What is the Most Durable Stitch (plus Stitch Types)

There is no one single “most durable stitch”. The best choice depends on your garment needs and the fabric you’re working with.

What to Consider When Choosing a Durable Stitch:

  • Fabric Type: Woven fabrics generally benefit from strong, straight stitches (like the lockstitch), while knits require stitches with stretch (like overlock and cover stitch).
  • Seam Location and Stress Level: High-stress areas like waistbands need strong yet flexible stitches (like the chain stitch).
  • Aesthetics: A Factor to Keep in Mind. Some stitches offer superior strength but have a bolder look (like the flatlock stitch).
What is the Most Durable Stitch

Additional Tips for Durable Seams:

  • Thread Selection: Strong threads like polyester or nylon contribute to seam strength.
  • Stitch Length: Shorter stitches generally create stronger seams (Check the stitch lengths chart on page 151 of the book Strong Seams).
  • Sewing Machine Tension: Proper tension ensures threads are securely locked together.

Find more information about stitch types and their properties from pages 174 to 177.

The 5 most common stitch types and their characteristics

Lockstitch

  • It’s usually made by two threads.
  • Neat appearance.
  • Suitable for different fabrics and garment types.
  • Commonly used for woven fabrics.

Overlock Stitch

  • Widely used for constructing knit garments like T-shirts, activewear, and underwear.
  • The elasticity varies depending on the stitch’s construction. The overlock 3T is the thinnest and most stretchable. The overlock 5T is the most robust and less stretchy.
  • Usually, it trims the fabric edge while simultaneously overcasting the raw edge to prevent fraying.
  • For woven fabrics, it’s commonly used to finish raw edges and prevent them from fraying.

Chain Stitch

  • The thread forms a chain-like pattern underneath that makes it stretchable.
  • Often used with other stitches, like locktitch or overlock, for added strength.
  • Mosty is used in knit and woven fabric with a high shrinkage ratio, like most denims.

Coverstitch

  • Double stitch line on the top side of the fabric with an interloped stitch (embroidery or overlock look) on the back.
  • Stretchable and secure finish. Excellent stretch and recovery.
  • Used for hemming knit fabrics.
  • Also used as a decorative stitch.

Flatlock Stitch

  • Both sides of the stitch show an interloped stitch.
  • Comfortable seam with smooth, irritation-free finish.
  • Strong, stretchable, and flexible.
  • Commonly used in activewear and sportswear to reduce bulk. It is ideal for constructing athletic apparel where a flat, comfortable seam is essential.

This information is a part of the extensive research conducted for our third book, Strong Seams, a seam catalogue focused on garment durability and quality. 
We couldn’t include all the research in the book. However, we believe it’s worth sharing with people like you who are also interested in quality and long-lasting garments.

We hope the material is helpful. If you want to know more about our book Strong Seams, please visit the following link: book Strong Seams (link)

ABC Seams

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