Strongest Hand Stitch Vs Strongest Stitch on Sewing Machine

Which is better? That seems to be the way of life. Everyone wants to know which item or strategy and so on is better than another. The same goes for sewing as many sewers want to know which is better a hand stitch or a machine stitch.

Strongest hand stitch vs strongest stitch on sewing machine: This may be a little hard to decide as so many people have their own opinions on this discussion. For hand stitch the strongest is the backstitch while for the sewing machine it may be the stretch or straight stitch.

To find out some possible answers to this debate continue to read our article. We do the research so you can get the results in your sewing that you want. The strongest stitch may be up to your preference as well.

The Strongest Hand Stitch

There seems to be little debate on this topic. Experts seem to agree that the back stitch is the strongest hand stitch possible. They claim that it is the most useful stitch available and has a variety of places to use it in including seams.

Also, it can be used on a variety of fabrics making it very useful and versatile. You do not even have to do a lot of back stitches to get the strength you are looking for. Just insert a backstitch every so often during your running stitch and your work should hold up against some of the roughest treatment possible.

If you keep the back stitches close together, your sewing work can look like a machine or a professional did the sewing. Or if you want that running stitch look, just keep the back stitches further apart.

Either way, your sewing should not be in vain when you turn to the back stitch to handle your sewing project’s needs.

The Strongest Stitch On a Sewing Machine


When it comes to the strongest sewing machine stitch, the winner of the strongest sewing machine stitch boils down to which type of sewing machine you are using.

Some people consider the zigzag stitch to be the best while others like the serger machine stitches. The winner of this debate would also depend on what you are sewing. Some stitches are best with knits because the stitch can stretch with the fabric.

Others like the chain stitch because it hooks all the stitches together in one strong chain. Then more people like the straight stitch or the blind hem style. The strongest stitch debate is one that will have many winners because of the many uses the fabrics endure.

Finally, the zigzag stitch seems to be the one leading the pack. It is a strong stitch to use and can hold the fabric even when it is being pulled in different directions. Most sewing machines can do a zigzag style with ease.

Zig Zag or Straight Stitch

Both styles of stitches have their uses. The zig zag is good where a straight stitch is ineffective and in over its head. Two of those areas are reinforcing the buttonholes on any shirt and sewing stretch fabrics together.

The straight stitch is very efficient and uses less thread than its opponent in this section. Also, it is the one used most often as it is used to create shaped items. Also, it is easier to hide the stitch while being the simplest and easiest to use.

But those strengths do not overcome its weaknesses as it cannot stretch stress across its fabric like the zigzag style of stitch can. It is also less decorative and shows alack of creativity although the stitch is very practical and functional.

Where the straight stitch really triumphs over the zigzag is that it is a lot easier to remove with a seam ripper. The straight stitch also has more projects it can be used on over the zigzag. That advantage doesn‘t make it a better or stronger stitch method.

If a decision had to be made the zigzag is probably better than the straight as it provides more strength and durability to more sewing projects than the straight stitch can.

What is The Strongest Sewing Thread


There are different types of threads for different sewing projects. For example, upholstered furniture needs thick upholstery thread to handle that tough and thick fabric. But that doesn‘t make upholstery thread the strongest.

What may be the strongest thread around is what is called lifetime thread. These threads are made to outlive your fabrics. There are two kinds of lifetime thread- Tenara® and Profilen. Check their prices here >>

The former is made from fluoropolymer while the latter is made from polytetrafluoroethylene. Both kinds of threads withstand UV rays, saltwater, pollution, cleaning soaps, and a lot more damaging elements. Their use is for marine, awning and other outdoor applications.

Nylon is another strong thread. Part of its charm is that it is better than polyester and it can stretch or be very flexible. Although it has its weaknesses like UV rays and outdoor elements.

Polyester is also a strong thread but probably not as strong as the first two mentioned in this section. While it can withstand UV rays, too much exposure to those rays weakens the thread. This may take time but the vulnerability is there.

Another weakness for this type of thread is that its vast array of available colors eventually fade and turn to white. Monofilaments are strong threads but they are made from polyester or nylon and while strong still carry the weaknesses of those materials with them.

How to Sew a Strong Stitch

One way to sew a strong thread is to double your thread up. It may seem like you are wasting thread by doing this but double the thread equals double the strength. Plus, if you have to resew your fabric because the single thread was not strong enough, then you will be wasting the time and thread you avoided using if you had chosen a double thread method.

Or if you are stitching thin fabric and using a running stitch, you can bunch the fabric up and put the needle through little bits of that fabric until you are comfortable with the amount of stitches on your needle. Then pull the needle all the way through.

For thick fabrics you would want to keep the stitches as small as you practically can. Smaller stitches hold better than longer ones and have fewer weak points. If you want to get right to the point, sewing machines may be faster and easier to sew with but they are not always the way to get the strongest stitch possible.

Hand sewing is the best way to get the strongest stitch because you have more flexibility, maneuverability and you can control your sewing speed better.

Strongest Stitch For Seams


This is another great depends question. The answer depends on a lot of factors. For example, what kind of seam you are doing, there are over 17 of them. Also, what kind of machine you are using or if you are doing the seam by hand and the seam placement. A curved seam is handled differently than a straight seam.

For a straight seam, the simple single needle butterfly stitch may be the best to use here. A backstitch probably can be added every so often to add a little strength to the sewing. Or you can go with a nice top stitching seam which is very strong.

A hairline seam for collars, etc., can use a straight stitch with little trouble. A french seam may allow you to use either the butterfly style, backstitch or the straight stitch. All you have to do is to be careful as you are sewing.

Finally serged seam needs the serger or overlock sewing machine to create the right stitch to hold it together. The straight stitch is no good here and the serger style is the one that is the strongest for this seam.

Strongest Stitch for Webbing

There are two stitch patterns that seem to be the best and the strongest for webbing. That is if you are dealing with materials that will be load-bearing. The first style is the ‘W’ stitch. It holds up well and is capable of holding about 180 pounds per inch of seam strength.

The second stitch method is the diamond, and it comes with the same strength ability as the ‘W’ version. A third contender would be the Box X stitch. All three seem to be capable of withstanding thousands of pounds of stretch or load-bearing pressure.

In fact, in some tests they all tied at the top mark of 4720 pounds. The only drawback is that the ‘W’ and the Box X may need a reinforcing stitch to help it withstand addition to pressure.

Overall, the diamond shape stitch may be the strongest of the 3 over several different tests. But your results may vary and you may find that the ‘W’ or the Box X is a much tougher and stronger stitch pattern for your webbing needs.

Strongest Knitting Stitch


If you are using knitting needles, you still need a good stitch to secure your knitting. That stitch is the garter stitch. Whether it can be replicated by a machine or regular sewing remains to be seen. Another good stitch to use would be the woven stitch.

Both work well for that type of knitting. A plaited basket stitch is also a good contender for a strong knitting stitch. If you are sewing knit fabrics together, the straight stitch is the one to avoid. It is not stretchable and won't allow the fabrics to move like they should.

Unless you are using the triple straight stitch which is made to stretch with your fabric. There are other types of stitches you can do with your knits. Some examples are:

  • The zig-zag stitch - it is good for beginners and is available on almost every home sewing machine.
  • A 3 step zig zag - this style tunnels when used on lighter knit fabrics.
  • The lightening bolt style - it reduces puckering and tunneling.
  • The honeycomb style - this is used if you want a more decorative look to your completed sewing project.
  • The overlock or overledge stitch - this is used when you want your stitch pattern to look like a serger stitch.
  • The feather stitch - is a great top stitch that works well when sewing two edges of stretch materials together.

These are just some of the different stitch patterns you can use when uniting knits or other stretch fabrics together. They all look good and should stretch with the material.

Hand Sewing Tips

Just a few tips to help you master the art of hand sewing:

  • 1. Keep your thread only as long as your outstretched arm. Longer thread may tangle on you etc.
  • 2. Use a needle with the smallest eye that is practical. This helps push the needle through the fabric better.
  • 3. Anchor your thread where it won’t show up on your completed fabric
  • 4. When you have finished, instead of tying a knot, do a couple of back stitches instead.

Some Final Words

It is doubtful that the debate over which is better the strongest hand stitch or the strongest sewing machine stitch will ever be solved. A lot depends on your sewing skill, the fabric, type of machine and much more.

Also, it will be up to your preference and how rough the treatment your sewing project will receive when finished. One thing is for sure, you have lots of good stitch and thread choices to use when you want a strong stitch.

The hand-sewn backstitch is very impressive and may be the overall winner of the debate if enough people agree. Sometimes sewing machines do well but they just do not match a good hand sewn stitch.

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