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The Secret to Perfect Stripes in Apparel: Why They Don't Always Look Straight



Do you ever notice stripes on your clothes that seem a little off? They might be slightly askew or look mismatched at the seams. This common issue boils down to how the fabric is cut during garment production.


Believe it or not, cutting stripes is more complex than it seems.


Here's why:

  • Knitted Fabric Skew: Stripes knit into the fabric naturally tilt slightly during the knitting process, creating natural torque and distortion.

  • Fabric Stretch: Knitted fabrics stretch, which can pull the stripes in one direction when sewn together.


The Result?

  • Sloped Stripes:  If a factory cuts the fabric straight (like woven fabrics), the stripes will appear just slightly slanted on the finished garment.

  • Uneven Fit:  The garment may pull uncomfortably to one side due to the mismatched stripe direction as it gives into its natural torque.


How to Achieve Perfect Stripes:

  • Talk to Your Manufacturer:  Clearly communicate that the horizontal stripes need to be cut with a slight adjustment, not strictly following the straight grain.

  • Matching Stripes Cost More:  Matching stripes at seams requires extra effort and precision, so expect higher production costs.


Why Matched Stripes Matter:

  • Quality Indicator:  Customers who understand garment construction often look for perfectly matched stripes as a sign of quality.

  • Elevated Look:  Seamed stripes create a polished and professional appearance.


As I look through my own closet, I notice that every garment with stripes matches beautifully at the side seams and underarm seams. As someone who knows what they're looking for when shopping, it's important to me to make sure the manufacturer understood proper cutting and sewing techniques.


Looking for Help with Garment Construction?

Unmarked Street is here to support you with your fit and construction needs, to make sure these kinds of issues don't go unnoticed and unresolved. When you're ready to take your brand to the next level, check us out and give me a call!



For more info, check us out on YouTube:



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