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Types of Seams and their Properties

Selecting seams is a critical part of the design process. This not only concerns the aesthetic part of creating garments, but is also closely related to its functionality and the economic-productive aspects of the style.
To select the appropriate seams, we must know their properties.
This is what this article is about.

The basic properties of a seam depends on 3 attributes mainly:

  1. the structure of the seam
  2. the fabric
  3. the type of stitch and topstitch

We must also make sure that the thread quality is appropriated for the fabric and the sewing machine, and the tension of the sewing machine must be perfectly balanced.

So, taking these factors into account, today we will analyze the following properties of each Sewing Group:

  • resistance: ability to withstand an external force, for example pulling tissue
  • durability: related to resistance to wear and tear
  • versatility: ability to adapt to different fabrics
  • flexibility: refers to the ease of adapting to different shapes without deforming
  • elasticity: depending on the recovery from stretching and its resistance
  • cost: generally concerning the production time, or if it includes accessories for its preparation
  • thickness: depending on how many layers of fabric are required


C100 | Felled Seam

  • Resistant, flexible, and durable.
  • Suitable for almost any fabric (woven and knit) and either on straight or curved seams.
  • Inexpensive.

C101 | Bound Seam

  • Strong and resistant.
  • Neat finish on the inside. The binding adds a decorative touch.
  • It works better on medium-weight fabrics.

C010 | French Seam

  • Strong and durable.
  • Clean and neat finishing on the inside, giving a high-end touch to the garment.
  • It works better on light-weight fabrics.

C110 | Welt Seam

  • One of the strongest construction seams.
  • Clean finish on both sides.
  • It works better on straight seams.
  • Poor elongation recovery.

C120 | Lapped Seam

  • Excellent flexibility and elongation recovery.
  • Suitable on straight and curved seams.
  • A good option to avoid thickness when using heavy-weight fabrics.

C200 | Open Seam

  • Very flexible.
  • A good option to avoid thickness.
  • It suits a wide variety of fabrics.
  • Good elongation recovery.

CD190 | Sandwich Seam

  • Excellent resistance.
  • Clean finish on both sides.
  • Reversible.
  • It suits a wide variety of fabrics.


H110 | Fold Hem

  • The most popular hem on wovens.
  • Good resistance. Durable and strong.
  • Neat finishing on the inside.
  • Suitable for almost any fabric.

H101 | Bound Hem

  • Very strong and resistant.
  • The binding prevents edge raveling, stabilizes the hem, and adds a decorative touch.
  • A good choice to add weight.

H150 | Faced Hem

  • Durable and flexible.
  • Neat finishing on the inside.
  • It works better on wovens.
  • A piece of interfacing might be needed.

H200 | Binded Edge

  • Durable and resistant.
  • The binding reinforces the edge, protecting it from fraying, and it adds a decorative touch.
  • Suitable for almost any fabric.

H210 | Exposed Band

  • Good elongation recovery, especially if the band is made of knit fabric or cut on the bias.
  • The band can be used as a tunnel to add an elastic band.
  • It suits a wide variety of fabrics.

H000 | Unhemmed Edge

  • Low-cost finishing.
  • Flexible.
  • Versatile: suitable for any fabric and either on straight or curved edges.

HD190 | Sandwich Hem

  • Flexible and durable.
  • Neat finish on the inside.
  • Excellent versatility.
  • It prevents edge raveling.


D110 | Pleat

  • Its main purpose is to give extra volume to the clothing or product.
  • Flexible and versatile.
  • Reversible.

D111 | Box Pleat

  • It is a type of pleat made by two identical pleats that meet together.
  • It adds fullness to a garment.
  • Reversible.

D210 | Patch

  • It gives more resistance and strength to the garment, or piece of fabric.
  • Durable and flexible.
  • Suitable for almost any fabric.

Today we’ve analyzed the main properties of 17 groups of seams.
This information will help you to choose the most appropriate seam according to the type of fabric and the type of product you are working on.
You will also be able to evaluate which seam is best for you according to the cost of production, its resistance, and flexibility.

If this article was useful and you’d like to read more about this topic, please leave a comment below.


Belu Chi

Belu Chi

Technical Designer at ABC Seams®
Expert in apparel development and technical communication. Former Product Developer at Burberry.

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Belu Chi

Technical Designer at ABC Seams®

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