I call hemming tape my Savior, as it always comes in handy when I have a lot of cloth to deliver, and I am short of staff, or an emergency sewing comes up, as I do not have to go through the stress of making different hems for different types of fabrics.
Hemming tape is a tape-like material designed to attach two fabrics temporarily without stitching. It is mostly used to hem garments, but can also be used for decoration, serving as a hold to embroidery designs and making quick repairs.
However, hemming tape lasts longer than you think, even more than the garment, as it is now designed to permanently hem garments, depending on the type of hem tape you are using and the type of fabric you are hemming or repairing, but it cannot last forever, as the washing of the clothes will eventually tell on it.
How Many Types Of Hemming Tape Is Available?
We have two types, although most people are common with just 1 type of hemming tape, and they are:
– Iron On Hemming Tape
This is also known as the fusible hem, and is the best for the job of a permanent hem tape, as it has adhesive on both sides melting and bonding the garment together when heated by the iron.
It is not an all-size tape, as it comes in different sizes and thicknesses, and makes your work neat without any stitches showing.
– Pressure-Pressed Hemming Tape
This type of hemming tape is not common, as it cannot stand the test of time, as a fusible hem tape will do, making it used for most temporary work or needlework. It is known as Peel and Stick, as you only need to press it down after removing the paper at the back without any heat.
Moreover, there might be a need to sew the hem after applying this type of hem.
How Do I Get A Quality Hem Tape?
A high-quality hem tape can be purchased from reputable fabric stores around you, and do not go for the cheap ones with questionable quality if you want a perfect hem.
How Do I Choose The Right Hem Tape To Work With?
Knowing the right hem tape to use for your fabric is important, especially if you are working for clients, as it is not all hem tape that works for all types of fabric. Let’s check it out.
1. Weight Of The Fabric
When choosing the hem tape suitable for your fabric, you need to be aware of the weight of your fabric, as you need thick hemming tapes for heavy fabrics such as wool, canvas, corduroy, duck cloth, suede, chenille, ottoman, brocade, upholstery fabric, and denim. A thin hem tape will mess up the hem.
For a thin or soft fabric, such as cotton, polar fleece, lycra, scuba, velvet, suede vision, jersey, silk satin, and for decorations on your garment, use a thin hem tape, as a thick hem tape on a thin fabric will disfigure the hem, and the cloth entirely.
When it comes to size and color, choose a size smaller than the width of the cloth, and choose a matching color with your fabric, using black for dark-colored fabrics and white for light-colored fabrics.
2. Quality Of Your Hem Tape
Your cloth is a great determinant of the type of hem tape you will get. Nevertheless, the quality of this tape is important, as the fabric is important.
You need to also know the quality of the seal (temporary or permanent) of the hemming tape you want to use, comparing it with the one you are about to purchase.
3. Ease Of Usage
You need to know if the hemming tape you are about to use will be easy to use for your fabric. Although the two types of hemming tape are easy to use.
Once you place it on your fabric, and then it gives you a rough hem, or it took you so long to use, discontinue the usage.
How Do I Use The Iron Hemming Tape?
The double-sided iron hem tape is easy to apply, and remember it is the most commonly used one. You can call for help from any seamstress around to help you with it. I am sure you might not need anyone to put you through the following steps.
- Step One: Get a smooth surface to work on to avoid the twisting of the tape.
- Step Two: Wash your fabric without applying fabric softener before fixing the hem tape, as some fabrics always shrink after the first wash, and also get rid of anything that might weaken the glue.
- Step Three: Roll out your hem tape in a straight-like manner and cut to the same length of your hem, adding a ½ or 1-inch allowance, and making sure the width of your tape is smaller than the width of your cloth.
- Step Four : Insert the tape into the two hems, making it slide into the folding line and keeping it out of sight.
- Step Five: Press the hem surface area, making sure you do not open the fold, and do not allow your iron to direct contact with the surface of the hem tape. While pressing, make sure your iron is hot enough to get it pressed, and not too hot to get it burned. You should follow all the instructions written on the hem tape package, as this will guide you to arrive at a smooth hemmed cloth.
- Step Six: Check the tape to confirm if it is sealed to the fabric after the fabric has cooled down, as the opening of the fabric to confirm when the fabric is still hot will lead to the seal opening up.
How Do I Use The Pressure-Pressed Hemming Tape?
The procedures to follow are the same as the iron hemming tape, with a slight difference, and the procedures include
- The use of a smooth surface cannot be overemphasized in the application of a hemming tape, as it will not bring out the desired result if the surface is rough.
- Make sure the surface of your fabric and your hem are clean. If you are not sure about the neatness of your fabric, you can do well to wash your fabric to prevent any error due to dirt on the fabric.
- Measure the hem length and width of the fabric, adding allowance, before rolling out the tape to measure it. Make sure you do not rush while rolling the hem tape to prevent the twisting of the tape.
- Remove the paper at the back of the tape, stick it in between the two hem surface areas, making the tape stick to the wrong side of the fabric, then press the surface either with any pressing object or a pressing iron allowing it to set. (just make sure you apply pressure).
- After it might have set, leave it or stitch it, but I will advise you to stitch it, as the pressure-pressed hem tape is temporal-based compared to iron hem tape.
How Do I Remove My Hem Tape?
If the application of your hem tape is not giving you the perfect result, you can simply remove it with your iron and adhesive remover. Heat the tape with your iron, peel it off slowly, and scrape it off using an adhesive remover.
How Do I Wash A Hem-Taped Dress?
Just as you will wash your other clothes. Both types of tape can survive a lot of washes (although iron hem tape lasts longer). Besides, the temperature at which you will wash your cloth should be indicated on your hem tapes package, and if not, you can use 103 to 123 degrees.
What Are The Important Things To Note While Using Hem Tape?
- Practice the tape on pieces from fabric cutting, before attaching it to the fabric you want to hem.
- Do not iron delicate fabrics directly. Place a pressing cloth on the fabric before pressing it.
- Iron both sides of the fabric by placing it on the fabric for 5 to 10 seconds per press to fix the tape tightly inside the fabric.
- Avoid pressing the same place for long, as the fabric might get burnt, causing the seal to remove.
- Make sure the tape is rightly tucked into the fabric, and not seen as the gum can stick to the surface of the iron.
- Avoid attaching iron hem tape to fabrics that cannot be ironed, including elastic materials.
- Hem for large areas can get wrinkled if you work on it simultaneously, rather, use the hem tape in sections.
The hemming tape can last for a long time and can be permanent if it is being washed at the correct temperature.
This stressless tape makes your work easier and faster, but you need to practice using it before using it on the actual work, as it might not seem as easy as you suppose at first use.