World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gather (sewing)

Article Id: WHEBN0010834989
Reproduction Date:

Title: Gather (sewing)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ruffle, Glossary of sewing terms, 1850s in Western fashion, Fabric tube turning, Pad stitch
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gather (sewing)

Paul Revere in a shirt gathered at shoulder and cuffs, 1776.

Gathering is a sewing technique for shortening the length of a strip of fabric so that the longer piece can be attached to a shorter piece. It is commonly used in clothing to manage fullness, as when a full sleeve is attached to the armscye or cuff of a shirt, or when a skirt is attached to a bodice.

In simple gathering, parallel rows of running stitches are sewn along one edge of the fabric to be gathered. The stitching threads are then pulled or "drawn up" so that the fabric forms small folds along the threads.[1] [2]

Gathering seams once tedious hand sewing of basting which was time consuming and inefficient with heavy fabric. Now, a quick and easy way to make a gather is to use a wide zigzag stitch. Both the upper and lower thread are pulled long and placed in front of the sewing machine. Then zigzagging is carefully sewed over top of the two threads without catching the threads as it is sewn. At the end the thread is pulled and is then gathered. [3]

This photo shows a quick and easy method of machine gathering. This zigzag gathering technique is the strongest and most sturdy method of gathering.


  • Pleating or plaiting is a type of gathering in which the folds are usually larger, made by hand and pinned in place, rather than drawn up on threads, but very small pleats are often identical to evenly spaced gathers. Pleating is mainly used to make skirts, but can have other uses.(See main article Pleat.)[4]
  • Shirring or gauging is a decorative technique in which a panel of fabric is gathered with many rows of stitching across its entire length and then attached to a foundation or lining to hold the gathers in place. It is very commonly used to make larger pieces of clothing with some shape to them.[5]


  1. ^ Caulfield, S.F.A. and B.C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework, 1885, facsimile edition, Blaketon Hall, 1989, p. 219
  2. ^ Picken, Mary Brooks: The Fashion Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls, 1957. (1973 edition ISBN 0-308-10052-2)
  3. ^ Garment Construction: How to Gather Fabric Retrieved on 2011-12-28
  4. ^ Caulfield and Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework
  5. ^ Caulfield and Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework, p. 220
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.