Seams: Meaning and Types

The distance between the fabric edge and the seam line is known as the seam allowance (SA). It is a fact that an irregular seam will be handled differently than a straight seam. It will be distinct from an enclosed seam, such as in a yoke or a collar, if the seam is seen, as in the case of pants

What is Seam?

The stitching line where two textiles are sewn (or pieced) together is referred to as a seam. It is the fundamental component of a garment. The seam line is the line of stitching that runs the length of the seam. The structure of the garment is formed by its seams, which also aid in its creation. Additionally, they serve as a decorative element

Types of Seam

Clothing seams are classified by type (plain, lapped, bound, and flat) and location (center back seam, inseam, and side seam). Diverse procedures are used to finish seams in order to neaten the interior of clothing and prevent the ravelling of raw fabric edges.

Plain Seam

In a plain seam, a line of stitching is used to bind two textiles together along the seam line. Another name for it is a solitary needle. Butterfly stitch refers to the process of sewing a seam and then pressing the seam allowances open so they resemble butterflies on either side of the seam line. The simplest and quickest seam to sew is this one. Either a machine or a hand can make it. This seam is often made with straight stitches; however, it can occasionally be made with a tight zigzag stitch, especially when using knit or stretch fabrics.

Hairline Seam

This type of enclosed seam is most frequently used in collars and other enclosed spaces. As it is enclosed, the seam allowances become invisible from the outside.

Reinforced Seams

There are numerous situations where a seam needs to be extremely robust, and there are numerous techniques to achieve this rip-proof seam.

French Seam

The ideal seam for sheer materials is this one. The raw edges of this seam are hidden by a fold, so they cannot be seen from the outside without significantly increasing bulk. This seam is often sewn along straight edges, but curved edges can also be accommodated with careful clipping.

Mock French Seam

This seam may be used in place of a French seam when a curved seam line, such as at the armholes of a transparent dress, is not feasible.This will also neatly complete the seam line.

Felt Seam Hemmed

Create a simple seam. Half of the other seam side is cut off on one side. The other seam is manually hemmed and turned down.

Lapped Seam

It also goes by the name “tucked seam.” When stitching with thick fabrics like suede, faux leather, or felt, this seam is really helpful.

Mock Flat-felled Seam (a.k.a. welt seam)

This seam resembles a flat-felled seam in appearance but is simpler to create. Here, the raw edge is not tucked under like it is with a flat-felled seam. This seam will therefore have visible raw seam edges on the reverse side. It is therefore preferable to use it with textiles that do not fray or where the seam will not be visible. Bulky fabrics like felt or fake leather work well with this seam.

Flat-felled Seam or Run-and-fall Seam

Utilised primarily in sports apparel, men’s shirts, jeans, children’s clothing, pyjamas, etc. It gives the seam line an acceptable amount of strength. Both the inside and exterior of the garment might have this seam sewn.

Faced Seam

Armhole, neckline, and waistline seams are frequently created with a facing seam. It gives the seam line a very nice finish.

Piped or Corded Seam

In this seam, a fabric-covered cording is put between the seam line and the seam. It is a decorative seam that is typically found in fabrics for home décor as well as in pockets, collars, and cuffs.

Serged Seam

For this seam, you need an overlocking or serger machine. The serger stitch is used in this seam instead of a simple straight stitch, and the machine trims the seam allowance. This seam gives the seam elasticity and flexibility. These circumstances allow for the use of this seam: If maintaining flat or open seams is not necessary for slack clothing, apply this rule to thin textiles when stitching knit fabrics.

Counter Seam

This seam, which completely encloses both raw edges along the seam line, is excellent for heavy materials.

Seam Slots

This lapped-seam-like seam is utilised for both its ornamental and utilitarian qualities. As a backing piece, this is positioned between the two layers of cloth that are lapped along the stitching line.

Linen or Sheet Seam

Here, the seams are joined with an embroidered stitch. Although it doesn’t look as sturdy as the other seams, it looks really gorgeous. Both horizontal and slanted stitch settings are available. To link the seams, you can use antwerp edging stitching, fishbone stitching, blanket stitching, or herringbone stitching. These stitches are known as “insertion stitches.”

Butt Seams

A zigzag or chain stitch is used to fold the cloth edges and link them together. When joining seams where you don’t want any bulk, use this method. Such as when making lingerie. A sewing machine can be used to create this type of seam.

Taped Seam

Any seam that has been taped to make it waterproof or weatherproof is referred to here. To stop water or other elements from seeping into the interior of the item, a strip of fabric or tape is sewed to this seam. Another option is to add tape to avoid distortion.

Strap Seam

An additional strip of fabric is sewn onto this seam above the seam line. To make the fabric strip, press the 14-inch-long edges inside, place it over the seam to hide the seam line, and stitch along the edges.

Ladder Stitched, Hand-Stitched Seam

One of the invisible stitches that can produce a nicely hand-sewn seam is the ladder stitch. One can fold the edges and sew along the folded edge. You get a nice seam when you tighten the stitches.


In conclusion, meticulous sewing is necessary for a beautifully finished outfit. Additionally, it should match the style of clothing you are wearing, the fabric, etc. For instance, the side seams of jeans are sewn with a flat-felled seam. Different types of seams can be used to beautify a stitch.