Seams and Stitches (Part 1): International Nomenclature Aids Garment Producers
101 is an easily removed stitch used for basting, tacking, button sewing, label setting, and bag closing. It is the simplest of all mechanically formed stitches.
103 is a single-thread blindstitch formed with a curved needle that barely penetrates the bottom ply of material. It is used for blind stitch felling and hemming operations on garments and draperies.
104 is a saddle stitch used to produce a decorative effect on suits, dresses, jackets, etc. It is formed by pulling the needle thread back through the top of the material where it is looped with itself.
301 is a very tight stitch that looks the same on the top and the bottom of the seam. It is used for runstitching and seaming operations on all types of apparel. It produces a secure seam with a minimum of grin. The ratio of needle thread to bobbin thread is 1 to 1 in a correctly formed stitch where the threads are interlocked in the middle of the material.
304 is a zigzag lockstitch produced by moving the needle from side to side, thereby putting more thread into the seam for greater elasticity. Used on lingerie, foundation garments, and infants' clothing. It combines comfort with stretch.
306 is a lockstitch blindstitch which is more secure than the single-thread 103 stitch type. It is desirable for its durability and its hand-tailored appearance.
313, a lockstitch blindstitch, is used for felling linings and hems on suit coats. When correctly applied, this stitch is invisible on both the top and the bottom of the seam.
314, another lockstitch blindstitch, provides the quality and the appearance of hand blindstitching and is usually used for felling undercollars and linings at the sleeve on suit coats and tailored garments.
401 uses a needle thread and looper thread to produce an elastic stitch which is used on a wide range of main seaming operations on all types of garments.
406 uses two needles and one looper. This stitch type was originally used for coverseaming a previously sewn seam. Other applications include making belt loops, binding, and elastic attaching to undergarments. It is also used to hem bathing suits, pajamas, and sportswear.
407 uses three needles and one looper. It is a stitch with even greater elasticity and strength, and better coverage is achieved. It is widely used for attaching elastic to briefs, panties, and similar undergarments.
501 uses a single thread to produce a break-open seam that is used for bold end seaming applications. When opened, the seam is flat without any overlapping of the material, allowing it to pass easily through dyeing or finishing machinery.
502 is a two-thread stitch formed by drawing the looper thread around the edge of the material. It is primarily used for bag seaming.
503 is a two-thread stitch similar to 502 except that the needle thread interlocks with the looper thread on the edge forming a "purl”. The 503 stitch is used for serging or blind hemming operations.
504, the most popular of the 500 Class stitches, uses three threads and is applicable to a wide range of seaming operations. A tight secure seam is produced with both top and bottom looper threads meeting on the edge.
505, sometimes called the box or square-edge-stitch, produces the best coverage for serging operations. It is also used to break open seams on garments.
512 is a four-thread, mock safety-stitch formed by using two loopers and two needles where the right needle only enters the upper loop to give the appearance of a safety-stitch. This stitch is both strong and elastic.
514 is similar to the 512 except that both needles enter the upper looper thread. It has the strength and elastic advantages of the mock safety-stitch with the additional advantage of being able to chain off more consistently.
515 is a true safety-stitch formed by simultaneously sewing one row of 401 stitches and one row of 503 stitches. This configuration combines the strength and stretch advantages of both stitch types to produce a durable seam.
516 is another variation of the safety-stitch which uses a row of 504 stitches plus a row of 401 stitches. Although an additional thread is used in the overedge portion of this stitch, it also is used to make a strong, durable seam.
519 is a six-thread safety-stitch comprised of a 602 stitch on the edge and a 401 stitch. It provides excellent strength and coverage on heavier-weight material.
521 is a three-thread stitch used for break-open seaming on men's and women's hosiery. From 20 to 100 stitches per inch are often used resulting in a strong, yet comfortable hosiery seam.
602 is a four-thread stitch type used for binding operations on knit undergarments, athletic shirts, and infants' wear. It provides excellent coverage on both the top and bottom of cut-edge binding.
605 is a five-thread stitch type well suited to lapped seaming and elastic attaching operations, as well as to cut-edge binding operations. It is also used as a decorative stitch.
607 is a six-thread stitch type providing more coverage than any of the other stitches in the 600 class. It is used for flat seaming operations on undergarments, sportswear, infants' wear, etc.