Monday, March 17, 2008

Stitch Lengths

The stitch length you use depends on the fabric type and the purpose of the stitching.

Regular (standard) stitching is used for permanent seams and construction details. With most fabrics 10-12 stitches per inch is fine. On our classroom machines the middle dial will be set between 2 and 3 for regular stitch length. For finer fabrics you might need 12-15 stitches per inch, and with heavy fabrics like denim and twill you will have more success with 8-10 stitches per inch.

Basting stitches temporarily hold two or more fabric pieces together until they are permanently stitched. Basting is also used on a single layer of fabric for easing, gathering and marking guidelines. Use the longest machine stitch, usually 6 per inch. On our classroom machines the middle dial is set at 4 for basting.

Reinforcement stitching gives strength to areas that will be trimmed or clipped close to the stitching. Use 15-20 stitches per inch. On classroom machines that is the setting between 1 and two on the middle dial.

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