Types of sewing tools & equipment

Written by jennifer uhl
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A well-equipped sewing toolbox will make sewing an easier process by ensuring that the most necessary tools are always at your fingertips. There are a number of different tools and pieces of equipment that can be used in sewing, which fall into a number of basic categories. Both hand sewing and machine sewing projects will utilise these basic tools.

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Machine-Sewing Tools

Sewing machines are available in a variety of different styles and configurations, and most are operated using a foot pedal. Most sewing machines are capable of creating a variety of different stitches including speciality stitches such as for buttonholes. Sewing machines draw thread from two sources to create a strong stitch in fabrics, and can typically accommodate heavy duty fabrics with the right choice of needles. Sewing machine needles are available in different lengths and thicknesses to accommodate different applications.

Fastening Tools

Pins and basting tape are indispensable both in hand and machine sewing and are designed to hold fabric, patterns and other accessories in place during the sewing process. Pins are available in different lengths and head sizes depending on preference and need. Basting tape is another fastening tool, which is a thin tape that is adhesive on both sides and designed to hold trims, fabric and zippers in place until they have been stitched together.

Cutting Tools

There are several different tools that can be used for cutting in hand and machine sewing, including rotary cutters, needlework snips and scissors. Scissors are used to cut fabric, patterns and thread. Needlework snips are especially useful for snipping threads in close spaces without harming the fabric. Rotary cutters combined with self-healing mats can create straight cuts in fabric and can typically cut through multiple pieces of fabric at once for uniformity.

Measuring, Marking and Altering Tools

Measuring tools include grid boards with marked measurements, French curve rulers and measuring tapes. Grid boards allow fabric and patterns to be aligned properly during cutting and pinning. Fashion rulers and French curves are designed to help with measuring bodies, fabric, patterns and other details. Fabric marking tools, crayons and chalks are used to denote measurements and other notes on fabric without leaving a permanent mark.

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