Introduction | Equipments |

Life is unfoldment and development
of being under circumstances tending
press it down.


The items which are helpful in the construction of clothing are known as 'sewing equipments'. In the past, there were very few items used for this purpose but now different items are available to simplify the stitching. One has to think carefully while buying any item. For some families, electric machine is a luxury, while it is a necessity for those who have great interest in stitching. While deciding about any item, one has to think about availability of money, its usefulness, care, storage space, serving facility and operation, etc.

All the sewing appliances should be kept in a separate storage space. It should be readily available, whenever required. Sewing unit can be a corner of a room, where there is a table, sewing machine, and storage space for various supplies. There are some items which are essential for sewing, for example measuring tape, shears, marking chalk, sewing machine, needle, thread etc., but others are required only by those persons, who are experts or professionals. These items are termed as non-essentials, for examples pinking shears, tailor's square, right-angle triangles, tracing wheel, etc. So one cannot differentiate clearly between essential and non-essential items.

Measuring Equipments |  Marking Equipments |  Cutting Equipments |  Sewing Equipment  |

Finishing Equipment

  • Measuring Equipments

    Different measuring equipments are given below

    1. Measuring tape

      This is an essential item. This is 60" long and graduated to l/8th of an inch, but it should be clearly marked. Centimetres and inches are given side by side. Metal ends are very essential. It helps to take correct measurements. It should be of such a material which can resist shrinkage and stretching.

    2. Tailor's square

      It provides accurate measuring and marking of lines at right angles. It is also useful while drafting on a paper. It should have smooth surface and is available in wood.

    3. A yard stick

      It is used in measuring and marking long straight lines, directly on the fabric laid out on the table. It should be smooth enough not to catch hold of the fabric.

    4. Right angled triangle

      It has sides 14" by 24" inches right angled to each other. It is very useful in marking true bias used for finishing neck lines.

    5. A tailor's curve stick

      It provides a quick and accurate means for measuring curved lines.

    6. A steel or plastic ruler

      It is preferred by some dress-markers and pattern-makers to mark the markings closer to the fabric.

    It is preferred by some dress-markers and pattern-makers to mark the markings closer to the fabric.

  • Marking Equipments

    1. For tracing lines on the fabrics

      • Carbon tracing paper

        For marking the fabrics from pattern, carbon paper is very useful. This is available in many colours. But white carbon paper is recommended, since coloured carbon paperís marking can be seen on the right side of the fabric. Carbon paper is always placed on the wrong side of the fabrics, so that markings can be seen on the wrong side of the fabric only.

      • Tracing wheel

        Construction lines such as, darts, and seams are easily transferred from the pattern to fabric by a tracing wheel. The disc is situated on the lower end, and has saw-toothed edges or fine pointed ends. The disc is movable on the fabric. It is handled with the help of wooden or plastic handle on the top. Tracing wheels are used with tracing paper to transfer pattern markings to fabric. Serrated edge wheel is suitable for most fabrics. Smooth edged wheel makes firmer markings on hard to mark fabrics and protect delicate fabrics.

      • Chalk in pencil form is used like any pencil ; makes a thin, accurate line, fine for marking pleats, buttonholes, and similar details. Chalk colours include white and pastel shades. Tailorís chalk pencil (top) comes with chalk refills ; dress-makerís pencil (bottom) has handy brush eraser.

    2. For drawing lines on the wrong side of the fabrics

      1. Non-wax Chalk

        It is sharpened to a fine point and used for heavy fabrics. It is of two types.

        • Clay chalk

          It is a flat 2" square of white, black, red, blue colour. White and blue are commonly used as they do not stain the fabric.

        • Powdered chalk

          It is used to mark the fabrics through a perforated pattern.

      2. Wax chalk

        It is used for marking wool fabrics. It is also a flat 2" square. Wax chalk should only be used on wool as on other fabrics it leaves grease spots after marking.

      3. Pencils

        These are used for marking lines on the draft paper. These pencils are having red lead on one end & blue on other end.

  • Cutting Equipments

  • Several types of shears and scissors are used for cutting the fabrics and for other dress-making purposes.

    1. Shears

      These are designed for heavy work, not tackled by scissors. The shears of the size from 7"-8" are useful for cutting fabrics. The shears with bent handles are more useful.

    2. Scissors
      • Dressmaking scissors: They have sharp pointed and slender blades, used for cutting jobs in fine dressmaking. They should never be used for cutting heavy materials which will tend to spring their blades. Most of the scissors are 4"-6" long.

      • Embroidery scissors: These are short and delicately constructed (3"-4"), used for needle work.

      • Button-hole scissors: They have notched blades. They can be adjusted to cut various lenghts of button-holes. These have a screw for controlling the length of the cut.

      • Pinking shears: Pinking shears cut zigzag with notched edges of blades. It is excellent for finishing seams and raw edges on many types of fabrics, also for decorative use. It should not be used to cut out pattern. It comes in 5 and half inch to 10 and half inch lengths but 7 and half inch is a good choice.

      • Embroidery scissors , are useful for general needlework, ripping, clipping and for making buttonholes. These are short and delicately constructed.

        Bent-handle dressmaker's shears are best for pattern cutting. It is made in 6" to 12" lengths; but 7" and 8" are used most often. Also special shears for synthetics and knits are also available.

        General Care and Selection of Scissors and Shears.During selection the quality of material is very important e.g., the quality of metal, uniform hardness of blades weight and nickel plating etc.

        • The cutting qualities of shears and scissors should be tried on the fabric, before buying them. If the thread of the fabric is caught, the cutting edge is imperfect. They should be laid down gently and should never be dropped.

        • These should never be used for cutting material other than clothing.

        • Clean them before and after using and keep them at proper place.

        • Apply some lubricant to the screws occasionally.

        • Very heavy materaials should never be cut with scissors.

      • Electric Scissors.: This is relatively a new item but expensive one. It is valuable for handicap persons who cannot use scissors. For general sewing, it is really a luxury. It can cut thin or heavy fabric.The back side of scissor is like a battery in which cells are fitted. There is press button, which is when pressed, the scissor moves.

    3. Scissor cutting gauge

      When long strips of fabric are required, this gauge is of great help. It fits on the point of the scissors and may be adjusted to various widths. It ensures even widths of cloth and saves time.

  • Sewing Equipment
    1. Pins

      Select only sharpest and the finest rust proof dressmarker pins. For heavy fabrics there are coarser pins and number goes or decreasing for upholstery work.

    2. Thimble

      These are chrome plated brass, nickel or silver. Very fine thimbles are of 10-14 Karat gold and are expensive. These are used for directing the needle through the fabric and to protect the finger from needle pricks. It should fit properly and comfortably on finger.

    3. Needles

      These should be of fine quality steel. These should be polished well so that the pointed end can easily go through the fabric. Choosing correct needle for each activity depends upon the fabric, thread size and type of stitch. For heavy fabrics strudy needles are used but fine needle for fine materials.

      Sharps (sizes 1-12) are the hand sewing needles in most common use. They are of medium length and have a round eye. Suitable for almost all fabric weights.

      Crewels (sizes 1-10) are sharp, medium-length needles used primarily for embroidery work. Long eye allows several strands of embroidery floss to be threaded.

      Needle Sizes and types
      Machine needles are made in different sizes and types to suit the varying needs of sewing. Sizes range from 9 (fine) to 18 (coarse). Coarser needles exist, but are harder to find. The higher the number, the coarser or thicker the needle..

      A second consideration is the type of point. Regular sharp pointed needle for most of the sewing. A ball point needle is meant for knits because rounded point does not pierce the yarns but slides between them.

    4. Pin Cushion

      A pin cushion can be made as band around the arm of sewing machine. Velvet and felt are suitable materials for covering it. The ground cork protects that pins and needles from rust. It allows the pins to step in and out easily.

    5. Thread

      Thread, like fabric, is made of various fibres and various weights suitable for certain types of sewing. Select the colou darker than the fabric.

      Use contrast colour for bastingóOne which is easily seen when it is time to remove stitches. Proper brand of thread is very important for Sewing lik modi, shade etc. Durable and colour fastness is very important.

    6. Thread clipper

      A time saving clipper can be used effectively for snipping threads and small clips needed for marking or for curved seams.

  • Finishing Equipment

    Expert finishing is required for the good appearance of the garment. Keep ironing equipment as handy as the sewing machine.

    1. Iron

      Iron is essential while cutting, sewing and after it is ready. If cloth is having wrinkles, cutting canít be done properly. In the same way ironing is required while stitching to set the hems, darts and other parts at proper position. A combination of steam-dry iron is the best ; one with temperature control.

    2. Ironing board

      Obtain an adjustable one, height can be increased and decreased accordingly. Heavy cotton padding is very essential for proper finishing of the garment. The legs should be strudy, but if they are shaky, it is very difficult to iron with force. The cloth for cotton padding should be colour fast. It is very easy to keep this after using it because it can be falded after use.

    3. A sleeve board

      provides two small, flat ironing surfaces on which seams and detals of narrow garment sections (e.g., sleeves, pants legs) can be easily pressed. Also helpful when pressing hard-to-reach areas, such as necklines and sleeve caps. Below, sleeve is slipped over board, making its long seam easily accessible to the iron.

    4. Sponge

      It is used to dampen the fabric while ironing. It gives and even amount of moisture to the fabric while ironing.

    5. Seam ripper

      This inexpensive item is used for ripping seams and can sometimes be used as button hole cutters.

    6. Sewing machine

      This is one of the important instruments for stitching. This could be ordinary or electrically operated. It is a life long asset, so quality of the equipment is very important.

 Copyright 2006-08,DEIS,Pune
 Designed and Developed by:Development Education (International) Society (DEIS),Pune