What is a Bartack Stitch? Definition, Tips, and Examples


Bartack tends to be a close series or sequences of stitches typically crossing a piece of cloth generally at a stress point.

A bartack strengthens that specific point of the fabric and is conducted to minimize tearing.

A Bartack is used commonly in corners of collars, belt loops, and button loops.

It’s most noticeable in corners or edges of pockets to lock them, so that won’t get torn apart.

Other potential uses of bartack are in backpacks, tents, sports, and protective gear.

Also, Bartack stitch is used in any denim jeans, as it requires bartack stitch around the pockets, belt loops, zippers, the button fly, and the hip pocket.

As Bartack is the only technique that prevents them from tearing apart and holds them at the same position.

Buttonholes are a common example of the bartack, comprising one or two bartacks on one or both ends holding the button for reinforcement.

What is a Bartack Stitch 1

It’s better to be a bit slower while sewing a bar tack, especially when you’re sewing many layers of fabric together.

As at times, the machine can get stuck because it may be unable to Bartack numerous layers of fabric simultaneously.

Also, stitch short rows first at standard zigzag length and width.

In another case, if your sewing machine can’t handle Bartack stitch, then you can prefer sewing Bartack by hand.

Just opt for a heavy-duty needle, thread, and also thimble to protect your finger from needle pinching.

If you don’t have a zigzag sewing machine then a simple home sewing machine works well too. Just make sure you’re using a thick needle in your machine.

 Most importantly, run a couple of tests on a scrap of fabric to decide what works and looks better for your project. 

zigzag sewing machine

What is a Bartack Stitch?

A bartack is basically a short reinforcement of threads just like tightly packed zigzag stitches.

Repeated constantly back and forth over itself to reinforce a piece that is sewn together. 

The process appears like narrowly-spaced stitches along the line of the bar formed.

Followed by short stitches made perpendicular to the long stitches over the fabric and this bar seam.

The bars generally lie between 1⁄16 to 1⁄8 inch (1.6 to 3.2 mm) in width and 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 inch (6.4 to 9.5 mm) in length.

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How Do You Do a Bartack Stitch?

Method 1: 

Simply set the zigzag on your machine to the standard zigzag width and stitch length i.e (between 2mm-3mm wide and 0.3-0.5mm long.)

Then just sew the desired length of the bar tack. Stitches are conducted close together so that only one pass is needed.

Passing back and forth several times can cause the distorted look of bartack.

Apart, do a backstitch at the starting and end of the row so that the bartack comes out strong.

Method 2:

Simply set the zig-zag on your machine to the width and stitch length a little longer than the first method.

Then just start to stitch forward for the desired length. At last, backstitch the row just sewed and repeat for three or four passes on the same area.

Method 3: 

Bartack by hand is the option when you don’t have a sewing machine with you.

Take a needle and thread, then sew several stitches horizontally according to the desired length of the bar.

Then sew around the first stitches you made, in the perpendicular direction to them.

bartack stitch 1

When Do You Need to Do a Bartack Stitch?

A bartack is required in your sewing to strengthen the fabric at stress points.

It is essentially done on the areas in frequent usage as push and pull can exert pressure resulting in torn stitches.

It’s also necessary to give strength to the area so that the fabric doesn’t fall apart.

You require it for resisting tears in the fabric and thus done to increase the strength of the overall product.

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What is a Bartack Sewing Machine?

A Bar tack machine is a specified lockstitch machine.

This machine tends to produce a very high-density lockstitch in a very short length, to increase the strength of that particular area or project.

What is the Function of the Bartacking Machine?

The Bartacking machine provides a simple automatic function that is capable to produce numerous close stitches in a cyclic order.

The main function of Bar tack is to increase the strength of a small length of fabric by sewing on it and then by repeating to make it strengthen.

For example, the function is to lock the high-pressure areas as a belt loop, the opening of the pocket and at the zipper ends.

The principle of the machine is to create tack stitches of small length (1-2 cm) and then again sew covering stitches over, at right angles to the first stitches.

bartacking machine

Final Remarks

The Bartack is a very special purpose stitch in the field of sewing.

It is very important in any application that requires reinforcement stitches to increase the tear strength.

Therefore, without bartack stitch garments or products can be easily ripped and torn apart.

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