What are the causes of seam pucker?

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Seam pucker is caused by the following: Tension pucker, feed pucker, displacement pucker and contour pucker.
  • Tension pucker is mainly caused when a relatively light material is sewn with too high a thread tension, or the extensibility of the sewing thread is too high.
    Remedy: Lowest possible needle thread tension and a pulling-type top feed.
  • Feed pucker is caused by ply shift as a result of the braking effect of the presser-foot shoe. Tension pucker is intensified when smooth surfaces lie face to face, or when a dull surface material is in contact with the presser-foot shoe.
    Remedy: Use a machine model with differential top feed as for example PFAFF 1183 with electronically-controlled puller feed motion, or PFAFF 1053 with SRP (speed responsive presser foot control).
  • Displacement pucker is due to the density of the sewing material. It mainly occurs when the seam line runs exactly in weft direction of the material.
    Remedy: Use thin needles, light threads, two-thread chainstitch and ensure seam line runs at an angle of at least 15° from the weft direction.
  • Contour pucker is caused when the amount of fullness in a seam is incorrect.
    Remedy: Check material cuttings and distribution of fullness.