A simple topstitch on a dress or an ornamented hemming along the edges can be of good value addition to the apparel, enhancing its aesthetic value.

An apparel at the store rack might cost around 25 to 30 dollars. After adding a simple decorative stitch along the edges of the garment, the same outfit will get a designer wear look and can sell with a hefty price tag. A straight seam in the apparel is very essential. This can also take the form of decorative stitches.

Decorative stitches Vs Embroidery:

Many a times, decorative stitches are considered the same as embroidery. Though a few decorative stitches do look like embroidery, the latter type of stitching is done by embroidery machines with special carriage and hoops. Hooping system is available in the embroidery machines to hold the fabric when the design is being made. The fabric is put on a hoop, and the hoop is attached to a mechanical arm on the machine which controls and moves the hoop. Thus, embroidery design is created in conjunction with the needle.

Decorative stitches can be sewn just like the regular stitch. They are generally wider than regular stitches. Decorative sewing does the function of basic sewing, joining two fabrics finishing the edge of the fabric or stitching the fabric with pleats or darts. It holds the fabric under the sewing foot and feed dogs feeding the fabric in the right sequence.

Types of decorative stitches:

Blanket stitch is often used for trimming the sides of the blanket, and hence acquires the name. It is mainly done with a contrast thread, and works from left to right with even pace. It is done traditionally to envelope the raw edges of the hemlines.

Blanket stitch and whip stitch are used to connect two pieces of fabric, or are used as edging on a single piece of fabric. Blind stitch is used when an edge is fastened down with stitches almost invisible. They work from right to left. Feather or fly stitch is used in cuffs, collars and yokes. Much in resemblance of a flying bird, this stitch generally consists of 'V' shaped loops tied down by a vertical straight stitch. Fly stitch is included in feather stitch, and are open, looped, and worked alternately to the right and left of a central rib. Satin stitch is the most prominent of decorative stitches, and is used for filling a particular motif. This gives embroidery like look to the fabric, and is generally used for giving finishing stitch to cover the edges of a fabric seamlessly. This stitch is used to hide the seams with neat perfection.

Zigzag stitch is a variant geometry of lockstitch. A much common decorative stitch, it is used as an alternative of the regular stitch. Commonly used in yokes, cuffs, necklines, and patchworks, the zigzag stitch remains an evergreen fashion. Overedge stitch is used for binding unclean edges of the collars, cuffs, hem etc. A fancy or contrast thread is generally used for this stitch. Fagot and Picoetta stitch is used to attach two separate pieces of fabric. This is a decorative chain stitch used innovatively in belts, collars, cuffs, hemlines, and sleeves. It is also used as a design element on yokes. Saddle stitch is used more in leather accessories like shoes, belts, and jackets. It is generally done in contrast shades to make it stand out of the fabric. Thick threads are used to enhance its visibility. A popular use for decorative stitches is appliqu. These are simple stitches used to hide the seam between the background fabric, and the appliqu.

Modern options:

Today, even the simplest sewing machine comes with a few decorative stitches built in. They include a nice blanket stitch or scallop, or honeycomb stitch. Advanced sewing machines have around 30-40 decorative stitching patterns. Bernina 950, Kansai Mac 100 and Janome 712 machine a few to name. Expensive ones come with 60 or more options and with multiple width depending on the features included. Stitches are produced with the fabric placed under the sewing foot and feed dogs feeding the fabric.

Global market for sewing machines:

Recent GIA report announces global sewing machines market to reach 25.8 million units by 2015. Sewing machines represent a mature product line in the EU, and North America. Rise in the consumption of sewing machines for home use has fueled sales figures. Additionally, shifting of production base to less expensive Asian countries offer a lucrative market for sewing machines. Asia comes up as a promising market for sewing machines with large production base for sewing machines in Taiwan and China. Major players for sewing machines dominate the global forefront. Elna International Corp. SA, Brother Industries Ltd., PFAFF Industriesysteme, Janome Sewing Machine, Jaguar International Corporation, Singer Sewing Machines and SVP Worldwide are a few to name.

Latest sewing machines in the market are filled with tempting bells and whistles. Packed with attractive features, they are great to have and make stitching easier, and much more decorative.


1.      Sew4home.com

2.      Sewmamasew.com