You are currently viewing A Guide to Recognize Sewing Seams and Their Classification

A Guide to Recognize Sewing Seams and Their Classification

We humans need to classify everything.
A few days ago, I was reading a note about a neurological study. There, they explained that by nature, people tend to classify everything. We classify either physical objects or ideas and concepts.
But why do we do this? The answer is as simple as insightful: when we classify something, what we really do is analyze it to understand it.

We instinctively make associations through common elements. For example, if we think of types of food, we will probably think of their origin (vegetable, animal, mineral, or processed). But if we were elite athletes, or we were on a diet, we will classify them by their composition (proteins, fats, sugars) or by their calories.


Another example closer to our work could be the classification of garments.
We can do it according to the type of fabric, the part of the body that covers, the seasons, by its style, etc.
It happens the same with seams… we can classify them according to:

  • their structure
  • their function
  • the way they’re sewn
  • the amount of layers
  • their resistance
  • their cost

At ABC Seams® we classify seams according to their main function.

At the moment we need to define how the garment will be assembled, the first thing we regard is the main function of each seam:

  • join two or more pieces (construction)
  • polish an edge (finish)
  • decorate, attach a piece, or modify the volume (details)

After that, we’ll consider other factors such as the structure of the seam, its cost, its resistance, its elasticity, etc.
Let’s see this in detail.

Category 1

Construction Seams

These seams assemble the product by joining two or more layers of fabric. For example, the armhole seam (joining the sleeve to the body) or the side seam (joining front and back).

Some seams within this category are: the French Seam, the Welt Seam and the Overlapped Seam.

The Seam Code for this category starts with the letter C.
The Finishing Seams Code starts with the letter H.

Category 2

Finishing Seams

The main function of these seams is to polish the edge of the fabric, preventing fraying or raveling.
Also, depending on the technique, the finishing seams provide great decorative and functional value.
Some examples of these seams are the cuffs, hems, and plackets.

In this category, we find seams such as Hems, Bound Hems, and Faced Hems.

Category 3

Detail Seams

The third category brings together those seams that has an ornamental purpose, superimposed pieces, or those to modify the volume of the garment. We will see these seams in skirts, patch pockets, appliques, and in the bust area, among others.

The best-known seams in this category are the Pleats, Box Pleats, and Patch Seams.

Their Code Name starts with the letter D.

Understanding the types of seams will help you to:

  • increase your technical knowledge
  • be clearer when talking to your colleagues
  • get a better position at work

Today we’ve talked about how sewing seams are classified. We’ve seen the 3 categories and their main function. We’ve also shown 17 groups of seams belonging to these categories.

Did you find this article interesting?
Tell us in the comments below if you’ve learned something new today.

In the next article, we will talk about the properties of each group of seams.



BONUS. Seam Classification Chart.

Belu Chi

Belu Chi

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

Keep You Updated

Receive a summary with all the articles published on this blog -and more!.

We guarantee 100% privacy. We will not share your information.

Related Articles

Understanding Sewing Seams and Their Elements
Types of Seams and Their Properties

Related Products

Book "101 Sewing Seams"
"My Sewing Seams Collection" | Sewing Cards

Belu Chi

Technical Designer at ABC Seams®

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hayley Nye

    This is fantastic! Thank you so much 🙂

Leave a Reply