You are currently viewing What is a Serged Seam?

What is a Serged Seam?

If you are a sewing enthusiast or work in the apparel industry, you have likely heard the terms “overlock stitch” and “serged edge”. You might also know that both terms are often and used interchangeably, as synonyms. But the truth is that each one has its own definition and purpose.

In this article, we will talk about the “serged edge”. What is a serged edge? What types of seams and fabrics are used with this technique? And what are the advantages of using it? 
If you have doubts about how, when, and why you should apply this technique, you are in the right place. Keep reading. We will explain everything you need to know!

What is a serged edge, and how to make it?

A serged edge is a sewing technique that allows the seam allowance to be polished using an overlock or serger machine. This technique can be applied at different stages of the sewing process, whether in the construction of a garment, to finish it, or in some details.

Uses and Properties

Why are serged edges used, and what are they used for? These two questions are the key to understanding the properties of this sewing technique. 
Although there are different uses, the most important one is to prevent the edges of the fabric from fraying, especially in woven fabrics. On the other hand, when serging knit fabrics, the main benefit is to prevent the seam allowance from curling or ravelling.

In addition, serged edges usually provide greater strength and durability to the seam. That happens when polishing two or more seam allowances at the same time. In the case of the seams C100-1 +SE and H210-3 +SE, the serged edge not only increases the durability of the seam, but also makes them more resistant to stress, use, and washing. 
In contrast, in seams C200-1 +SE and H100-1 +SE, where the technique is applied to a single layer of fabric, the serged edge increases the seam’s durability but doesn’t boost the resistance.

A third key reason for using a serged edge is to finish the seam allowance. Although this technique is not considered a high-end finishing (such as the Hong Kong seam, for example – read the article about types of seam allowance finishing here), let’s mention that it is the most commonly used finish in the current industry due to its cost-effectiveness ratio.
We must also clarify that a seam with a serged edge is not the same as a seam sewn with an overlock stitch. But we will discuss that in another article detailing the differences.

An additional and great advantage of using a serged edge is that since it is made by a stretch stitch (overlock stitch), it becomes a remarkably versatile technique. It works well in all types of fabrics: from woven to knit or non-woven fabrics, and from natural to synthetic materials, such as cotton twill, polyester jerseys or biodegradable fabrics.

Regarding the type of seams to apply this technique, we can serge all those seams whose fabric edge is not polished (also called unhemmed edge, raw edge, or flat edge). For example, we cannot use it for a French or bounded seam, but we can do it in any type of flat seam.


– The serged edge is a sewing technique used to finish the edges of the fabric (functional use). 

– Its main function is to prevent the edges of the fabric from fraying or curling. Additionally, it increases the garment’s durability and, in many cases, provides greater strength to the seam. 

– This technique is done with an overlock or serger machine (stretch stitch), which makes it highly versatile (different fabrics, materials, seams, and textile products).

Did you find this article helpful? Let us know if would like to read about the differences between serged seams and overlocked seams.

If you have any questions about this or any other sewing-related topic, please write to us in the comments section below or contact us at


Greetings from the ABC Seams team!

Related Articles

5 Ways to Finish a Seam… And Why You Need to Choose the Proper One
Seam, Stitch, And Topstitch… What Are They?

Related Products

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

ABC Seams

The new standards for inspiring, communicating and referring sewing seams.

Leave a Reply