Reducing Seam Puckering & Shrinkage When Sewing

Item # X-HT-300339

When working on a project, you can expect there to be some shrinkage or puckering in the fabric being sewn. This is completely normal and to be anticipated, but the severity of it can vary depending on a how the fabric is sewn. In this short video, we will demonstrate puckering and shrinkage on fabric, explain why it happens and how to reduce it. We call this common issue the “needle pucker phenomenon.”

This phenomenon is more common in tightly woven fabrics where yarns are oriented in very tight layers that will not shift easily. When the fabric is sewn, the layers don’t compensate for the thread as it’s inserted between the yarns. The result is that the yarns “draw up” and give a slightly wrinkled appearance, and what you see is puckering. It also shrinks up the fabric as it’s sewn.

Follow along in our brief video to learn more about the “needle pucker phenomenon.” In our case, it occurs in the Top Notch® 9 fabric we’re sewing for our Sailrite® Genoa Sleeve Kit, which is a long fabric sock with a zipper used to protect a furled sail on your boat. You’ll also discover a few simple things you can do to decrease the chances of this happening. Be sure to browse the rest of our Tips & Tricks blog section to discover more ways to make your DIY projects easier. Happy sewing!

Materials List:

  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas - Item #129
  • Top Notch® 9 Cardinal Red - Item #120460

Tools List:

  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set - Item #121669
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler - Item #107040
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 PLUS Walking Foot Sewing Machine - Item #300602