Sewing Terminology

Imagine a single strand of thread. Can you break that thread with just your bare hands? Of course you can! A single strand of thread is weak. But your shirt, pants, shorts, boxers and briefs are all made up of threads. They do not break easily. They are strong

And what makes them strong? Did the manufacturers use glue or some kind of adhesive to stick them all together? No. It’s just the art or sewing.

Sewing dates back 25,000 years ago! Sewing is the art and craft of attaching together two objects with just a needle and thread. Not many people know how to sew (especially guys) but if you already know, then you’re in luck. I will give you a list of different types of stitches to research and add to your skill.


Straight stitch – A straight stitch is the most common way of stitching. It is the easiest way to connect 2 pieces of fabric

Slip Stitch – You make a slip stitch when you don’t want the stitching to be visible in your finished product.

Running Stitch – A running stitch is a kind of straight stitch that can be made by putting the needle through many folds of fabric instead of one stitch at a time.

Back Stitch – This stitch is a repetitive stitch. When you connect 2 fabrics together with this stitch, it would be very durable.

Chain stitch – A chain stitch is more of a decorative stitch. You see it often on the robes and dresses of kings and queens in the early age. You can now see them in wedding dresses, ballroom gowns, etc.

Buttonhole Stitch – A buttonhole stitch is used to trim the raw edges of fabric to secure the edges of a button hole.

Overcast Stitch – An overcast stitch is used to to both protect the raw edges of fabric and as a decorative stitch.

ZigZag Stitch – A zigzag stitch is the best way to protect the raw edges of whichever fabric you are using.

Blanket Stitch – A blanket stitch is often used to trim the raw edges of fabric.

Cross-Stitch –  This stitch is mainly used for decoration but can also be used as a stitch for seams.

Barning Stitch – You use this stitch to repair holes, burns, or worn out areas in a fabric or in knitting.

Embroidery Stitch – one or more stitches forming a figure of recognizable look


These are just some of the stitches that are currently being used the whole world today. Take the time to study and research each of them and I can assure you that you will be even better at stitching and make more creative output in your work. Someday, you may even create and invent your own stitch! The possibilities are endless when you have the creative mind and the skill to back it up. So, keep on sewing, keep on practicing those stitches everyday so that one day, the craft that you do would get noticed or you could soon teach amateurs how to stitch.


For more information, watch the video below

Introduction to Types of Sewing

Various types of sewing machines are widely used, domestically as well as commercially, for stitching clothes and other materials for making different types of products including ready-to-wear clothes and several sports items like football, volleyball and other accessories etc. Brief information about the types of sewing machines and stitches is provided here under for your guidance.

Types of sewing machines

Sewing machines normally used these days include manual machines, electrical machines, over-locker machines and computerized machines.


Manual sewing machines

Due to the introduction of latest technologies in different other types of sewing machines manual sewing machines are not much in use these days. These machines were operated manually by rotating its wheel by one hand and guiding the item to be stitched under its needle with other hand to stitch it effectively. Sewing machines of this category are available only in limited number of old models today.

Electric sewing machines 

A motor is fitted in the body of the sewing machine to stitch the clothes and other material by controlling the feed dogs and bobbin in the lower portion of the machine and needle in its upper part. A foot pedal is provided with electric sewing machines to drive the motor hands-free at various speeds by controlling the pressure of your feet on it. The material is automatically fed under the needle through its feed dogs. You can use this machine for stitching various types and sizes of stitches just by turning a dial on it. These types of sewing machines are the faster version of manually operated sewing machines.

Over-locker machines

In order to give a professional touch or to stop fraying of the seams of a garment over-locker machines are used. The seams are trimmed by these machines while sewing clothes through these machines to give them a neat and tidy look. They can trim, gather or attach different types of sewing stitches at faster speed than other sewing machines. Tough ordinary machines can also be used for making the seams neat and tidy but you will have to make many efforts in cutting the cloth and stitching it in zigzag manner which can be a time consuming process also. But you can use over-locker machine along with your ordinary sewing machine as it can be used for limited types of sewing works.

Computerized sewing machines

The latest version of electric sewing machines is the computerized sewing machines which can awfully perform all types of sewing works done by any ordinary sewing machine. All types of stitching works including selection of correct tension, length and width of the stitch etc. are controlled through programmed computerized chips in it. You can operate them by using computer screen and touch pad. You can also download stitching programs from your computer to stitch any item accordingly. You can store a number of stitches of your choice in the memory of your computerized sewing machine to use them in future.

Types of sewing stitches which a sewing machine can stitch

You can make a wide range of stitches with any type of sewing machine. If you are using a sewing machine for the first time or have not used it since long then the information provided here under, about different types of stitches, can help you in future. Basically a good sewing machine can allow you to stitch most of the types of stitches discussed here under.

Straight stitches: The sewing stitches of this type are normally used for seaming, basting or top stitching an item.

Zigzag stitches: Zigzag stitches help in adding width to the straight stitches. They are normally used while making buttonholes, embroidering, sewing buttons and around appliqués to give them a strong and amazing look.

Simple and stretch blind hem stitch: In order to hide the stitches from the right side of woven fabrics blind hem stitches are used. They not only strengthen the stitches but also improve the look of the fabric. In order to hem knit fabrics invisibly one or two extra zigzag stitches are used which are known as stretched bind hem stitches.

Three step zigzag stitches: The zigzag stitch of this type is the revised version of ordinary zigzag stitches used in their widest form in which the sewing machine pulls and rolls the fabric under the stitch to give it a tunnel like look. Most of the sewing machine manufacturers introduced this type of sewing stitch to eliminate this type of problem. Now the needle of the machine takes three stitches on both the sides of the fabric to give a tunnel free and flat seam on it. These types of stitches are usually used for sewing elastic, finishing raw edges, give decorative effect and mending tears on the fabric.


Decorative stitches: Closed and satin stitch and open and tracery type stitch are the two types of decorative stitches normally used for decorating a fabric. Modern computerized sewing machines can allow you to stitch the stitches of this type in combination with many other types of stitches to stitch one’s name or lengthen the design to give a bolder effect by programming the machine accordingly.


Over-lock stitches: Certain sewing machines are specially designed to stitch over-lockstitches to finish the seams and to protect the fabrics, especially woven and knit fabrics, from early wear and tear.


Embroidery stitches: You can use embroidery cards in your sewing machine for stitching complex broidery designs on your clothes. The design of various types of intricate motifs and embroideries are saved on the disc type embroidery cards used in computerized sewing machines. Some of these machines are provided with a scanner which can help you in adding new patterns to the stitching library of the machine.


Thus you can stitch various types of stitches with the help of various types of sewing machines after selecting the type of stitch you want to stitch. The user manual provided with your sewing machine by its manufacturer can help you in using your machine appropriately for stitching the type of stitch you have selected.


Why Learn to Sew?

Sewing is an art

Sewing is an art that joins the fabrics using thread and needle. You might have thought it as a simple thing which has things to do only with your clothing. The reality is that sewing if done by yourself can help you reap so many benefits that you have never thought of. Never take it as a silly thing, in fact every trifle can offer something so huge to you. Doing and learning small things can benefit you in such significant manner that you find it worthy to do. Once when you come across the benefits of doing sewing, you may find it an interesting as well as engaging task which you want to do regularly.

Why learn to sew?



Sewing your clothes is all about creativity. If you are not interested in buying clothes that are designed by others or give fabrics to a store and get your clothes stitched, then you can make your clothes creative and as per your interest. When you design and sew your clothes, you are awakening your talents that are hidden in you. It can really make you realize how capable or talented you are. The sort of satisfaction that you get when you wear the clothes that you sew by yourself is also overwhelming.



Do not consider sewing something very simple and silly. Once when you start knowing about it, you can find the book of knowledge opening before you that make you learn many things which include techniques, notions, fit and fabrics. When you start sewing, each time you can find yourself infront of a new challenge of anew thing that you still need to explore as well as unveil. It can be really a thrilling experience for the ones who lobe doing something different in life and who want the life and their profession to bring new flavours each time.


Being Yourself

If you love the art of sewing, then getting engaged to it is a sort of elf actualization. You can be yourself when you are doing something which you love. The things that excite you and make you happy are the ones which can bring out the real you from underneath. If you feel that you are enjoying this art, even when it is not your career, try to spare some time for that so that you can really understand yourself. Sparing time for yourself, listening to your inner self is very important to withstand the stress of the hectic lifestyle.


Puts You in Track

According to great psychologists, people can be overwhelmed and content when they are engaged in some activity that requires their whole skills and attention. This type of contentment can provide a human being the fuel necessary to move forward in life. Sparing a time for relaxation and happiness can only make a life worthy to live else it can be something mechanic and horrible. Getting in to activity like sewing, you need to concentrate much and you also should think and get some ideas to do various things and overcome the challenges that you face each time. It requires your whole body and mind to work together and which makes you alive and keeps you relaxed. Getting involved in total engaging activity can also make an individual forget about all the kind of worries and stresses. In such a perspective, sewing can be considered as

perfect and easier stress buster.


Craft Tradition

There was a time when people lived with the things they make. All people grew the food items they need and they also made the pots they need and also built their own houses. They even made fabrics by their own with organic materials and even sewed them as per their interest and need. There was no consumer culture during those period and people were happy being self sufficient. Now the world is commercialized, you earn money through your job and spend it by buying the various stuffs that you need. This has limited our knowledge and skills. Learning to sew is the perfect way for reconnecting oneself with the tradition and it is also an act of being self sufficient.



Sewing gives access to you exclusively in to the world of fantasy. You can make the kind of cloth that you want so that you can look in the way you like. It is like you can pretend to be like the person you want. Some extra fabric can be helpful in turning a house dress to a night gown. You can design the fabrics as per your imaginations and this can be really a great way to peep to the childhood when we used to feel that each and every thing resembles to something else. This ability for imagination can be enriched with sewing.


Peeping to Economics, Sociology and History

When you start sewing your clothes by your own, you may have the feeling to explore the role of cloth making throughout the history. It can encourage you to know the history. The introduction of sewing machines have revolutionized this niche of sewing as this has helped women who were more engaged in to this professions , to make their skill in to a profitable venture. You can also know the way cloth making has influenced economics and the way the top most cloth making brands emerged. It is always exciting to know about history as this can make you build your future safely.


Self Confidence

Getting involved in that activity which is your passion can always make you feel incredible and self confident. When you are getting engaged in sewing, you are trying to do the thing that you need by yourself. It can give you a feeling independence, which can raise yourself respect and thereby you can enhance your self confidence. You can also depict the kind of style and the trend that you want in your costumes which make you feel more good and confident when you are in public as you know that you are wearing something more suitable for your body.

History of Sewing

Sewing refers to the art and craft of fastening/attaching/intertwining objects together using a thread and needle in a patterned stitching arrangement.

History of Sewing

It is among the oldest textile crafts that archeologists indicated evidence of sewing 25000 years during the Paleolithic era of the Stone Age man. Sewing basically aims at attaching different objects to create covers and clothing as well as mending torn objects among other related attachments. This art has evolved over time from the fully hand craft mechanism to the modern machinery automated process.

The ancient generations used animal bones, antler and ivories incised with an eye where the thread goes through. They then developed their needles to woods and the industrial revolution initiated the modern diversity in sewing needles determined by the materials being stitched together. They range from spinning yawn to mechanized equipment used in the textile industry. The thread has also developed from the past sinew, veins and catgut used by ancient people to the current high profile waving fabric.

Traditionally sewing was fully associated with household linen and clothing. However, it has expanded and is now used for other varied crafts including book-binding, shoemaking, sail-making, upholstery as well as industrial tapestry, embroidery appliqué among others. It is also exhibited in the manufacture of certain sporting products.


Elements of Sewing

The main elements of sewing involve stitch and seam with only a few tools like sewing shears, needle, thread, measuring tape and cloth needed for simple patterns. Complex patterns are always done by automated sewing machines. Additional requirements may include trim attachments of ruffles and hem repair glue. The process of stitching has several minor divisions of crafts like edge-stitching, stay-stitching, plain seam, flat fell seam and zigzag among others. These vary between construction sewing and seams sewing. The fabrics being sewn can be made more rigid and shaped using supportive mechanisms of interfacing, lining and fusing. Their weight can also be added by the means of pleats or reduced using darts.


Step by Step History

Sewing has developed from crude tools to the modern specialized and computerized machines used in the textile industries. The beginning of sewing can be traced to as back as the last Stone Age period, although the rapid development can be credited to most of the 19th century innovations. The first sewing machine was however patented in 1790.

• During the stone ages, it was used to form clothing and shelter by stitching animal hide. It included weaving of striped cuts if backs or leaves of plants in Africa, which was used to make baskets and other simple amenities.

• It then progressed to cloth weaving using natural fibers in the Middle East at about 4000 BCE after which full cloth sewing is believed to have followed in the Neolithic Age.

• The emergence of tailors and seamstresses was witnessed among Europeans and it was more attributed to the occupation of women whose services were practical. It mostly consisted of mending or repairing torn cloths. The sewing of clothes from scratch incorporated a lot of skills such as weaving, cutting, pattern creation among others. The art soon developed to decorative needlework and between the middle age to the 17th century, pins, needles and pincushions were women’s necessities in Europe. The embroidery spread from settlement of people in new areas mixing the Asian, European techniques heading into the 19th century.

• Industrial revolution further expanded the art and saw the earliest sewing machines emerge. There already was need for a military uniform which mean sewing machines further developed and the fist accurate ones was produced by Isaac Singer in the 1850s.

• Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, sewing machines technologies were improved to the current computerized environments evident in the textile industry for mass production of fabrics and related products. The western styles were also spread in the modern dimension from Japanese techniques. Sewing is still practiced by most women in homesteads although the expansion of occupation opportunities and the modern efficiency in service provision has lowered interests.


Sewing Basic Techniques

Before attaching together pieces of clothing to complete the dress design or cover needed, the garment is required. The garment is usually formed by following a pattern which can be simple mathematical formulas based on the wearer’s measurements calculated by the sewer. These measurements are used in determining the cuts needed and how the garments will be attached to each other. It is these processes that are programmed or computerized into the modern technology sewing machines which are then automated for mass production.

The textile industry utilizes this advantage to create numerous ranging sizes of cloths to accommodate the diverse sizes in the human population. The 21st generation sewing includes high power machines to make heavy fabrics with different patterns and alignments. Sewing machines consume a given form of energy ranging from mechanized human driven swing technology to electricity operated machines.




Sewing has a broad scope in the current dimension and includes arts, fashion and design as well as mass production of clothing, homestead and office linens as well as other fabrics. In the field of arts and fashion, different sewing styles are lent in the combination of garments to achieve distinct design different from others. This is used to produce designs based on the cultural modes of dressing. This is mostly occupational since it involves a lot of practical craftsmanship using simple sewing machines. The professionals design dresses for cultural events as well as modern fashion creativity.

The other dimension involves production of all sorts of clothing from footwear to hats and gloves. The practice is still very similar to ancient creativity with technology enabling efficiency in productivity. The practical craftsmanship is labor intensive and artistic designers can take months to develop a new idea and finish the product. However, mass production focuses on repeated instructions where sewing personnel only place or arrange the raw materials in ways that the machine can easily pick them. The sewing machines carry out the instructions to stitch patterns at high speeds with fast moving needles and garment conveyers. A number of phases are involved and scheduled for until the final outcome is achieved.