Seam types

Seam types

Seam types in the apparel industry are used to categorize seams according to their structure. Each is classified by the abbreviated seam type (example: Superimposed Seam = SS). This standardization system can be helpful when communicating construction specifications, particularly when communicating without a common language. There are four different classes of seams.

Each seam/stitch class is useful for different construction methods.

uperimposed Seam (SS)

The superimposed seam is achieved by sewing two or more separate pieces of fabric together. This is the one of the most recognized methods of seaming. The most basic superimposed seam is the SSa. One ply of fabric stacked upon another with thread stitching through all plies of fabric. SSa is used on many garment side seams. This class of seams can be sewn a variety of machines, for example a Lockstitch or Overlock machine. The Superimposed Seam has over 50 variations.

There are many different types of seams; these include

* plain seam: the common way of joining fabrics
* French seams: for fine fabrics and lingerie ( completely enclosed the raw edges of the fabric)
* overlocking: sews and trims the fabric to create a neat edge
* double machine seam: strong, flat and decorative ( commonly used on jeans)

Lapped Seam (LS)

This class of seaming has the largest number of variations. A lapped seam is achieved with two or more pieces of fabric overlapping each other. LS commonly, but not always, have one ply of fabric fold under itself for a finished edge. Lapped seams are common when working with leather and sewing side seams on jeans and dress shirts.

Bound Seams (BS)

The purpose of a bound seam is to finish an edge of a garment. A common example of this would be a neckline of a t-shirt. A bound seam is one piece of fabric encompassing the raw edge of another piece of fabric. There are 18 variations of a bound seam.

Flat Seam (FS)

Flat seams are constructed by having two pieces of fabric meet precisely at their edges. A cover stitch is used to sew the two pieces of fabric together. This stitch has multiple needles and creates a stitch perpendicular to the seam line. This creates a flat seam which is commonly used on garments that fit closely to the body such as underwear. The purpose is to create a seam that will be flat throughout the duration of the garment life.


* Glock, R. & Kunz, G. "Apparel manufacturing Sewn Product Analysis Fourth Edition", Pearson Education, Inc., 2005. ISBN 0131119826.

External links

* [ International Organization for Standardization: Stitches]
* [ ACTIVE STANDARD: ASTM D4965-96(2002) Standard Terminology of Seams and Seam Finishes in Home Sewing]

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