Lock stitches are just as they sound, stitches that lock so that seams sewn with a sewing machine don’t come unraveled.
While some advanced machines like the Juki Exceed HZL F300 sewing machine can do automatic lock stitching, it’s always a good idea to know the various ways to do one, with or without an automatic function.
What Is A Locking Stitch?
A locking stitch is a stitch formed by a sewing machine so that the threads are locked together and prevented from pulling apart.
These stitches are created when the top thread is pushed through the fabric and then tied with the bottom thread so the two remain in place.
Three Types of Lock Stitches
Collectively, there are three types of lock stitching that you can use with your projects to secure the ends of your seams, each method a little more secure than the next:
- Tying Stitches - The very first lock stitch was done by sewing a seam all the way to the end and then tying those ends together at the very edge of the seam. In cases where the lock stitch is needed away from the edge of the fabric, you can simple stop stitching at the desired point, go to the wrong side of the fabric, pull the top stitch through to the back side, and then tie both ends off there.
- Backstitching - Backstitching is merely a straight stitch done in reverse when you need more security at the end of a seam. To lock a seam using backstitching, you simply sew to the end of the seam, reverse a few stitches by machine or hand, and then take a few forward and backward stitches at the end and the seam should be securely locked.
- True Lock Stitching - Some machines such as the Juki Exceed HZL F300 computerized sewing machine include an actual locking stitch that can be used to secure your seams. These lock stitches appear as tiny knots in the thread and can be placed as needed throughout the seam. This is popular with quilters as it can be used throughout the project instead of backstitching, which can look unsightly done on the right side of the fabric.
Secure Your Seams with A Lock Stitch
Lock stitching is a basic function that every sewing machine can do in one form or another to secure seams so they don’t unravel.
Depending on what you are sewing, you may wish to add backstitching to the ends of your seams to secure them or use an actual lock stitch sporadically if working with a machine like the Juki Exceed HZL F300.
In any case, secure the ends of your seams as needed so they don’t open up and fall apart!