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Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this review paper is to define the dominating factors (such as fiber, yarn, fabric structure, sewing thread, sewing needle and machine parameters) that affect the seam damages and causing defects. It also describes the various explanations of sewing defects in garment production and critically analyzes them for optimum selection of parameters and speeds for minimizing such faults. Hence, the knowledge of various factors which affect the sewing damages/defects will be helpful for garment manufacturers/researchers to know influence of the parameters and control the quality of producing seam. Design/methodology/approach This section is not applicable for a review paper. Findings Sewing damages such as needle cut and other sewing damages/defects are studied mostly in woven fabric. There are very few studies conducted on knitted fabric sewing damages/defects. The sewing damage problems do not have single solution that is capable of removing these damages in fabric. All the determined and affecting parameters related to fiber, yarn, fabric construction, sewing thread and sewing machine must be examined to design appropriate remedial measurement related to machine design, fabric parameters and sewing thread. This could help in minimizing or eliminating the needle cut and other sewing damage problems. Originality/value It is an original review work and is helpful for garment manufacturers/researchers to reduce the defects and be able to produce good quality seam.
Research Journal of Textile and Apparel
The study of sewing damages and defects in garments
Awadhesh Kumar Choudhary, Monica Puri Sikka, Payal Bansal,
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To cite this document:
Awadhesh Kumar Choudhary, Monica Puri Sikka, Payal Bansal, (2018) "The study of sewing
damages and defects in garments", Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, https://doi.org/10.1108/
RJTA-08-2017-0041
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The study of sewing damages and
defects in garments
Awadhesh Kumar Choudhary,Monica Puri Sikka and Payal Bansal
Department of Textile Technology,
Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this review paper is to dene the dominating factors (such as ber, yarn, fabric
structure, sewing thread, sewing needle and machine parameters) that affect the seam damages and causing
defects. It also describes the various explanations of sewing defects in garment production and critically
analyzes them for optimum selection of parameters and speeds for minimizing such faults. Hence, the
knowledge of various factors which affect the sewing damages/defects will be helpful for garment
manufacturers/researchers to know inuence of the parameters and control the quality of producing seam.
Design/methodology/approach This section is not applicable for a review paper.
Findings Sewing damages such as needle cut and other sewing damages/defects are studied mostly in
woven fabric. There are very few studies conducted on knitted fabric sewing damages/defects. The sewing
damage problems do not have single solution that is capable of removing these damages in fabric. All the
determined and affecting parameters related to ber, yarn, fabric construction, sewing thread and sewing
machine must be examined to design appropriate remedial measurement related to machine design, fabric
parameters and sewing thread. This could help in minimizing or eliminating the needle cut and other sewing
damage problems.
Originality/value It is an original review work and is helpful for garment manufacturers/researchers to
reduce the defects and be able to produce good quality seam.
Keywords Fabric sewability, Needle cut index, Sewing damages, Sewing defects, Sewing needle,
Sewing thread
Paper type Literature review
1. Introduction
Fabric sewability is dened as the ability with which fabric can be sewn quantitatively and
qualitatively. Good sewability implies better ease of converting fabric into garments. In
garment industries, high-speed sewing is a quite complex process, involving many
preparations for the perfect seam quality. As seam is one of the basic requirements in
construction of apparel, seam quality has great signicance in apparel products (Behera
et al.,1997;Kothari, 1999). Knitted and woven garments are very popular and important part
of textile apparel sector. Woven fabrics are rigid, making them ideal for thicker work clothes
such as jeans. Woven garments stretch mainly along one direction and are not very elastic,
unless they are woven from stretchable material such as spandex (Didar et al., 2015). With
the growth of population and improvement in the lifestyles, the demand for knitted fabrics
has been increasing as compared to woven fabrics (Jamshaid and Mishra, 2015). This is
because of the ease of production, excellent elasticity and ability to resist wrinkling
(Spencer, 2001).
Now the requirement is not only style and durability of garment but also its functional
comfort and handle properties (Guanxiong et al., 1991). Different types of quality defects/
damages are observed in garment products during its manufacturing. These defects/
damages originate during fabric production and during its garment conversion. These
Sewing
damages and
defects
Research Journal of Textile and
Apparel
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1560-6074
DOI 10.1108/RJTA-08-2017-0041
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defects/damages decrease the quality of the garment, which ultimately creates a signicant
impact on the prot percentage. Fabric quality alone does not fulll all the criteria for
production of high quality garment. Quality in apparel product is very important, and
product quality always means seam quality. Sewing damages/defects are caused when
fabric restricts the penetration of the sewing needle. This not only depends upon the spaces
in the fabric but also on needle prole, needle size, sewing machine setting and sewing
thread (Sauri et al.,1987;Gurarda, 2008). There are some faults caused by sewing damages/
defects such as needle cuts, skip stitches, seam slippage, thread breakages, seam cracking
and seam grinning (Shady et al.,2006). Needle cut and other sewing damages/defects depend
on fabric structure, stitch density, thread diameter and machine parts (Nayak et al.,2010).
These defects directly inuence the garment durability, strength, elongation, dofng-
donning time and esthetics of garment (Angappan and Gopalakrishnan, 1987). The
consequences of such an inferior sewing of fabric are faults which are very often recognized
too late.
It is observed that many researchers (Sauri et al., 1987;Behera et al., 1997;Kothari, 1999;
Gurarda, 2008;Nayak et al.,2010) have worked to study the inuences of few such
parameters on sewing damages/defects such as seam slippage, seam grinning, seam
cracking and open seam. But there are very few researchers who have worked
comprehensively on the inuence of material and machine parameters on occurrence and
severity of needle cut defect in woven and knitted garments. The objective of this review is
to understand the state of the art and comprehensive knowledge about the problems
associated with needle cut and other signicant sewing damages/defects in woven and
knitted garments. Sewing damages/defects are studied earlier mostly in woven fabrics.
There is no research reported for needle cut index (NCI) in knitted garment. NCI can be
calculated as:
Needle cut Index NCI
ðÞ
5
Number of yarn cut
cm in
ðÞ
Number of yarn in fabric
cm in
ðÞ
The needle cutting or yarn severance is due to the stiffness of the yarn in fabric and a lack of
mobility of yarn in fabric structure when sewing needle sews the fabric. Therefore, a critical
and comprehensive approach is required to know more about the reduction of needle cut and
other sewing damages in woven andknitted fabrics. This review paper reports the causes of
needle cut and other sewing damages/defects in garment and also the parameters
inuencing them. Now, this time, garment manufacturers/researchers wish to know more
about fabric sewability and various factors that affect the sewing damages/defects in
nished garment. The knowledge of various factors which affect the sewing damages/
defects will be helpful for garment manufacturers/researchers to know and control the
quality of seam. The highlighted factors causing sewing damages will encourage the
manufacturers to searchappropriate solution for reducing them.
2. Inuence of ber, yarn and weave on the sewing damages/defects
Sewability of fabric is the characteristic property of a fabric which allows it to be seamed at
the full limit of high-speed sewing machinery without the mechanical degradation of fabric.
Fabric construction, thickness and number of fabric plies are aspects of fabric which
inuence seam damages and defects. Fabric weight, type and seam direction can also affect
the seam quality.
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2.1 Eect of ber type on sewing damages/defects
The seam parameters such as seam strength, elasticity, durability, puckering, appearance
and needle cut/yarn severance are inuenced by ber types such as cotton, polyester, modal,
bamboo and their blend ratio. The knowledge of ber type and blend ratio led to many
innovations in improving physical and chemical characteristics of fabric and also sewing
process. Nayak et al. (2010) studied the sewing performance of stretch denim. It can be
concluded that the seam efciency increased with lycra percentage and the seam pucker and
needle cutting index increased with the weight of the fabric rather than the lycra percentage.
The inuence of stitch length of weft knitted fabrics on the sewability was studied by Abdel
Megeid et al. (2011). It can be concluded that the sewability (which was indicated by
penetration force) of 100 per cent cotton single jersey fabric was inversely proportional to its
stitch length, and the fabric with coarser yarn count gives the higher penetration force. Badr
and Ashraf (2013) studied the sewability of knitted fabrics made from cellulosic bers. In
this research work, sewability properties (seam strength, seam pucker and seam stiffness) of
100 per cent bamboo, 100 per cent modal, 100 per cent cotton and 50/50 per cent modal/
cotton fabrics knitted with different fabric structures were studied. The bamboo and modal
samples showed higher values than cotton ber in case of seam pucker defect. Seam
stiffness of cotton and cotton/modal samples showed higher values than those of modal and
bamboo ber. Seam strength was decreasing from 100 per cent cotton, 50/50 per cent modal/
cotton, 100 per cent modal to 100 per cent bamboo, while the seam elongation was increased.
The effects of natural and synthetic bers such as cotton, modal, bamboo and polyester
bers on sewability of knitted and woven fabric was studied by various researchers, but the
effects of other bers such as silk, wool, acrylic, nylon and their blends need to be
investigated for sewing damages/defects in garment. Also, physical and chemical properties
of all bers, such as ber length, strength and moisture properties, should be taken into
account for examination of good seam properties.
2.2 Eect of yarn on sewing damages/defects
The yarn twist, linear density and yarn structure affects the cloth properties and seam quality
during the sewing process. The physical and mechanical properties of yarn such as breaking
strength, elongation at break and Youngs modulus reect the quality of yarn and yarn
behavior during the sewing process. Herbert and Taft (1936) studied the effect of yarn twist on
the properties of cloth. In this, plain and 2/2 basket weaves of cotton cloth were considered and
the effect of warp and lling yarn twist on the breaking strength, elongation at rupture and
fabric assistance was discussed. For both types of weaves, ends per inches (warp yarns) and
picks per inches (lling yarns) of cloth were kept constant at 34. The cloths were woven from
10
s
cotton yarn in various combinations of warp and lling yarn twist multipliers (TM) varying
between 2.5 and 9.0 TM. The breaking strength and elongation at break of the cloths vary with
the breaking strength and elongation at break of the yarns. The fabric assistance varies
inversely with the breaking strength of the yarn. The breaking strength, elongation at break
andfabricassistanceisgreaterintheplainweavethan2/2basketweave.
Characterization of sewability parameters of plain structured fabric with structurally
modied trevira CS (comfort and safety) yarn for defense application was studied by
Murugesan et al. (2012). In this experimental work, different yarn structured fabrics were
chosen, namely, Ring, Rotor, Air-jet and DREF-3 friction spun fabrics, and the experiment
was performed at 6.0 mm breaking load. It was concluded that the breaking loads of DREF-3
friction spun fabrics recorded higher strength than those of the other fabrics without seam
opening. Also, DREF-3 friction spun fabrics depicted rupture at same time at the seam.
Dimensional stability and sewing performance of single jersey knitted fabric was studied by
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Nassif (2013a,2013b). In thisstudy, the number of washing cycles, loop length and yarn twist
factor were considered for the quality of cottonsingle jersey knittedfabrics. It was found that
seam elongation was positively affected by loop length and yarn twist factor. By contrast,
seam strength and seam efciency were negatively affected by both factors. The
investigation of fabric sewability was conducted by Parthasarathi et al. (2014). He concluded
that the sewability of 100 per cent cotton single jersey fabric was inversely proportional to its
stitch length, and that the fabric with coarser yarn count gives the higher penetration force.
Further, it was found that the effects of yarn twist and yarn structure on dimensional
stability and sewing performance of fabric were discussed by various researchers. Other
parameters of yarn such as yarn strength, yarn friction and yarn hairiness should be
investigated for seam efciency and other properties of seam quality.
2.3 Eect of fabric structure on sewing damages/defects
Fabric structure depicts the stiffness, thickness, breathability, fabric compactness and
openness in fabric. Different fabric structures show different physical and mechanical
properties, so it is important to know more about fabric structure for improving the fabric
and seam quality. The mechanism of sewing damage in knitted fabrics was studied by
Stylios and Zhu (1998). An investigation was reported in which penetration of the sewing
needle in fabric was recorded using a high-speed video technique. This analysis established
that sewing damage in a knitted fabric was affected by the yarn structure and properties,
fabric construction and sewing conditions. During needle penetration in the sewing of
garments, the fabric is prone to damage by a number of factors or a combination of them,
namely, an increase in the yarn modulus, coefcient of friction (yarn to yarn and yarn to
needle), needle size and yarn-tension or yarn-compression modulus. Grinning of ISO 514
stitched seams on knitted fabrics under the effects of repeated extension and recovery was
studied by Uçar (2002). It was observed that seam grinning increased with decreased stitch
density and increased thread extensibility. Seam grinning also increases as the fabric
becomes rigid against deformation. The amount of seam grinning in most knitted fabrics
may be less than that in woven fabrics under the same sewing and deformation conditions.
The inuence of knitted fabric structure on adequate stitch type and density for
performance apparel was studied by Mohamed and Hassan (2006). It was concluded that
seams of CoolMax/Micro Modal interlock fabric had shown higher thickness, stiffness,
breaking force and pucker compared with seams of CoolMax/Micro Modal single jersey
fabric. On the other hand, seams of CoolMax/Micro Modal single jersey fabric gave better
appearance than those of CoolMax/Micro Modal interlock fabric because there was an
inverse relation between seam pucker and its appearance. The effects of elastane yarn type
and fabric density on sewing needle penetration forces and seam damage of polyester
(PET)/elastane woven fabrics were studied by Gurarda and Meric (2007). In their study,
PET/elastane weft stretch fabrics were prepared with weft yarns of about 150/40 dtex PET/
elastane air-covered and twisted yarns, as well as a warp yarn of about 70 dtex air-covered
polyester yarn. From the study, it was clear that sewing needle penetration force and needle-
related damage due to sewing in PET/elastane woven fabric were affected by the weave
type, elastane yarn type and fabric density. While the weft density increased at both twill
and plain fabrics, the needle penetration forces and the needle damage index values
increased. Investigation of the seam performance of PET/nylon-elastane woven fabrics was
studied by Gurarda (2008). In his study, plain and twill fabrics were woven with three
different weft densities. Two different sewing threads were used during the sewing of the
fabrics. It was observed that in elastic woven fabric seams, when thread size was increased,
seam strength also increased. Slippage and grinning behavior of lockstitch seams in elastic
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fabrics under cyclic loading conditions was studied by Gurarda and Meriç (2010), where
PET/elastane weft stretch twill and plain fabrics were woven with the weft yarn of PET/
elastane air-covered and twisted yarn (150/40 denier) and warp yarn of PET yarn (70/72
denier). Twill and plain fabrics were woven with two different weft densities. It was
observed that seam slippage and grinning on the sewn fabrics increased with decreased
weft density and with increased fabric extensibility.
Pamuk et al. (2011) studied the sewability properties of lining fabrics by using the L&M
sewability tester, in which six types of linings fabric were grouped into three sub-groups
according to their warp and weft densities, yam count and fabric composition (polyester/
cotton ber). Pamuk et al. concluded that yam count and warp/weft density inuenced the
sewability values of lining fabrics. Porosity of the fabric decreased when warp and weft
densities increased so that fabric become compact and more yarns were either broken or
separated by the sewing needle, which, in turn, increased the needle penetration force across
the layers. Fathy Saied et al. (2011) further investigated the effects of fabric construction and
treatments on the sewability of cotton/polyester woven fabric. In total, 12 blended woven
fabric samples (e.g. 75 per cent cotton and 25 per cent polyester) with two fabric structures
(plain and twill weaves) and different construction properties were used. Chemical nishes
such as chitosan, citric acid,
b
-cyclodextrin hydrate (CD), monochlortriazinyl
b
-cyclodextrin Na-salt (CD-T) and copper sulfate were used, and then FAST (fabric
assurance by simple testing) system was used to measured fabric mechanical properties. It
was found that with decrease in the weft yarn count, fabric extensibility increased but
formability, bending rigidity and shear rigidity reduced very signicantly. Also, the
construction of plain fabric with count 40/1 showed low force penetration force. It was
observed that roughness of the fabric surface treated with citric acid, CD and CD-T reduced,
compared to the untreated one. But the treatment with chitosan and chitosan/copper sulfate
gave higher roughnessand higher anti-pilling than the untreated one.
Bharani and Mahendra Gowda (2012) studied characterization of seam strength and
seam slippage of PC blend fabric with plain woven structure and nish. The fabrics of
different blend proportions (polyester/cotton) were prepared with different woven structures
such as plain, twill and satin. It was observed that the resistance to break at the application
of load (breaking load at 6.00 mm) is more for polyester/cotton blend than for the cotton
fabric. The seams made from plain weave fabric were found to have greater seam
performance than those made from twill and satin. Another study on dimensional stability
and sewing performance of single jersey knitted fabrics was discovered by Nassif (2013a,
2013b). It was observed that as the knit loop length (during knitted fabric formation) and the
number of washing cycles increased, the fabric shrinkage increased. Also, as the knit loop
length and yarn twist factor increased in fabric, it showed reduction in seam strength and
efciency. A comparative study on seam performance of cotton and polyester woven fabric
was done by Sular et al. (2015). They compared the seam performance of 12 cotton and
polyester woven fabrics by means of seam strength, seam efciency, seam pucker, seam
slippage, seam proles and visual observations. All evaluations were conducted in terms of
weave, weft setting and two sewing threads separately. Experimental results expose that
the cotton fabrics sewn with any kind of sewing thread had similar seam efciency, but the
polyester fabrics had low seam efciency values. Amer and Abdel Megeid (2017) studied the
effect of construction parameters of cotton fabric on garment performance. The effect of
cotton fabric construction on physical and mechanical properties such as stiffness and
pilling were investigated for garment performance. The cotton fabric produced from two
kind of yarn (compact and carded), with three levels of pick setting, two weave structures
(plain 1/1, twill 1/2), two types of chemical treatment (scour, non-scour) and two counts (weft
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count 30/1, warp count 50/2). It was found that the sewability of fabric made up of carded
yarn (twill 1/2 at 20 pick\cm) had lower penetration force, pilling and stiffness than fabric
made up of compact yarn. Therefore, the fabric GSM (grams/square meter), structure and
design inuence the fabric sewability, as examined by various researchers, but other
mechanical properties of fabric such as breaking force, elasticity and frictional properties of
fabric should be considered for good quality seam andlessen thesewingdefects/damages.
3. Inuence of sewing needle on sewing damages/defects
The modication in needle size/shape, thread lubrication ratio and machine setting can
minimize sewing damages/defects during process of sewing. Sewing performance of cotton/
lycra knitted fabrics was studied by Zeto et al. (1996). They described a computer-based
system installed on industrial lockstitch and overlock stitch sewing machines. Observations
indicate that penetration and withdrawal forces were signicantly affected by sewing needle
size and, to a limited extent, by the number of plies sewn together. A study on sewability of
denim was conducted by Behera et al. (1997). Sewability of denim fabrics was assessed by
seam efciency, seam pucker, seam slippage, needle cutting index and seam appearance.
From the study, it was clear that for lightweight fabrics, seam efciency increased with the
decrease in linear density of thread; for heavyweight denim, seam efciency decreased with
the increase in thread linear density. Sewing of light-weight denim with coarse threads
increased seam slippage. Needle cutting index decreased with decrease in the linear density
of sewing threads for all the fabrics, and the damage increased with the increase in fabric
weights for a given ticket number. Core spun threads give maximum yarn damage
compared to cotton and polyester threads. Needle cutting index was affected by fabric cover
factor and weave too. Selection of suitable sewing needle using machine learning techniques
was studied by Stjepanovic and Strah (1998). Sewing materials were changed and their
quality and properties were not constant, so they inuenced the sewability. Knowledge of
textile materials and consideration of experience gained with their processing can
essentially contribute to selection of a suitable sewing needle.
Garment seam strength depending on needle size and stitch length was studied by First
Rogale et al. (2012). Three different material samples, 100 per cent cotton in twill weave, 100
per cent viscose ber and 100 per cent polyester (PES) lining with three Schmetz needle sizes
of 70, 90 and 110 Nm and three different material feeds of 2, 2.5 and 3 mm, were used in
testing. The obtained result showed that for the samples made of 100 per cent cotton in twill
weave, the optimal needle size was 90 Nm and the material feed 2 mm, because the
maximum force of 186 N was required to prevent damage or breakage of the seam. The
weakest seam was obtained using a needle size of 70 Nm and material feed of 3 mm, where
the force that causes a breakage or damage of the seam was 107 N. For the samples made of
100 per cent 0.181-mm-thick viscose ber, the optimal needle size was also 90 Nm for the
material feed of 2 mm because the highest force was necessary to damage or to break the
seam mounting to 97.63 N. The weakest seam was obtained when using needle size 110 Nm
and material feed of 2 mm, whereby the force causing breakage or damage of the seam
amounts to 80.8 N. For the samples made from lining 100 per cent PES, 102 mm thick, needle
size 110 Nm and material feed rate of 2 mm were used; highest needle penetration force was
developed and consequently caused damages or breakages of the seams, which amounts to
238.25 N. This study reported the optimized value of needle size, breaking force and material
feed, which help to reduce the sewing damages. Modeling of impact damage of sewing
machine needle on wovenfabric by nite element method was studied by Khadamalhosseini
et al. (2013). In the model (ABAQUS 6.8), the orthotropic properties of the fabric, the elastic
nature of the yarn, the sliding contact between yarns and yarn breakage was included while
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using solid elements. Experimental work was also performed so as to compare with the
simulation results. To quantify the damage of woven fabrics punched by sewing needles in
experimental and simulation work, a damage index was introduced. It can be concluded that
both manual and simulation procedures indicated that the needles with larger diameter
increased the fabric damages. The model developed in this study was able to simulate the
impact damage of sewing machine needles on the woven fabric. The damage indexes
derived from the model can be applied to compare the effect of different needle sizes on the
fabric. Evaluation of woven denim fabric sewability based on needle penetration force was
studied by Ezzatollah et al. (2014). It was observed that fabric weight had shown a greater
effect on needle penetration force (NPF) than other parameters. With increased fabric
weight, number of fabric layers and needle size, the NPF increased. The fabric sewability
becomes poor with increased fabric weight, needle size and number of fabric layers.
Generally, lighter fabrics sewn with ner needles showed better sewing performance.
Hereafter, the sewing needle size and prole was explored by most of the researchers, but
interaction of needle and needle hole in sewing machine needs to be considered for further
investigation of sewing damages/defects.
4. Inuence of needle penetration force on sewing damages/defects
Sewing needle penetration forces and fabric deformation during sewing are effective factors
for seam performance. The subject of needle penetration force measurement has been
studied by several researchers since 1960. The works focus on two aspects: the development
of instruments to measure penetration forces and studies to relate the material, machine and
needle variables to the penetration forces, needle heating and resulting seam damages. This
work directed the modication in needle size and shape, thread lubrication ratio and
machine setting during process of sewing. Impacts of sewing needle and thread on the
technological process of sewing knitwear were studied by Ujevic et al. (2008). In this
research, an instrument for measuring the sewing needle penetration force and dynamic
sewing thread tension force was designed. Three types of cotton knitted fabrics were used
for the investigation and measurement of sewing needle penetration forces and dynamic
tensions of the sewing thread, single jersey, double jersey and interlock fabric as a special
group of double jerseys. Sewing needle penetration forces was highest in interlock fabric,
where the SAN 10 needle showed the highest differences of sewing needle penetration forces
in view of needle size. The highest dynamic tension was measured in the needle of size
70 Nm in all types of knitted fabric investigated. Ondogan et al. (2010) evaluated the needle
penetration forces of the fabrics by using the sewability tester (L & M Sewability Tester).
The result showed that the problems in knitting, nishing and making-up can be made
easier to solve when the sewability tester was used as a trouble-shooting tool in garment
industries. These studies reported sewing needle penetration force, which affects the sewing
damages/defects such as yarn severance/needle cut during sewing operation. Sewing needle
type, size and penetration force in fabric inuence the sewability.
The penetration force of sewing needle in fabric was investigated by most of the
researchers, but interaction of needle with fabric and needle hole in sewing machine needs to
be considered for further investigation of sewing damages/defects because friction between
fabric, needle and machine part affects the sewing needle and also sewing of fabric.
5. Inuence of sewing machine parameters on sewing damages/defects
The sewing damages can be generated by excessive pressure on pressure foot, uneven
tension generation in sewing zone, asymmetrical feeding system under feed dog and sewing
speed variation. Sewing machine speed and other parts such as throat plate, pressure foot
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and feed dog affect the seam quality. Fan (1997) studied the effect of throat plate design on
sewing damages on an overlock sewing machine. This study indicates that sewing damage
in light-weight knitted fabrics can be minimized by the modication of throat plate design
with a view of enlarging the needle gap. Inuence of stitch density on stitch properties of
knitted products was studied by Wang et al. (2000). They concluded that when stitch density
was increased, the rate of tensile strength, extensibility and stress withstand retention were
increased. When stitch density was increased, the tensile strength at break of 301 lock-stitch
was reduced and 504 three-thread overlock stitch was increased gradually. There was the
greatest strength at stitch density of eight stitches per unit length. When stitch density was
increased, the extensibility at break of 301 lock stitch was increased gradually for crosswise
fabric samples and 301 lock-stitch was decreased gradually for lengthwise samples. When
stitch density was increased, the rate of stress withstand retention of all three types of stitch
was increased. Inuence of sewing parameters upon the tensile behavior of textile assembly
was studied by Gribaa et al. (2006). The results showed that there was a high inuence of
sewing thread (ber type) and demonstrated the importance of interactions between factors
in particular and the interaction between stitch density and the edge of seam. They observed
that warp direction showed some difference with weft direction as fabric construction
affects the behavior of sewn fabrics. Investigation on the seams quality by sewing of light
fabrics was studied by Germanova and Petrov (2008). Mathematical models for seams
strength, elongation and smoothness was produced by changing the following factors:
straining of the upper thread, size of the needle and load on the pressing foot. In this
experiment, optimal values for receiving of the best seam strength, elongation and
appearance were set. The optimized values of various parameters such as tension in upper
thread, needle size and load on the pressing foot can help sewing fabric with fewer defects.
Automatic presser-foot force control for industrial sewing machines was studied by
Carvalho et al. (2012). In this work, a closed-loop controller that controls presser-foot
maximum vertical displacement was presented and compared to existing solutions that
adjust force depending on sewing speed in which an electromagnetic force actuator was
integrated in an industrial lockstitch machine. According to all testing conditions and
obtained results, the speed variable, force control, and proportional integral derivative) force
control techniques presented the best results in terms of sewing performance, when
compared with the constant force actuation. Measurement of presser-foot displacement
waveforms in this system also enables process monitoring, i.e. the detection of defects. The
presser foot displacement in a lockstitch sewing machine was studied by Carvalho et al.
(2013) in which wool and wool blended fabrics having variations in structure were sewn by
using two sewing speeds on a lockstitch sewing machine. The inuence of sewing speed and
fabric structure variation on presser foot displacement was investigated on a lockstitch-301
sewing machine. The results showed that variation in sewing speed and fabric structure
inuences maximal height displacement of the presser foot. The increase in the sewing
speed results in higher increase in the presser foot height displacement as compared to
fabric thickness. Effect of sewing parameters and wash type on the dimensional stability of
knitted garments was studied by Malik et al. (2013). Single jersey bleached fabric, made
from Ne 32 cotton combed ring spun yarn, was used to make 32 medium-size crew neck T-
shirts by selecting two levels of stitch type, stitch density, sewing thread type and wash
type. In the case of body length and body width shrinkage, stitch density was the most
dominant factor, while wash type was the least prominent. Similarly, in the case of across
shoulder and sleeve length shrinkage, stitch type was the most dominant factor, while wash
type was the least prominent factor.
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Investigation of the effects of sewing machine parameters on the seam quality was done
by Nassif (2013a,2013b). The seam quality and performance of the woven cotton fabrics
was characterized by seam tensile strength, seam elongation and seam efciency. The stitch
density and sewing machine direction (warp direction, weft direction and 45° bias angle)
were found to have a positive impact on the seam tensile strength. As both the parameters
increased, the seam strength increased. By the contrast, the needle size and sewing thread
tension had a converse impact on the seam strength. In the case of seam elongation, it was
found that needle size and sewing thread tension had a negative effect on it. Effect of
different types of seam, stitch class and stitch density on seam performance was studied by
Ali et al. (2014). It was concluded from this research that as stitches per inches (SPI) was
increased, the seam strength was also increased and decreased when SPI was reduced.
Effect of the seam efciency and puckering on denim sewability was studied by Maarouf
(2015). In this research, the researcher used three different weight of denim, core spun
threads, superimposed seam and lock stitch no. 301. The samples were sewing in warp
direction, weft direction and 45° for measuring seam puckering, seam strength, fabric
strength and seam efciency. The result showed higher seam puckering with heavier and
thicker fabrics in the 90° direction. The results for the tensile seam strength were higher for
fabric in weight heavier, thicker and in the direction at an angle of 45°. Seam strength and
the breaking load were dramatically increased because of the increment of stitch density.
It was found that different sewing machine parts such as pressure foot, feed dog, throat
plate design, sewing machine speed, thread tension during sewing play a very signicant
role during sewing of fabric material. Researchers investigate the sewing damages during
sewing due to excessive pressure on pressure foot, uneven tension generation in sewing
zone, asymmetrical feeding system under feed dog and sewing speed variation. Most of the
research considered lock-stitch machine but other machines such as overlock and at lock
sewing machine need to be considered for the sewing performance of fabric.
6. Inuence of sewing thread on sewing damages/defects
Sewing thread plays an inuential role in fabric seam design. Sewing thread tension varies
during the sewing process of fabric. Quality of thread should be judged by breaking
strength, elongation at break, thread liveliness and twist direction, but other properties of
thread such as lubrication ratio, type of wax applied and thread ply also inuence the
sewing process and seam quality. A factorial study of seam resistance of woven and knitted
fabric was conducted by Sauri et al. (1987). It was observed that in woven and knitted
fabrics, the seam strength increased when the number of stitches/cm increased but
mechanical damages of the fabric produced by stitch needle action increased with number of
stitches/cm too high. In knitted fabric for 401 and 501 stitch type, seam resistance decreased
when the sewing yarn becomes ner. Effect of thread structure and lubrication ratio on
seam properties was studied by Meric and Durmaz (2005). In this polyester multilament,
staple and core spun threads with 2, 4 and 6 per cent lubrication ratio was studied. The
polyester multilament thread structure gives the best result on the thread breaking
tenacity and seam strength. Result concluded that yarn to metal friction coefcient
decreased with an increase in lubrication ratio and twist values. With increase in twist, the
initial modulus decreased and thread extension increased. The inuence of mechanical
properties of sewing threads on seam pucker was studied by Dobilaite and Juciene (2006).
Polyester and cotton sewing threads having different structural, physical and mechanical
properties were used for this study. Results concluded that extensibility and total strain of
cotton threads was lower compared to the respective performances of polyester sewing
threads. In this investigation, the highest seam pucker was observed after washing and
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drying, and the time factor made considerably less inuence on the occurrence of creases.
After washing and drying, the highest pucker was typical of the specimens sewn with
cotton sewing threads, because of yarn swelling. Relative performance of lock stitch and
chain stitch at the seat seam of military trouser was studied by Mukhopadhyay (2008).
Result concluded that the performance of chain stitched seam was found to be much better
with regard to lower valueof force at low level of strain, higher value of force at break, strain
at break and work of rapture. In general, with the change in thread linear density, greater
improvement in seam strength, seam strain at break and work up to fracture were obtained
in case of chain stitched seam. On laundering, in general, force at small strain and force at
break increased, the change being more in case of lock stitched fabric. However, strain at
break decreased marginally on laundering in case ofboth the stitches.
Effect of process and machine parameters on changes in tensile properties of threads
during high-speed industrial sewing was studied by Midha et al. (2009). In this study, four
types of sewing threads, i.e. mercerized cotton, polyester staple spun, polyester-cotton core
spun and polyester-polyester core spun threads of 40 tex, were used. As the number of fabric
layers increased, tenacity and breaking elongation rst decreased and then increased for
cotton thread. In polyester staple spun and core spun threads, the loss in these properties
remained unaffected with an increase in the number of fabric layers. Thread consumption/
stitch increased as the number of fabric layers increased or stitch density decreased. As the
needle size increased, increased needle temperature led to a higher loss in tenacity and
breaking elongation of polyester staple spun and core spun threads. A study on effect of
work wear fabric characteristics on the changes in tensile properties of sewing threads after
sewing was conducted by Midha et al. (2010). The tenacity and breaking elongation loss
increased with an increase in fabric weight for staple threads and remained unchanged for
core spun threads. The loss in initial modulus increased for polyester threads as fabric
weight increased and decreased for cotton thread. An overview of sewing threads
mechanical properties on seam quality was studied by Mandal and Abraham (2010). Results
obtained that cotton sewing thread exhibit a higher initial modulus but lower strength,
whereas polyester thread had lower initial modulus but higher strength. Different sewing
threads of high strength results in high seam strength and good seam serviceability. Cotton
sewing thread exhibits a higher dry dimensional stability, whereas synthetic sewing thread
shows higher wet dimensional stability. Effect of thread structure on tension peaks during
lock stitch sewing was studied by Rengasamy and Samuel Wesley (2011). In this study, the
needle thread recorded four major tension peaks corresponding to events occurred during
sewing; bobbin thread withdrawal, stitch tightening, needle piercing the fabric and
tightening of the needle thread aroundthe shuttle, among which stitch tightening caused the
maximum tension for all threads. Results showed that polyester core spun and spun
polyester threads exhibited the highest and lowest tightening tension, respectively.
A study on inuence of needle heat during sewing process on tensile properties of sewing
thread was made by Mazari and Havelka (2013) in this work, the tensile properties of a
sewing thread, i.e. tenacity, breaking elongation and initial modulus of two common
industrial sewing polyester-polyester core spun threads, were studied. The results
concluded that tenacity, breaking elongation and initial modulus decreased substantially
with a higher speed of the machine as the needle temperature increased. At 4,000 rpm of the
sewing speed, the sewing thread loses 50 per cent of its tenacity as the needle temperature
reaches nearly 250°C, the impact being higher for higher count (linear densities) threads.
Thanaa Moustaf (2013) found interaction between sewing thread size and stitch density and
its effects on the seam quality of wool fabrics in which two types of wool fabrics were
produced (140 and 280 gm/m
2
) with twill (2/1) weave. Seam tensile strength and elongation
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increased with the increase in sewing thread size from 18 to 24 tex and then decreased with
the increase in sewing thread size up to 30 tex. For heavy-weight wool fabrics, the increase
in sewing thread size and stitch densities lead to an increase in seam strength and
elongation. Effect of fabric and sewing conditions on apparel seam characteristics was
studied by Choudhary and Goel (2013). Three types of suiting fabrics of medium-weight
construction, varying in the blend composition of polyester and cotton components, are
taken into consideration for this work. This investigation elucidates the effect of blend
composition, sewing thread size and sewing needle parameters on garment seam
characteristics (i.e. seam strength, seam strength efciency, seam puckering, seam stiffness
and drape coefcient). The polyester-dominated suiting fabrics gave minimum seam
stiffness because polyester component had low exural rigidity. Seam puckering and seam
strength efciency increased with the increase in sewing thread linear density. The cotton-
dominated suiting fabrics had less seam puckering because of an increase in fabric stiffness,
which leads to increase in in-plane compression resistance.
Nayak and Padhye (2013) investigated the sewability of denim fabrics by using air-jet
textured polyester and polyester/viscose blend sewing thread. It was observed that 100 per
cent polyester air-jet textured sewing threads resulted in lower NCI and higher seam
efciency and seam pucker than the polyester/viscose-blended air-jet textured sewing
thread. It also found that NCI was increased in warp direction in denim fabric. A study on
the effect of stitch types and sewing thread types on seam strength for cotton apparel was
conducted by Akter and Khan (2015). The purpose and objective of this study was to
investigate and scrutinize the impact of sewing thread types and stitch types on seam
strength and efciency of superimposed seam for cotton apparel. The results in this study
revealed that polyester-wrapped threads with a polyester lament core thread showed better
seam strength and seam efciency in all stitch types. The inuence of few sewing
parameters on sewing efciency of denim fabrics was studied by Malek et al. (2017). In this
study, different parameters such as fabric composition (18 fabrics; of which 6 fabrics have
the same blend composition and different masses), two sewing threads and three stitch
densities were considered. It was concluded that with increase in sewing thread linear
density and stitch density, the seam efciency increases in both warp and weft directions.
Also, it was found that seam efciency increases with increase in elastane component in
fabric composition; however, increase in polyester component reduces the seam efciency.
It was established that sewing thread size, structure, ber type, lubrication ratio, type of
nish and twist inuences the sewing process. Thread tension in different zone of sewing
machine and sewing thread elasticity plays a vital role in achieving good quality seam.
Sewing thread construction-like ply needs to be well-thought-out for good seam quality.
7. Inuence of fabric nishes on sewing damages/defects
Seam damage tendency is affected by the application of various nishes on fabric because of
the result of friction between the needle and the fabric. Mechanical behavior of seams on
treated fabrics was studied by Kordoghli et al. (2009). In this study, woven fabrics were
chosen to investigate the effect of their chemical and mechanical nishing process (desizing,
scouring, bleaching and dyeing) on the behavior of the seams. Three factors were studied:
treatment, density (number of stitches per centimeter) and seam direction (weft or warp
direction). This work explained that it was more useful to study the yield point than the
rupture point, because for the wear, the elastic phase (recovery) was more important than
the plastic phase. Results revealed that the increase in the number of stitches per centimeter
ameliorates the breaking resistance of seam but not the elongation at break. However, the
density had small effects on the yield point. Improvement of sewability properties of cotton
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knitted fabrics with softeners was studied by Illeez et al. (2015). In this study, ve softeners
with two concentrations were applied to the pre-treated 100 per cent of cotton single jersey,
interlock and eece fabrics. The softening treatments improved the sewability and seam
puckering markedly. Especially, macro silicone emulsion had the lowest needle penetration
force value. After softening treatment, seam puckering increased nearly by 1.5-2 grades. The
lower concentration was sufcient to get same effect.
Vidrago et al. (2015) investigated the cost and efciency analysis of commercial softeners
in the sewability behavior of cotton fabrics. The non-ionic polyethylene dispersions and a
cationic silicone softener micro-emulsion in different concentrations and combinations were
considered in this investigation. It was found that a combination of silicone and
polyethylene-based softeners gives the most interesting cost/performance behavior and also
produced the lowest penetration forces of all products at a very low price point. Comparison
of seam strength between dyed and un-dyed gabardine apparels seam was done by Farhana
et al. (2015). It was a comparative research work based on lapped and superimposed seam.
From the result, it was concluded that seam strength of dyed apparels was less than that of
undyed apparels. It was also found that loss of seam strength for lapped seam was less than
that of superimposed seam. For lapped seam, the loss of seam strengthbetween un-dyed and
dyed samples was more or less 5-10 per cent. For superimposed seam, the loss of seam
strength between un-dyed and dyed was more or less 9-13 per cent.
It was concluded that chemical nishes such as silicon, cationic, macro silicone emulsion
and their concentration ratio applied on fabric affect the fabric surface properties and
frictional properties, but the effect of humidity and effect of dye shades need to be
investigated for sewing damages/defects.
8. Inuence of working method of workforce on sewing damages/defects
The sewing process comprises mainly guiding fabric toward sewing needle, sewing of the
fabric edge and rotation of fabric around the needle, which requires a high level of skill and
experienced worker. If feeding system is not well-organized, then it results in asymmetrical
seams and many other defects. Johnson (1973) analyzed the feeding system of a lock stitch
sewing machine to describe its operation and the inuence of high-speed operation on its
performance. He calculated and measured the phenomenon of presser foot bouncing by
testing two lock stitch sewing machines, in which contact losses between the presser foot
and feed dog occurred without any fabric. It was also concluded that the stitch density
decreases with increase in speed. The stitch density did not remain constant over a range of
speed and presser foot pressures. The variation of stitch densities results in the production
of irregular and uneven seam. Matthews and Little (1988) found the sewing dynamics:
measuring sewing machine forces at high speeds. For this study, a measuring system was
developed for recording the forces directly encountered by the needle bar and presser bar
from a high-speed sewing machine. The forces recorded from the needle bar reect those
encountered by needle penetration and withdrawal. The forces recorded from the presser
bar are those transferred by the feed dog as it advances the fabric each sewing cycle. This
measuring system (NSCU sewing dynamometer) was capable of detecting changing sewing
parameters, including variations in the material being sewn, increasing plies of fabric,
frictional forces on the sewing needle and the dynamics of the feeding system.
Robak (2002) studied the model of fabric transport in a sewing machine by using a feed
dog covered with a supple material of increased friction. In this study, a mathematical model
of a feed mechanism was presented, which uses a feed dog covered with supple material.
From the result, it was concluded that the use of supple material covering the feed dog had a
signicant effect on the transport of a fabric. It was found that an increased coefcient of
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friction and the suppleness of a supple material covering the feed dog enable proper
transport of imsy and slippery fabrics. The inuence of fabric external friction force and
certain parameters of a sewing machine on stitch length was studied by Juciene and Vobolis
(2004). External friction force depends not only on the properties of sewing garment but also
on the extent of pressing force, type of presser foot and the sewing speed. In this work,
inuence of three suit fabrics with different setting and thickness on the quality of threads
and stitch length was studied. For the experimental work, sewing machine (Gutermann) and
sewing threads of ticket no. 120 (100 per cent of PES) were used. It was observed that in all
fabrics, increase in pressing force leads to an increase in external friction force of fabrics up
to ve times. It was determined that for different types of pressing foot, fabric external
friction force was different, which generated the variation in the stitch length, and tendency
of such variations was clearer with higher sewing speed. The highest (80 N) external friction
force was expected for performing experiments with even metal base pressing foot, and
lowest friction force (20 N) was expected with the rotation rings pressing foot.
It was found that sewing damages/defects are also affected by work method of workers
during the sewing of fabric material. Symmetrical material ow and proper tension during
feeding material on feed plate on sewing machine is an important process for defect free
seam. Fabric relaxation time prior to cutting and force on fabric material feed on feed plate
of sewing machine should be examined for sewing performance.
9. Conclusions
The researchers have studied the inuence of ber type, yarn, fabric structure, sewing
thread and sewing machine parameters on sewing damages such as needle cut, seam
slippage, seam grinning and seam cracking. Also, it has been seen that seam pucker, seam
stiffness and seam strength are inuenced by ber type, yarn twist, yarn count and loop
length in fabric construction. The physical and chemical properties of bers such as ber
length, strength and moisture properties also need to be examined for understanding sewing
defects/damages and their basic sources of generation. The fabric properties and seam
performance are affected by yarn manufacturing techniques (Ring, Rotor, Air-jet and DREF-
3 spun yarn), fabric design and seam directions. The yarn strength, friction, hairiness and
fabric mechanical properties such as breaking load and elongation and frictional properties
of fabric also inuence the sewing properties and require further investigation. It has been
reported that seam characteristics such as seam strength, seam grinning and seam slippage
get affected by the sewing thread type, sewing thread size, lubrication ratio, needle type,
needle size, stitch density, stitch class, seam type, fabric layers, fabric density and chemical
and mechanical nishing process of fabric. But there is no research reported for ply of
sewing thread, which should also be studied for sewing performance and defect generation.
It has also been reported that needle penetration force, which inuences the seam quality,
depends on yarn type, yarn twist, fabric density, weave type and stitch length. Also, the
needle cut and other sewing damages are affected by needle type, needle size, stitch length,
sewing condition, sewing thread linear density, sewing thread type, lycra percentage, fabric
cover factor, fabric weight and fabric weave/design. NCI depends on fabric structure, stitch
density, thread diameter and machine parts. The penetration force of sewing needle in fabric
was investigated by most of the researchers, but interaction of needle, fabric and size of
needle hole of sewing machine requires further investigation. In other investigations,
modication in throat plate design showed reduction in sewing damages. It is also needed to
consider different type of sewing machines such as lockstitch, overlock and at lock for the
sewing performance of fabric. Further, humidity, shades of dye, fabric relaxation prior to
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cutting and force during the material feed to sewing machine can be taken into consideration
for further investigating sewing damages/defects.
The problem of needle cut, skipped stiches and other damages that occur in the sewing
industry is one of the most recurring troubles that clothing industry faces now-a-days. This
defect is a frequent cause of serious economic losses for the producers of woven and knitted
garments. This paper focuses on studies carried out on the theoretical and experimental
measurement of needle cut and other sewing damages in woven and knitted fabric. The
main objective of this study was to evaluate the causes of needle cut and other defects due to
sewing process parameters and fabric material. As can be seen, there are many factors that
contribute to needle cut and other fabric damages. Sewing damages/defects such as needle
cut and other sewing damages are studied mostly in woven fabric. There are very few
studies done on knitted fabric sewing damages/defects. There is no information available
for needle cut defects in knitted fabric, and knitted fabrics are more prone to damages
during sewing because of loop interlacement and higher elasticity. Therefore, a critical and
comprehensive approach is necessary, which should aim to develop good quality performer
seam with minimal needle cut and sewing damages in knit wears. The sewing damage
problems do not have single solution that is capable of removing these damages in fabric.
Sewability of knitted and woven fabric is very vast and challenging eld but which can be
achieved by suitable choice of ber, yarn, fabric structure, sewing thread and sewing
machine parameters for defect-free garment production. All the determined and affecting
parameters related to ber, yarn, fabric construction, sewing thread and sewing machine
must be examined to design appropriate remedial measurement related to machine design,
fabric parameters and sewing thread. This could help in minimizing or eliminating the
needle cut and other sewing damages problems.
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strength and seam slippage on cotton fabric with woven structures and nish,Research Journal
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Corresponding author
Awadhesh Kumar Choudhary can be contacted at: choudharyak@nitj.ac.in
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Sewing
damages and
defects
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... Seam slippage can also occur because of the stress location of a garment, thread type and properties, sewing needle, stitch type, stitch density, seam type and sewing machine condition. Flexibility of the fabric is affected seam slippage too [12,21]. ...
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