Seam Properties in Apparel | Seam Slippage | Seam Strength

What is Seam in Garments?

A seam is the joining of two or two or more fabric pieces y means of one or more rows of stitches. Seam failure or fabric failure may occur as a result of longitudinal or transverse loading on such a sewn fabric. The transverse seam strength is a prime requirement in the joining of woven fabric using a sewn seam. In general, it is better to have seam breaks rather than fabric breaks. Because seam breaks can be repaired but fabric breaks can’t. So, the optimum seam strength should be equal to or slightly less than the fabric strength. In this article, I have explained the seam properties, seam slippage, and seam strength of apparel.

Seam types in apparel

Fig: Seam types in apparel

Most of the apparel is manufactured by using some sort of joining of panels of fabrics. The techniques of joining of fabrics may be welding or by the use of adhesives or a sewn seam. Joining by sewn seam is the most common and widely used technique both for domestic and industrial apparel manufacturing purposes.

What is Seam Slippage in Apparel?

When a sewn seam is under some transverse loading, displacement of the stitches relative to the fabric threads can also occur, which is called seam slippage, resulting in some opening of the fabric. This phenomenon of some woven fabrics decreases the range of their possible end uses and causes some problems in the clothing manufacturing industries.

Factors of Seam Slippage in the Apparel Industry:

It has been found that fabric fraying or seam slippage depends on the following matters:

  1. Type of weave,
  2. Fabric raw material,
  3. Ends and picks density,
  4. Type of seam,
  5. Stitch density,
  6. Sewing thread size and strength,
  7. Sewing thread tension and
  8. Others.

Factors of Seam Strength in Clothing:

Practically, to predict the seam strength in clothing is very complex. Many factors influence the seam strength in a sewn seam. Those factors are listed below:

  1. Stitch density and type,
  2. Seam type,
  3. Needle size, shape, and coating,
  4. Sewing thread size,
  5. Sewing thread tension,
  6. Sewing material,
  7. Fabric strength,
  8. Fabric construction and component,
  9. The angle of seam relative to warp and weft threads,
  10. Type of sewing machine etc.

Properties of Seam in Apparel:

There are mainly two causes for seaming textile or non-textiles. The first reason is to join two or more pieces to produce a large composite piece of two or three-dimensional configuration and the second one is to decorate the article.

In the second case, the seam strength is not as important as the first case, but other factors such as pucker, stretch, and durability are important. However, the most important properties of a seam are strength, durability, elasticity, security, and good appearance.

To achieve these important properties from a sewn seam, one must take into account the below factors:

  1. Sewing thread composition, construction, and colorfastness
  2. Compatibility of sewing thread with fabric,
  3. Sewing thread strength and elasticity,
  4. Satisfactory standards of care by the machinist,
  5. The style or design of the finished article,
  6. Needle size and type,
  7. The raw materials and properties of the fabric,
  8. Sewing thread tension,
  9. Stitch density,
  10. Seam and stitch type
  11. The intended end use of the article.

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