What Are The Different Types of Hems and Their Uses?

Few years ago, I went to dinner with my best friend, and people started admiring her cloth and asking about the brain behind the cloth. She kept pointing at me, but they refused to believe her, as the stitches in the hemming of my cloth pulled out when we were climbing the stairs, making the edges of my short beautiful gown rough.

 I had to convince a few by explaining what happened and showing them a few catalogs on my phone, which fetched me about three different contracts. I would have bagged more than that if my hem was still intact, as I could not explain to everyone who asked. This happened because I used the wrong hem for my dress.

What Are The Different Types of Hems and Their Uses?

I don’t want you to find yourself in my condition, and that is why I am taking it upon myself to write about the different types of hems we have and what they are used for. 

Let’s get started.

1. Herringbone Stitch

This decorative zigzag embroidery hand stitch is also known as catch stitch, which is used to create a hem at the edges of the cloth. It allows the cloth to bend easily, without the stitch breaking or the clothes getting torn.

2. Blind Stitch 

This stitch is mainly found on skirts or pant edges, and is always used where a wider hem with an invisible finish on the right side or at the edge of the hem is required.

It can be achieved by putting the sewn fabric inside out and making a fold twice in the hem allowance, by hiding ¼ inches of the stitch inside the top fold, and bringing out the needle to hold a thread in the front fabric.

This stitch can also be done on the machine, and all you have to do is consult your machine’s manual on how to do it, as your machine has an operation called a blind stitch.

3. Single Fold Hem

This is the simplest hem in which the fabric is just folded or turned once, and then stitched together.

4. Fringed Hem

It is mostly used for fleece jackets, jeans, or suede material. This unique hemline gives life to your fabric, especially when it’s looking old. It can be achieved by marking the desired length where you want your hem to start with a fabric marker and hold with a pin, then measure out the amount you wish to remove and start to cut to your desired length.

Using a selector, tease out the horizontal threads, leaving the vertical threads and a seam ripper to pull out any loosed threads that might disfigure the hem.

5. Double Fold Hem

Double fold hem is more used than single fold hem, as other hems require a double-fold hem, helping keep the rough edges invisible.

6. Stiffened Hem

This type of hem is used for decorative purposes and to protect the cloth from wear and tear, as it is usually used for skirt edges to prevent it from staying in between the knees and ankle to obtain stability and stiffness.

To achieve this type of hem, you can use an appropriate stiff material with a matching color ranging from wool to canvas linen to a 1.5 to 2 inches dimension of hem with the interfacing of ¼ inches to 1 inch, not forgetting to add the seam allowance and stitch using a running straight stitch on the machine.

7. Piped Hem 

A piped hem could be called a stiffened hem, but the size is what makes the slight difference. Besides, the hem is mostly used to cover the rough edges of a skirt and add beauty to the color of the skirt.

I will love to show you a step-to-step procedure on how to go about it to know the difference between a piped hem and a stiffened hem.  It can also be used for necklines, sleeve edge

  • Make ready a fabric strip or a cord.
  • 400;”>Cut your fabric strip, which can either be cut diagonally or on a straight line. If you are using a cord, be careful to use a smooth cord (preferably a cotton cable cord, waxed cord) without any twist to give the cloth finished piping.
  • Cut 1.5 inches with ½ inch seaming allowance to insert the cord, then sew the edges with zig-zag stitch, but make sure you sew along the cord before sewing along the edges, and this is mostly used for single-fold bias tape, usually used in skirts
  • For double-fold bias tape, which is mostly used for a faceless neckline. Cut a 2 inches bias tape and 1⁄8 seam allowance using ¼ inch on both sides for folding in the edges.
  • For a single-fold bias taping, lay the bias tape on the wrong side with the two edges folded, and put the cord in the middle before folding the bias tape.
  • Attach a zipper foot to your sewing machine.
  • Stitch using your sewing machine, and make sure you are not sewing very close to the cord to prevent your needle from breaking due to piercing into the cord while sewing.
  • Place the piping on the edges of the hemline (anywhere you want to use the pipe) and pin it with a straight pin.
  • Stitch together, making sure the stitches are made on the earlier-made stitch on the cord, turn the seam allowance to the back, and then stitch again.
  • Your single-fold bias tape piped hem is ready.
8. Overedge Hem

Zigzag and serged hem are the over-edge seam finishes, commonly used in adding finishing touches to a dress, as it helps the dress look clean, flexible, and presentable after the making.

Zigzag hem could be used interchangeably with a serged hem, as it performs the same operation. This can be achieved by either using a machine called serger (for serged hem) or setting your machine to the zigzag option (for zigzag hem).

Serging works in trimming mode, as it trims ⅛ inches of the cloth away while making the hem, and a zigzag stitch is applied at about ¼ to ⅛ inches away from the edge.  Both are commonly used for kids” clothing, buttonholes, garments, and sportswear.

9. Narrow Hem

It is also referred to as rolled hem, and is usually used for wedding wear, baby wear, and jean. You can achieve this type of hem using two different methods.

The first is by folding, pressing, and stitching the raw edge of the dress with a size ranging from ⅛ to ¼ inches and the second is by using a rolled hem foot, folding about 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch of the cloth.

10. Pin Hem

This hem is a type of rolled hem, which is mostly used on lightweight fabric, such as chiffon and a circle skirt.

11. Baby Hem

Baby hems are mostly used on baby wears with a ¼-inch stitch line from the edge with a double fold ½-inch hem allowance.

12. Faced Hem

This hem is always used when there is a shortage of fabric, and this is done by adding another pattern of clothes (just like you add a bias tape) to finish the hem of a garment instead of folding in the cloth.

You can use as little as ½ inch for this type of hem, and it is usually used for a circle skirt or an A-shape skirt. A gown or a top also make your dress more beautiful by adding material such as a pocket, neckline, or sleeve. 

13. Bound Hem

It is used as an alternative to a curved hem, which is used on armholes and necklines of play clothes or informal wear to keep the edges of the fabric from being exposed.

Fold your bias tape or fabric into two equal parts, and press with a hot iron before you open and place it on the fabric. Pinning the right side of the bias to the wrong side of the fabric, then stitch close to the edge of the fabric with a straight stitch.

Make sure you remove the pins as you stitch to prevent damage to your machine and fabric. Fold the bias around the edge of the fabric, making it hold the right side and the wrong side together by topstitching it and pressing it.

14. Lettuce Hem

The hem got its name from its look, as it looks like a lettuce leaf. This can be achieved either by using a serger or an ordinary sewing machine, using the zigzag option on a skirt, pinafore, sleeves, gown, and shorts.

When using a serger, make sure you stretch the fabric to give you the lettuce leaf look. You can pull the zigzag edge until it rolls, and stitches along the edge of the roll as you use your zigzag option in your ordinary machine to achieve this.

15. Hand Rolled Hem 

You can use this hem on your lightweight or stretchy fabrics by combining hand stitching with machine stitching. This is done by stitching ¼ inches from the edge with a machine, pressing the fabric with iron, and trimming close to the edges.

Then use your hand needle well threaded to create backstitches. Roll the fabric until the machine stitches are out of sight, before using a slip stitch with a needle slipping through the ¼ inches fold.

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From this article, we have identified different types of hem that will give your cloth a tidy, beautiful, and professional look, making you have many people buying your clothes.