Strongest stitch on a sewing machine

Strongest Stitch On a Sewing Machine – Expert Explain

Modern sewing machines have 10 – 30 different stitches, such as decorative stitches, straight stitches, zigzag stitches, blind stitches, stretch stitches, etc., but if you have questions about the durability, then a straight stitch is the strongest stitch on a sewing machine. This stitch is very difficult to tear, and when it is done with durable and long–lasting threads, such as nylon or polyester, you will get the best results. We have discussed in this article, among various kinds of stitches available in a sewing machine, whether it is an old sewing machine or a modern sewing machine, which stitch is the strongest and has been told here with details, and also based on the type of fabric which is the strongest stitch as it seems that the preference changes, which type of thread is the strongest thread, etc. have been questioned here and given details of them.

Key Takeaways

  • Among various kinds of stitches available in a sewing machine why straight stitch is the strongest sewing machine.
  • Based on fabric, why tricot or triple zigzag stitch is the strongest stitch instead of straight stitch.
  • According to the atomic components, which thread is the strongest thread for sewing.

Straight Stitch: The Strongest Stitch on Sewing Machine

Why is straight stitch the strongest

The straight stitch is known to be the strongest stitch on a sewing machine because the stitch forms layers of threads in a very durable way. This stitch is knitted very firmly which is unbreakable. This stitch is very tight and thus keeps the fabric secure. If you want to take out the stitches, you will have to cut them out with a cutter. If you are a beginner on the sewing machine, then you will learn this stitch first. This is a very common stitch on a sewing machine. To secure the fabric in place, stitch the straight stitch twice. Backstitch is also a part of the straight stitch, basically the straight stitch originated from the back stitch. If you are making a garment by joining two fabric pieces together, then you should use a straight stitch. It will hold your fabric together and you can make a closure by selecting an area and doing the straight stitch a few times over that area.

Zigzag stitch

Zigzag stitch
Zigzag stitch

A zigzag stitch is less strong than a straight stitch while a straight stitch is the most durable and strongest stitch you will get with a sewing machine. It is very tough to tear the fabric with this stitch. A straight stitch does not come off easily. If you are using a durable thread, such as polyester or nylon, your stitch will last for a longer time. So, when do you need a zigzag stitch? Well, zigzag stitches are needed when you need to concentrate force at seams of zig and zags while a straight stitch concentrate force at straight seam.

Stretchy fabric

Stretchy fabric
Stretchy fabric

For some fabrics, the straight stitch is just not possible. With stretchy fabric, you have to be strategic to sew a long stitch. For a stretchy fabric, such as spandex or elastane which is also known as Lycra, you cannot use straight stitch. When you try to do a straight stitch on a stretchy fabric, you will have uneven stitches. If you want to use a zigzag stitch for stretchy fabric so that the fabric does not break the thread when the fabric is stretched. With every zigzag stitch, your fabric will move a little and that is why zigzag is recommended here. The standard zigzag has less durability than a straight stitch. The triple zigzag is stronger than the ordinary zigzag which can be seen in some garments.

The best stitch length

If you are new to sewing, then you should use the stitch length that is given for all the projects. The best stitch length is 2.5 to 3.0 which is 8 to 12 stitches per inch of the fabric. However, after you gain more experience, you can develop your style and choose the length that you want to work with. Moreover, different projects will require different stitch lengths.

Strongest Hand Stitch

We get the straight stitch from the backstitch. It is a very popular stitch to be done by hand. When you are backstitching, you go to each area twice. When you stick the needle through the fabric to make a loop back, then you move forward with two stitches before you go back again to continue. The strongest stitch that you can do by far is the hand-sewn stitch. Why? It is the strongest stitch because you can use thicker threads than the sewing machine. In the sewing machine, the needle hole and the construction of the sewing machine will not let you use very thick and durable thread. But when you are sewing by hand, you can choose a bonded 3-ply nylon which will fit perfectly for any extra heavy-duty fabric. If you want to strengthen your stitch, you should increase the stitch length. When you are increasing the stitch length, you are using more thread which gives you the strongest result. 

When you can use a back-stitch with a strong thread:

  • Outdoor gear,
  • Tents,
  • Parachutes,
  • Seatbelts,
  • Kites, etc. 

In all situations, make sure your thread and needle do not break. When you are using the sewing machine, it will let you use a thick nylon thread, but be careful about your sewing machine, if you are using the machine that you use every day for household repairs, you will not get the best results, which means you need an industrial sewing machine. You have to have the same strength in both the top thread and bottom bobbin. 

Strongest Thread for Sewing

The straight stitch is the strongest. The upholstery nylon is the strongest thread. The upholstery thread has a special character which is coated with resin to add strength to it. If you study the chemistry of nylon, you will find the cause of its strength. The bonds between the atoms are very strong. The molecules are big and they are very tightly knitted together which gives very high tensile strength, so the thread will not break easily. 

Nylon is not a natural product, it is a kind of plastic, which is called polymer, so you will not find it in nature. It is derived from organic chemicals; such as coal or petroleum. You heat the chemicals to a very high temperature to get nylon.

The most common nylon thread is called Nylon 6-6 or Nylon 66 because it is made from two molecules that consist of six carbon atoms. You can always use nylon thread for upholstery work. If you want to use it for outdoors, you will have to use it in UV protected product to protect its colors. If you want to use it for indoor use, you will find cheaper alternatives that are not resistant to the sun. You can also use it for other projects, such as parachutes, seatbelts, tents, outdoor gear, etc. 

Other durable threads can also be derived from cotton. The other factors that have strength on the cotton thread are: 

  • The fiber 
  • Thickness
  • Quality 
  • Technique

If you do not have an outdoor sewing project, such as a tent, kite, or upholstery work, then use standard cotton thread with good solid quality.

Cotton threads are stronger and softer than polyester which ensures the visibility of seams in your sewing projects. As cotton fabrics do not stretch, the stitches do not lose their shape, so the fabric does not lose its shape. Polyester thread has a little stretch.


Is a straight stitch strong?

The straight stitch is the most common and it is created by interlocking the needle and bobbin thread. It is a strong stitch that is used in the construction of most sewing projects.

Is zigzag stronger than straight stitch?

A nylon thread is stronger than a cotton thread. A straight stitch is stronger than a zigzag stitch. A zigzag stitch concentrates at zigs and zags, while a straight seam spreads across a long line.

What is the best stitch for strength?

The backstitch is the best stitch for strength. It can be used variously although mainly to offer strength to the seam which needs additional durability. You will need to sew backstitch through two pieces of felt to join them together with a strong seam.

Final Thoughts

As we have discussed in this article, the strongest stitch for a sewing machine is the straight stitch. With the availability of various kinds of stitches, it is hard to just name a stitch, because based on fabric and thread, the strongest stitch will change. According to the components of the fabric, if you consider the stretchy fabric, then tricot stitch or triple zig-zag stitch is the strongest stitch. We have also considered here the strongest thread which is the nylon thread.


Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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