Techniques

When we think about stitching, the first memory that comes to our mind is our grandmothers, mothers or sister sitting in the backyard of our homes and sewing little colourful clothes.

Over time, that sight has started becoming rare.









So rare that when we go shopping these days, we observe the fabric, the overall design, the features but we miss out on one of the most important things that determines how long the garment will stay intact – its stitching.

Most professionals go to great heights to make sure the right sewing techniques are used. 









Some require more thread, some take time to weave, some are suited for style and decoration, some for sturdiness.

Let us go through the four common stitches that are used in garment manufacturing.

  • Lockstitch

You might have seen the class 300 lockstitch on dress shirt labels under the name of “single needle stitching”. It is made when two threads lock together at short intervals. It is also the most common mechanical stitch made by a sewing machine.

They are used for top-stitching, seaming, cover-stitching and wovens or knits where wide coverage is required. The reason behind this stitch being so popular is that it is one of the fastest and cheapest to sew. 

This stitch will appear the same both inside and outside of the garment which is not the case for chain stitch. It is not suitable for elastic and knit fabrics as these fabrics require flexibility whereas the lockstitch has a tendency to become very tight.

These are extensively used for joining cuffs, fabric collars, sleeves, pockets, etc. There are many different kinds of lockstitches and not all are appropriate for the same purposes. For example: Lockstitch 313 and 314 are good for waistbands and dresses. Lockstitch 304 which is the zigzag  version is commonly used for attaching trimmings or for parts of athletic wear.

The lockstitch type is generally chosen depending on the stitching properties that a customer requires.

  • Overlock stitch

Overlock stitch is a kind of stitch that sews over the edge of one or more pieces of cloth for seaming, edging or hemming. Normally, the overlock sewing machine will also cut the edges of the cloth as they are put through the machine but there are some machines available that are made without these cutters.

In this technique, a group of threads go around the edge of the fabric which reinforces the inner stitching as the threads are contained.

One can choose anywhere from one to five threads which helps serve different purposes:

  • Using one thread, end-to-end seaming and hems is done.
  • The 2-thread stitch will cleanly finish off raw edges but as it’s not strong, it’s not recommended for actual seaming. 
  • The 3-thread stitch is strong and a great choice for lightweight fabrics or simple edge finishing. 
  • An overlock stretch using 4 threads is best used for medium to heavy weight fabrics or on seams that see a bit of stress such as fitted garments. This stitch gives you both flexibility and durability.
  • Very strong safety stitches can be done with the help of 5-thread overlock stitch.

The overlock stitch because of its flexibility is a popular choice for manufacturers of dance clothing, sportswear and other garments and materials that require stretching. 

There is only one negative to this stitch- very high thread consumption occurs during this process but it is often ignored as it sews garments faster than other stitching techniques.

  • Chain stitch

The chain stitch is one of the basic and simplest stitches and is used by many individuals for sewing as it looks aesthetically pleasing.

But what exactly is the chain stitch?

Chain stitch is an ancient craft where one or more needle threads penetrate the material to form a chain-like pattern and a loop underneath it. It is majorly used on cloth materials that require an aesthetic touch.

It is slightly larger than the other stitch types and therefore is also used to occupy the empty space in garments. 

While this stitch looks pleasing to the eye, it can also turn out to be costly for the manufacturer as it makes use of more thread and isn’t even as strong as the others. The seams which are joined with the chain stitch often unravel easily and thus a lot of thought should be given to adopting this technique in your garment.

  • Multi Thread chain stitch

Multi thread chain stitch is formed when one or more needle threads move through the fabric and interconnect with a group of looping threads on the garment’s underside. This is the reason why its appearance is different in the front and back side of the garment.

It may look like your normal chain stitch but it elongates better when extended and also has more strength and durability. It is also less vulnerable to seam puckering as it is located underneath the fabric rather than in between its layers.

It is used in various purposes in sewing apparels like in jeans pant inseam and in shirts side seam. Other than that, it can also be used as an elastic in waistbands, blazers, jackets and as decorative stitching on belts. 

This technique also consumes a lot of thread and takes longer to sew and even if just one thread is damaged, the stitch will unravel quite easily and the entire seam’s integrity will be put into question. To prevent this, over-sewing and bar-tacking of the seam is done for reinforcement.


There is an art and science to stitching as much as there is an art and science to designing clothes.

Even one mistake in choosing the perfect stitch for the garment can end up putting a question mark on your reputation.









We at Gokul Texprints understand this and have years of experience in picking up the right kind of stitch and making sure the entire process of stitching takes place in such a way that the garments not only stays durable but sturdier too. A reason why so many dealers and distributors all over India choose to work with us.

Call us on 9328113011 or chat with us on to resolve your queries. We would be happy to connect with you to develop further associations, partnership, and dealership opportunities.