Sewing Thread Consumption in Apparel Industry

By | July 20, 2016

Sewing Thread Consumption in Apparel Industry 

Noor Ahmed Raaz
B.Sc. in Textile Engineering (CU)
Specialized in Apparel Manufacturing
Lecturer, Department of Textile Engineering
Atish Dipankar University of Science & Technology


Sewing Thread Consumption:

The amount of threads need to produce a garment is called thread consumption of that garment. Generally, it is expressed in length. It must need to determine the thread consumption of garment, because the price of garment is determined with the price of thread consumption. Now I would like to discuss about sewing thread consumption with a specific length of seam.

Factor of Sewing Thread Consumption:

The following are the factors, which are related with the thread consumption-

  • Thickness of fabrics.
  • Plies of fabrics to be sewn.
  • Stitch type.
  • Stitch density.
  • Width of seam.
  • Garment size.
  • Design of the garment.
  • Automatic thread trimmer of that machine.
  • Skillness of the operator.
  • Quality of thread.

Measuring Actual Sewing Thread Consumption:

A specified length of the seam, for example 3 inches, is measured and then the thread is removed by carefully unraveling the stitch. Then one can calculate the amount of thread consumed in one inch and multiply this factor times the total length of the seam measured in inches.

Sewing Thread Samples


Length of seam is 42 inches or 1.17 yds

Stitch and seam construction: 401

Specified length of thread removed from a seam equals 3 inches

Needle thread removed = 9 inches

Looper thread removed = 8 inches


Here, Needle thread factor = 9/3 =3 inches of needle thread per inch of seam

Looper thread factor = 8/3 = 2.67 inches of looper thread per inch of seam

Therefore, total needle thread consumed = factor 3 x 1.17 yds = 3.51 yds

Total looper thread consumed = factor 2.67 x 1.17 yds = 3.12 yds

Therefore, Total thread = 3.15 + 3.12 = 6.63 yds per seam

Generally a 10 to 15% waste factor is added due to chaining-off, thread breaks, repairs etc.

If a waste factor of 15% is selected, then

Thread consumption = 6.63 yds/seam x 1.15 = 7.62 yds/seam

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