Stitching Defects Found in Knits Garments

When we talk about quality control in the garment industry, mostly we relate quality with defects on garments and raw materials; and finding solutions for those defects.

A defect may occur due to improper handling of garments and garment components. Defects might exist in the raw material (fabrics, and trims) itself, or it may be generated at the time of stitching the garment. In this post, we will only discuss stitching defects in found knitted garments.

Stitching defects in a knitted garment may occur due to one of the following reasons.
  1. An operator is not trained enough to stitch and handle particular seam/stitch type
  2. Machine is malfunctioning
  3. Operators don't follow instruction
Let come to the point and discuss what are the common stitching defects found in knits garments?

There are many defects found in knits products. Stitching defects are named according to the nature of the defects, or its location. Frequently occurred stitching defects found in common knitted products like t-shirt, polo shirt, leggings, shorts, boxers, are covered here. Though this post is written for listing defects in knits products, these stitching defects may be found across the product categories.
Example of some stitching defects in garments
 1. Broken Stitch: One or more stitches (stitching thread) are broken in the stitch line. This may happen after stitching at the time of thread trimming, or stitches may break when a seam is get stretched.

2. Jump Stitch/ Skipped stitch: Each stitch has a certain length if you see suddenly a longer stitch it is due to jump stitch.

3. Uneven stitch: This refers to uneven stitch density in the stitch line

4. Stripe/check mismatch: Sometimes it is a design requirement to match stripe while joining garment component. Like matching colour stripes at sideseam, armhole, or at back yoke joining. If it does not match, this considered as a defect.

5. Roping: Mostly at bottom hemming of the garment this kind of defects are found. This happened due to an uneven feeding of the top and bottom fabric layer while stitching.

6. Pinching: Any part of product caught in seam or stitches is called as pinching.

7. Puckering: The unwanted gather or waviness on the seam is called as puckering. At the time of stitching puckering may not be seen immediately, it may appear later stage after seam relaxation. This may be caused by stitching seam with high thread tension.

8. Uneven bottom hem: The defect name itself defines it – where the width of the bottom hem is not equal it is also considered as a defect in stitching.

9. Uneven gathering: In some garments, like in ladies dress, kid’s top gathering is given to add fullness to the garment. The design requirement is to have even gather across the length of the seam or a particular length. When the gathering density and gathering fullness varies, it is called as uneven gathering and considered as a defect in the garment.

10. Uneven seam Margin: Margin at the seam not in equal width.

11. Wrong overlock: Overlock machine is majorly used in knits garment making. Overlook stitch should be clean and equal width and should not come out from the seam edges. Undesired overlock stitch is known as the wrong overlock.

12. Needle hole /cut mark: In knits garments, if you don’t use a right needle size, it may cut the fabric on the stitching line and left an impression of cut marks. Even when stitching threads are opened for repair is a seam, needle holes are found.

This is a small list of garment stitching defects. You may find other kinds of defects too in knits garments. The example of other kinds of garment defects is uncut threads, colour variation in garment components, missing trims, the imbalance between garment parts, wrong size label, stitching in printed labels etc.

Also read: Defects found in a Trouser

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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