Sewing ABC: The most important technical terms simply explained
If you diligently follow our current projects and news you will always come across technical terms from our industry which are certainly not familiar to you. This is why we have collected some technical terms for you, and we will try to make them more understandable to you.
Darts serve to improve the body fit of a garment and represent a kind of pleat. It is mostly wedge- or diamond-shaped and are to find on curves such as the shoulder, chest or waist.
Depending on how the shape is to be optimised at the end, the dart is applied differently. Garments that do not fit close to the body or pieces with elastic material do not usually require a dart.
In order to be able to guarantee high and long-lasting quality, it is essential that the seams are strictly examined and carefully joined. Therefore, pinning is done before each seam and prevents the fabric from slipping under the sewing machine or seams from becoming crooked. Both conventional needles and clamps can be used for pinning.
Interfacing is used to strengthen fabrics and protect them from tearing. Interfacings are especially used when sewing zippers and buttons into stretchy material.
As soon as a neck, arm or leg neckline is enclosed with a strip of fabric to close off properly, this is called hemming.
Tacking is usually done by hand with a very rough stitch, so that parts of the fabric can only be provisionally sewn together. This makes it easier to try on garments and to undo them again more quickly. This way, changes do not require too much effort.
The nap direction refers to the fibre direction of different fabrics. During processing and production, the individual cut pieces have always to be sewn with the same direction of nap direction in order to achieve a uniform appearance later on. The direction can be determined quite simply. When the palm of the hand strokes over the fabric and the fibres stand up, the direction is against the nap, if they remain flat, it is with the nap.
Try out with your own garments!