In the sewing industry, product quality always means seam quality. So there can’t be quality of the product without high-quality seams. This applies for all applications and all the areas of the sewing industry.
Only few modern comforts have such a direct influence on our well being as our clothes do, which we wear directly on our skin. No other technology virtually touches us in this way. And the art of producing clothes is one of the oldest technologies developed by the human race. Even the people of the ice-age protected their bodies from the cold with fur and nettings of plant fibers. This protective function of clothing has been the same ever since. But protection from cold, heat, and the weather are only some of the modern demands. There is also the human desire for beauty.
For thousands of years, clothes have had a decorating function, too. Now as then, we think of fashion and beauty and of function when we think of clothes. Seams can have a great influence on both. Seams are the connecting element, they make clothes from fabrics. They are often decoration and have the most various functions. Seams are tear proof, elastic, soft, watertight, weather-proof, easy care etc, depending on the given requirements. And they are always decisive for the product quality.
Whether they are used in construction, in the industry, or in protective clothing – technical textiles are always hi-tech, innovative, and special products. Especially remarkable are their specific physical, chemical, and sewing technological characteristics. In the development of these products, the main focus is on their function. So, the requirements on their seams are special too. Sometimes, even lives can depend on these seams. For example, if a seam on a parachute or an airbag does not meet the requirements, life is in danger.
Seams are one of the essential connections in technical textiles. They make very flexible and safe connections for producing complex two or three-dimensional products. Embroideries are often seen on technical textiles too, for example in the production of fiber composites for light-weight structures in the aircraft industry. Whether sewn or embroidered, the sewing thread inserted into the textile material, must maintain or provide the function and partly even the demanding requirement profile of the entire product.
The importance of a seam’s quality for the quality of the finished product is undoubted, and yet, the definition of seam quality is often hard to describe or determine. What is seam quality? Are there any standards? How can seam quality be measured?
Seam Quality Criteria
Quality means performance, conditions, and properties. If you want to assess a seam under these aspects, you need a detailed requirement profile. Yet, different seams make different requirements. Airbag seams, jeans seams, or upholstery seams – they all ask for different properties of the seam connections and thus have their individual requirement profiles.
However, there are indicators that are true for almost all seams. Their evaluation is the basis for assessing their quality. Every seam analysis begins with the checking of these properties. In addition, there are individual quality criteria. They must be worked out depending on the application and function.