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Bar tack

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Photograph of two bar tack stitches arranged as for a fly opening
Bar tacks, such as these machine-sewn ones, may be used to reinforce the bottom of a fly opening.

In sewing, bar tack, also written bar-tack or bartack, refers to a series of stitches used to reinforce areas of a garment that may be subject to stress or additional wear.[1] Typical areas for bar tack stitches include pocket openings, buttonholes, belt loops, the bottom of a fly opening,[2] tucks, pleats and the corners of collars.[3] Bar tacks may be sewn by hand, using whip stitches, or by machine, using zigzag stitches.[1] The process for sewing a bar tack is essentially to sew several long, narrowly-spaced stitches along the line of the bar that will be formed, followed by short stitches made perpendicular to the long stitches, through the fabric and over the bar.[4] The bar commonly varies between 116 to 18 inch (1.6 to 3.2 mm) in width and 14 to 38 inch (6.4 to 9.5 mm) in length. In some garments, such as jeans, the bar tack will be sewn in a contrasting color.

Similar stitches to the bar tack include the arrowhead tack and crow's foot tack.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Geer, Sarah; Shirley, Lindsey (December 2011). Clothing and Textiles: Sewing Glossary (PDF). Utah State University Cooperative Extension. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via Utah State University Digital Commons. Open access icon
  2. ^ St. Germaine, Tasia (2014). The Sewtionary: An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques and Definitions. Cincinnati, Ohio: KP Craft. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-4402-3832-1.
  3. ^ The Dressmaker (2nd ed.). New York: Butterick Publishing Company. 1916. p. 22. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via Internet Archive. Open access icon
  4. ^ Brown, Clara M.; Gorham, Ethel R.; Keever, Aura I. (1934). Clothing Construction (Revised ed.). Boston: Athenaeum Press. pp. 53–54. hdl:2027/coo.31924003596800. Retrieved 26 January 2016 – via HathiTrust. Open access icon
  5. ^ Rocke, Helen (1955). Extension Circular EC55-405: Arrowhead and Bar Tack (PDF). University of Nebraska College of Agriculture Extension Service. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via University of Nebraska-Lincoln Digital Commons. Open access icon

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