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The act or result of rubbing during laundering or normal wear.
Generally synthetic threads have superior abrasion resistance
than cellulosic threads. Poly core yarns have good abrasion resistance
needed in many pre-washed garments.
Refers to the appearance of the thread in the
finished seam and can be affected by: Contrast stitching Color
matching Sheen of the thread Size of the thread.
Advanced Fiber Information System made by Uster.
This instrument is used for measuring fiber length and diameter,
short fiber content, and neps per gram. Used to monitor the incoming
raw materials, opening and carding equipment efficiencies of removing
short fiber and fiber imperfections.
A means of joining ends of thread with high pressure
air. Produces a union not as thick as weavers knot so a better
quality product is produced.
Anti - stat:
A chemical used to reduce the static electric
charges produced in a thread. The finish is usually required on
Anti - wicking:
Usually refers to finish put on the thread to
prevent liquid from migrating through the thread. This finish
is sometimes put on cotton threads used in tents, awnings, and
A pattern of stitches sewn on a cycle machine
used to re - enforce seams, attach belt loops etc. Bartackers
are available to make either a lockstitch or a single - thread
tack. The most common single thread bartacker is a Reece S - 2
Refers to temporary stitch used in tailored garments
to hold garment pieces together until another operation is performed.
Most manufacturers use 100% cotton thread which is later pulled
and thrown away.
Refers to a 103 Efc - 1 hemming operation. Many
manufacturers use either a spun or a textured polyester thread
for this operation.
A bobbin is a yarn package in which single yarn is wound in a
A small round source of thread used as the bottom
thread in a lock stitch machine. It does not go back and forth
like the needle swing thread does. Also called bottom thread in
lock stitch machine or looper thread on a chasinstitch or overedge
Refers to the finish applied to continuous filament
synthetic threads which coat the fibers giving the thread better
ply security and abrasion resistance.
They are heavy weight fabrics used for jeans,
overalls, jackets etc. These fabrics require heavy thread size
with good needle resistance.
A seam where a binding or a piping is sewn on
the edge of the seam usually with the assistance of a folder on
a sewing machine .
Thread breakage can be caused due to a number
of variables viz. Weak thread or wrong thread for operation Thread
defects including knot slubs etc. Thread with too much stretch
or elongation Mal adjusted sewing machine Operator handling
Busted seam construction:
Seams that are pressed flat after the panels
have been serged and then sewn. Used on tailored garments like
coats, slacks, dresses etc.
Is usually sewn either a single thread or a lock
stitch cycle machine set up to attach the buttons. Usually a 100%
cotton thread is recommended on machines that do not have a thread
trimmer. On machines with thread trimmers, most core or spun polyester
threads can be used.
Is usually sewn on either a single machine thread
or lockstitch cycle machines set up to make buttonholes. Buttonhole
machines can be complicated and cause many sewing problems. Many
manufacturers use 100% cotton thread or a core thread on these
machines to minimise thread breakage or skipped stitches.
The first department in pre - spinning unit of
any yarn whose main functions include: Opening Cleaning Mixing
Formation of a product suitable for carding.
A process used in the manufacturing of staple
yarns which separates, cleans, aligns, and delivers the fibers
in a sliver form. The machine consists of a series of rolls ,
the surfaces of which are covered with projecting wires or metal
Chaining - off:
Refers to what a sewing operator does when he
sews off the fabric at the end of a seam but the machine continues
to form a stitch.
Usually refers to a 401 double - locked stitch
where the needle thread is inter looped with a bottom looper thread
on the underside of the seam. Usually a size smaller, the looper
thread can be used and still maintain the seam strength, because
of the way the threads are interlooped. Most main seams sewn in
apparel are sewn with this stitch formation.
A Uster testing machine used to measure the frequency
and grade the size of yarn imperfections in single yarn or plied
The ability of the thread to retain its color
during wear, laundering and/or when exposed to sunlight. Polyester
threads usually exhibit the best colorfastness. Vat dyed cotton
have reasonable colorfastness qualities. Threads used to contrast
stitching should have "AA" colorfastness rating.
Refers to the selection of the thread that will match the fabric
it is sewn into.
A step subsequent to carding which straightens
the fibers and extracts neps, foreign matters and short fibers.
Combing produces a more stronger, more even, finer, compact and
Usually refers to the thread to follow another
thread supplier, thread type or thread color on the sewing floor
with minimum machine adjustments.
Refers to the sewing of thread into fabric of
a different color. It is recommended that a 100% polyester thread
be used to reduce the chance of color migration. If 100% cotton
thread are used, they should have an "AA" rating.
Thread made by wrapping a cotton or polyester
staple cover around a continuous filament bundle of polyester
fibers. Two or more of these yarns are then plied to make sewing
thread. When using a cotton wrap, the yarn had good needle heat
resistance. Core threads are used in everything from fine blouses
to heavy coveralls depending upon the thread size. Core threads
are recommended on automatic sewing machines.
Another term used for the number of plies in thread construction.
A stitch generally used to seam knit underwear,
athletic wear, etc and consists of at least two needle threads,
a looper thread and a top spreader or cover thread. Usually a
spun polyester or textured polyester is used on machines producing
these stitch formations: 602 2 needles, 1 looper, 1 spreader 605
3 needles, 1 looper and 1 spreader 606 4 needles, 4 loopers and
1 spreader 607 4 needles, 1 looper and 1 spreader.
Refers to threads of a previously sewn stitch
line being cut during a subsequent sewing operation. Decorative
stitch: The sewing thread to accent a pocket, collar or some other
part of the garment. Usually this thread is a different color
from the body fabric (contrast stitching).
Refers to a quality imperfection found in the
thread. Some thread defects may include: Slubs Slack twist Knots
Corkscrew twist Neps Singles kinks.
Is the gram weight of 9000 m of thread. This
thread numbering system is used for continuous filament threads
and is called the direct numbering system.
The process of winding two or more single yarns
or filaments parallel to one another on the bobbin used for Two
- for - one twisting machine.
A process used to blend 6 to 8 ends of sliver
and draft the sliver down to the appropriate grain weight for
the next operation.
Refers to a class of seams where a single ply
of fabric is either folded on the edge (hemming) or serged.
Refers to how much a seam will stretch before
the thread ruptures. Usually the threads with higher elongation
will give greater seam elasticity. Also stitch formations that
use more threads will have greater elasticity like overedge or
coverstitch seam construction. The number of stitches per inch
and the stitch balance can also affect seam elasticity.
Refers to how and when a thread stretches which
is usually measured at the breaking point of the thread. Threads
that stretch excessively under normal sewing tension can cause
excessive skipped stitches and thread breakage.
The sewing thread with small and numerous stitches
for identification or for decoration. If a high sheen is required,
either a filament polyester or rayon is generally used. Care should
be taken when using 100% cotton threads which might bleed on the
fabric unless the thread has "AA" specification.
A lab testing machine used to test the long -
term effect of light on sewing thread color and strength.
The process where continuous filaments of polyester
or nylon are entangled usually by pin, disc or belt texturing
This term usually refers to a double - lapped
seam used on jeans; or it refers to blindstitching operations
used on tailored garments.
Usually refers to the thread lubricant that is
applied to the thread to protect it form needle heat and to give
it good lubricity characteristics. Two methods are used to apply
lubrication: "lick - roll" lubrication and "exhaust lubrication".
We use both the processes depending upon the thread type and size.
Usually refers to an OSHA requirement on children
wear where the seam should not support combustion.
Refers to a sewing problem caused by the fabric
moving up with the needle as the needle rises to form a needle
loop. Flagging can cause poor loop formation and skipped stitches.
606 coverstitch machine using 4 needles, 4 loopers
and a top cover thread. Usually right twist cotton or spun polyester
are recommended in the needle positions on this feed - off - the
- arm machine.
607 coverstitch machine using 4 needles, 1 looper
and a top cover thread. Usually textured or spun polyester are
used for this type of feed - off - the - arm machine.
A work - aid used on a sewing machine to help fold the fabric
as it is being sewn.
Generally refers to as process where 100% cotton
garments are dyed after they are assembled to minimise finished
The process where spun cotton thread is passed
through one or more flames at high speed to reduce the hairs on
the surface of the thread.
Refers to the buttonhole gimp which is used in
eyelet buttonhole machines to give the buttonhole better strength
and a more defined appearance.
A finish put on cotton thread which is made of
starches, waxes and other additives. This coating protects the
thread during sewing giving it better ply security and abrasion
The folding and sewing of the bottom edge of the fabric.
Stitch forming device used in Lock - stitch machine
which includes a bobbin. On rotary hook machines, the hook makes
two revolutions for every rotation of the handwheel or stitch
Refers to the initial resistance to stretching
under normal sewing machine tensions. Higher the initial modulus,
the better loop formation characteristics the thread will have
therefore fewer skipped stitches and thread breakage.
A thread cone with vertical tube and a horizontal
base which is used for filament polyester and nylon threads, and
glaced cotton threads.
Fabric construction in which the adjacent yarns
are interlooped. Some common types of knit fabrics are: Double
knit Tricot Warp knit Rib Knits are susceptible to needle cutting
and fabric damage.
Knots are used to join ends of thread together.
In thread there can be single knots or ply knots. Knots can be
eliminated by the use of air - splicers. Knots can cause thread
breakage, as it is not able to pass through the needle hole during
Lockstitch (301 stitch):
A term used for machine that uses a needle and
hook or bobbin to form a stitch. This is the most common stitch
used on industrial sewing machines. Usually a good quality thread
is needed to sew on a Lockstitch machine because the number of
times the thread goes back and forth through the machine before
being sewn into the seam. A textured polyester thread is NOT recommended.
Usually refers to the formation of the needle
loop on the back side of the needle which must be picked up by
a hook, looper or spreader in order to form a stitch.
A stitch forming device used to interloop the
bottom thread with the needle thread on a chainstitch, overedge
or coverstitch machine. In many cases, the looper thread may be
one or two sizes smaller than the needle thread without significant
loss in seam coverage.
Refers to the strength of the thread when broken
with one end looped to the other end similar to the interlocking
of the thread in a lockstitch formation. With most threads, the
loop strength is greater than the single yarn strength.
Refers to the bottom thread used in a chainstitch
and coverstitch machine; and the threads that cover the edge of
the overedge seam. Many manufacturers use a textured polyester
thread in the looper position to reduce their thread cost and
get the optimum thread coverage.
Refers to the frictional characteristics the
thread possesses as it passes through the sewing machine into
the seam. Good lubricity will minimize the thread breakage and
Refers to the process by which the cotton thread
is treated under tension in a solution of caustic soda which causes
the fibers to swell and become more uniform in cross - section.
This allows the fibers to accept dyes more readily, enhances lustre
and increases the strength of the thread. Usually mercerised threads
are gassed prior to mercerization.
Mock safety stitch (512 stitch):
512, four thread overedge that looks like a safety
stitch on the top side of the seam, but the looper thread joins
both needle threads with the edge of the seam. Usually a textured
polyester or spun polyester is recommended on mock safety stitch
A single filament resembling fishing line. It
is extruded through a spinneret with a specific diameter. Usually
monofilaments are used on blind stitch operations because the
thread is translucent and blends with many colors. It is also
very inexpensive when compared to other sewing threads. It is
NOT recommended for general sewing operations as it is irritating
to touch and unravels easily.
Made of nylon or polyester continuous filaments
which are twisted and plied into a cohesive bundle. They can be
soft and twisted or bonded and twisted. Both these threads are
used in luggage etc. Bonded threads are recommended in the needle
positions when sewing hard to penetrate fabrics because the bond
holds the fibers together allowing better ply security and abrasion
All sewing machines use a needle to carry a loop
of thread through the seam to form a stitch. The nine basic parts
of a needle include Butt, Shank, Shoulder, Blade, Tip, Groove,
Eye, and Scarf. Needles come in a variety of types and sizes depending
upon the type of sewing machine and the operation and the fabric
Usually refers to special tubing used to direst
forced air on to the needle of high speed sewing machines to reduce
needle heat. This is sometimes necessary while using polyester
or nylon sewing threads.
Refers to the damage on the fabric by the needle.
This is usually more of a problem with the knits than the wovens.
It is caused by the rubbing action of the needle
with the fabric as the needle moves up and down. Needle heat can
cause thermoplastic threads like nylon and polyester to melt.
Because of this, lubricants are put on the thread to lubricate
the needle as it passes through the fabric and also act as a barrier
between the hot needle and the thread when the operator stops
sewing. Cellulosic threads will not melt so they are not affected
by the needle heat.
Refers to the diameter of the needle generally
measured at the needle eye. Three numbering systems are commonly
used: Size 100 Size 040 (All of these are the same size) Size
Small yarn imperfections caused by the immature
fibers, fibers that are not straightened properly etc.
Non - wicking:
Refers to a finish that can be put on thread
to prevent liquids from migrating through the thread. Quarpel
is such kind of a finish that can be put on cotton wrappeDuro
It is a synthetic fiber which has good strength
and excellent abrasion resistance. Both type nylon 6,6 and nylon
6 an be used to make threads.
Refers to the class of seams where stitches are
sewn into a single ply of fabric for a decorative effect. Hemming
a back pocket for a jean is an example of an ornamental stitching.
See embroidery or contrast stitching.
It is a stitch formation found in the 500 class
of stitches. These stitch formations can be formed by making a
triangle of thread aournd the edge of the fabric being sewn. Three
stitch formation devices are required to form any overedge stitch.
Below is a list of more common overedge stitch formations: 501
single thread using a needle, a lower spreader, and upper spreader.
502 & 503 two thread using a needle, lower looper and upper spreader.
504 & 505 three thread using a needle, lower looper and upper
looper. 512 & 514 four thread using two needles, lower looper
and upper looper. More manufacturers use textured or spun polyester
on these types of stitch formations.
Usually refers to an over edge stitch formation.
Usually refers to a single needle lockstitch machinr using a
needle and a bobbin thread.
Ply or plies:
Refers to the number of single threads twisted
together to make a sewing thread. Most core and spun polyester
threads have two or three ply construction.
Refers to the ability of the fiber in the thread
to stay together during the sewing process. Ply security depends
upon the thread construction, twist per inch, frictional properties
of the thread, special finishes and the degree of entanglement.
Refers to the wrinkled appearance of a seam which
can be caused by a number of factors. This can be categorized
into the following groups: Inherent pucker Feed pucker Drawing
pucker Operator handling
Refers to an overedge stitch usually sewn on
the edges of the napkins. Many manufacturers use textured nylon
or polyester sewn with a dense stitch count to cover the edge
It is a regenerated cellulosic fiber similar to cotton in its
physical characteristics. Rayon is primarily used for embroidery
In spun yarn production, it is an intermediate state between
sliver and yarn.
Refers to the thread sliding out of a seam causing
thread failure. This occurs on knit shirts and under garments
that are sewn with an overedge with a narrow bite. Sewing with
light machine thread tensions will reduce the problem. Also a
fuzzy thread like Tora and Duro Poly will runback less than a
textured or filament polyester thread.
Refers to the stitch formations that include
both chainstitch and overedge stitch formations which are made
simultaneously. The most common safetystitch include: 515 (401
& 503) 516 (401 & 504)
Seam is a series of stitches used to join two
or more plies of fabric together. There are four classes of seams
viz: Superimposed seam Lapped seam Bound seam Flat seam
The opening up of a seam when stress is applied
to it either due to much needle thread in the seam or high thread
Refers to the over edging of a single ply of a fabric to prevent
it from unraveling. The most common serging stitch is a 503 two
thread stitch formation.
Refers to the performance of a sewing machine.
Good sewability means that the thread seldom breaks or skips stitches.
Generally 100% cotton or core threads give the best sewability
depending on the machine and the product being sewn.
A machine which uses a needle or needles to form
a stitch by interlocking or interlooping the threads. There are
66 different stitch formations being formed on 13,000,000 sewing
Refers to the selection of a thread color that
is close to the fabric color being sewn into but not necessarily
a color match. This is often done to reduce thread inventories
and use up old thread inventories.
Refers to the dimensional stability of a thread
when it is subjected to heat or boiling water. ASTM Test methods
D - 204 describes the standard test procedures for sewing thread
either using boiling water or dry heat.
Single yarn strength:
Refers to breaking strength of a piece of thread
which can be measured in pounds, ounces, grams etc.
Single equivalent (Resultant count):
The yarn size divided by the number of ply.
Single needle machine:
Refers to a plain sewer or a single needle lockstitch
machine using a needle and bobbin thread to form a stitch.
Refers to the individual yarn that is spun prior to twisting.
It is caused by a loop being missed during stitch
formation causing an unlocked stitch. A skipped stitch on a chainstitch
or overedge stitch will unravel during laundering causing the
seam to open up. Usually a thread will lower elongation and high
Refers to a yarn where insufficient twist is
applied to the thread so that it has very poor ply security.
Slubs: These are the defects that are sometimes
found in spun or corespun threads that resemble cocoons. They
are caused by fibers in the air getting caught in the yarn as
it is spun.
Refers to the thread that receives no further
processing to change its general physical characteristics. It
is dyed to the proper shade and degree of colorfastness, wound
on the proper size package and lubricated for sewability.
The process used in the production of single
yarn where the fibers are drafted down to the final size and twisted
together. Twist in the individual single yarn is normally applied
in 'S' direction.
Refers to a stitch formation device used in an
overedge, coverstitch, blindstitch, button sewer etc to carry
another thread to a position so it can be entered by another stitch
forming device. Except for coverstitch machines, a spreader does
not have its own source of thread.
A stress - strain testing machine used to evaluate
the strength, elongation, modulus and tenacity of a thread.
Stitches per inch (SPI):
Refers to the number of stitches made in one
inch of seam starting at a needle penetration and measuring the
lengths of thread between thread penetrations.
A thermoplastic thread made of staple polye`ster
fibers which are spun into single yarns and then plied into a
Refers to a process where the elongation the
thread is reduced to enhance loop formation and sewability. This
usually increases the initial modulus or resistance to stretching
under normal sewing conditions. Staple Small fibers with crimp
in them used to spin a yarn or sewing thread. All spun sewing
threads are made of staple fiber.
An electrical charge which affects synthetic
materials and threads during spinning and sewing. An anti - stat
is usually put in the finish and used on synthetic threads to
reduce the effect of static electricity.
According to Federal Specification 751A, stitching
is the sewing of a single ply of fabric for the purpose of finishing
the edge or to decorate the seam.
Refers to balancing of the top and bottom of
the sewing machine tensions so that the stitch has the correct
seam appearance. Usually it is desirable to balance the stitch
with minimum sewing machine thread tensions.
Refers to the elongation of the thread which
can effect the sewability and sewing performance.
Trim items like thread, zippers, buttons, linings
etc used in the manufacturing of a garment.
Usually refers to the sewing machine tension
needed to set a stitch. The lightest sewing machine tension is
desirable to minimize sewing problems and enhance sewing performance.
A ticket size of sewing thread that is based
on gram weight of 1000 m of undyed (grey) thread. Tex sizes are
rounded off to a smaller size. For example a Tex size of 42 would
be labeled as Tex 40. Textured threads: Usually refers to the
threads that have been false twist textured to entangle the parallel
Refers to the tendency of the thread to twist
back on itself(snarl). This affects loop formation, thread breakage
etc. Minimum torque should be built into a thread by having the
correct twist, heat setting and frictional characteristics.
Total Quality Management refers to the quality
management system committed to customer requirements, processes,
employee participation, and process control.
Most of the sewing threads are ply twisted with
a left hand or Z twist. The reason for this is that in most sewing
machines stitch formation devices enter the needle loop from the
right hand side and this reduces the untwisting of the thread
on most plain sewers.
The absence of torque in a sewing thread.(see torque)
Twist per inch:
Refers to the turns per inch used to spin the
single yarn and ply twist. Usually this twist is determined by
a twist multiple.
Refers to the light rays that can affect the
durability and colorfastness of a thread. Sometimes an UV inhibitor
is used to reduce the amount of harmful rays from being absorbed
by the thread.
Refers to a problem with moisture passing through
the thread by capillary action. Many manufacturers use 100% cotton
or cotton wrappeDuro Soft thread to reduce the amount of wicking.
This is because cotton swells up when it is wet and it prevents
the moisture from passing through the seam. Sometimes an impregnal
finish is given to the thread to increase its resistance to wicking.
Refers to the fabrics that are formed by the
warp and weft yarns which are interwoven together. Wovens have
a tighter construction and stretch less than knits.
Refers to the thick and thin places in the yarns
caused by knots, slubs, neps, stretching or other imperfection
during yarn manufacturing.
Equal to the equivalent size multiplied with
the number of plies. The cotton count system is used for most
spun anDuro Soft spun threads. This is an indirect numbering system
meaning larger the yarn size, smaller the diameter of the thread.
(A 2/28 yarn is bigger in diameter than 2/45 yarn)
Refers to the length of the yarn in yards which
will break under its own weight(in pounds). Given by yards/lbs.
This can be calculated by multiplying the equivalent size (resultant
count) by 840 yards.
Can be made with a lockstitch machine where the
needle moves right to left as the material is being fed through
the machine. Usually a thread with good ply security is needed
for these machines.