Bar tack Stitch : Why is it important in sewing

Significance and importance of the bar tack stitch in sewing and garment construction, why the bar tack stitch is used, its unique properties, and how it ensures the durability and strength of sewn items.

A Bar tack is a high-density stitch made to reinforce areas of stress. It is extensively used in sewing on areas where there is constant usage, push and pull and consequent strain resulting in ripped stitches, like securing belt loops, pockets, buttons, zippers, and other functional elements of garments. It is more efficient than double lines of stitching for added strength.

bar tack stitch used on the fly of pants

They are a constant feature in jeans. There are many strategically placed bartacks on jeans. The bar tacks, similar to rivets, provide the jeans a reputation of being a very durable garment. The jeans undergo many washes after it is produced to give it the distressed look that fashion commands. The bar tacks protect the vulnerable areas from damage during these processes, as well as during usage by the wearer.

Where are the Bar tacks used

bartack stitch on jeans
  • On the opening of pockets. This gives strength to the opening and when you put your hand inside constantly,  the stitches do not come open because of the strength of the bar tack
  • At the end of the zip externally or internally. Usually, a horizontal bartack is placed on pants zip area though vertical bar tacks are also seen. This prevents damage to the zipper
  • As a safety stitch on the fly placed above the slider head when the zip is fully open.
  • On belt loops, to prevent the loops from coming apart because of the strain of pulling of belts.
bar tack stitch on belt loops
  • To reinforce the opening, on top of side slits
  • On buttonholes, they protect the stitches from ripping open when you use them continuously. The bar tacks prevent it gaping open under stress
  • All areas where you feel there is a need for stability and strong stitches
bar tack stitch along the pockets

How to make a hand-sewn bar tack

It is pretty straightforward to hand sew a bar tack stitch. You can use a thick thread or embroidery floss for the bartack. Decide on where you want the bar tack. You make three straight stitches in the same place, then make overcasting stitches over these straight stitches; you have to take up some thread from the fabric as well so that the stitch is firmly placed. Make the stitches very close to each other, neat and even. The stitches made are no wider than 1 or 2 cms.

How to make bartack with the sewing machine

Bar tack stitch used on the pockets of jeans

Do you know that there are special sewing machines which exclusively makes bar tacks – They are used in factories and garment making concerns. You can make a bar tack with your simple sewing machine by making tightly packed zigzag stitches with a very narrow stitch width. 

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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