Trim: Meaning & Significance

Trim: Meaning & Significance

Clothing is an essential part of our lives. Besides covering our bodies, it makes us more elegant and modest and expresses a person’s status, personality, and work. We choose perfect clothing to give ourselves our best looks. Now what makes a garment perfect? We cannot imagine a shirt without buttons. Besides a nicely done colour combination and design, we also need some extra material for clothing. Trims can add functional details to clothing or they can be a modular part of clothing. These are materials used to attach to the fabric to make clothing.

What is the Meaning of Trim?

Trims are not fabric. They can be attached to the body of a garment by sewing. Buttons, zippers, lace, motifs, hook-and-loop fasteners are some examples of trims. In today’s fashion world, in the fashion and clothing industries, trimmings are at the heart of fashion; they are ornaments of garments. Without trims, fashion is incomplete.

Since ancient times, we human beings have been using trims on our garments. We can find several examples of trimmings and ornaments on our kings and queens’ clothing and read about their uses. They are magical and essential parts of our garments. We cannot imagine a garment without trim, but there are key differences between trims and accessories. Decorative trims are used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a fabric, whereas functional trims are used for structure and function in a garment.

Differences in Trims and Accessories in Clothing

Accessories are not attached to the body of a cloth by sewing, but it’s used for finishing and packing clothes. Cartoons, gum tape, pin, clip, collar stand, arrow sticker, butterfly, barcode, scotch tape, hanger, neck board, etc., are examples of accessories. These are like auxiliary materials.

But the trimmings are attached to the main fabric and are necessary items of the cloth or garment. These are examples of trims: button, sewing thread, zipper, motif, rivet, shoulder pad, lining, interlining, hook & loop, twill tape, stopper, lace, braid, elastic, ribbon, label, etc.

The classification of Trims

Trims can be of various kinds. There are visible trims like buttons, sewing thread, zippers, etc., which can be seen from outside of the cloth. Invisible trims like interlining, which cannot be seen from the outside of the cloth.

It is difficult to mention all the classifications of trims because there are many types of trim. So, the notable categories are


These are used for outline shapes. They are applied at the edges of garments, like ruffles, design lines, etc.


These are functional trims to finish the edges of clothes, like necklines, hems, etc.


Screen printings, twill tapes, knit tubing, and ribbons are examples of flat trims. This type of trim, like ornaments, can give an aesthetic look to the garment. It can also be used for visual appeal.


The button is the most important and widely used trim. It is the oldest and most interesting trim in fashion. The choice of buttons depends on the product and style. There are so many types of buttons, like plastic buttons, lacquered buttons, ceramic buttons, metal buttons, fabric, snap buttons, decorative buttons, pearl buttons, wooden buttons, leather buttons, shell buttons, glass buttons, etc.


A zipper or zip fastener works as a clasp locker; it is a device to bind two edges of a fabric together. Many types of zippers are used, depending on the demands of the clothing, like metal, plastic, coil, closed-end zipper, nylon coil zipper, two-way separating zipper, etc.

Other Trims

There are other important trimmings like lining, interlinings, padding, hooks and eyes, drawstrings, labels, etc.


A garment can’t get its best look without trims, fabrics, colour combinations, accessories, and trims. They make a master piece for a human being. We civilised people always want to look perfect. A suitable garment can make a perfect impression on us, just like a suitable trim can make a suitable cloth best.


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