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How to Lock Stitch on Sewing Machine?

The purpose of a lock stitch is to secure the end of your seam when you sew. The seam you are sewing will have a beginning and end point to it. These ends need to be secured otherwise they will become loose and stretch out of shape. One way to secure these points of the seam is with a lock stitch. Lock stitch is more appropriate for fine fabrics that might expose the large amount of thread that back-stitch leaves on the fabric.

How to lock stitch on a sewing machine?

You can secure the end of a seam with a lock stitch on a sewing machine by reducing the length of the stitch as much as you can and sewing between two and four stitches on that same spot. Another way is to jam the machine to create a thread knot. But this thread knot might not be good to sight.

Creating a lock stitch on a sewing machine is a straightforward thing to do. It is in fact, a neat way to secure the end of your seam. But it isn’t just sewing more than two stitches on one spot or jamming your sewing machine. There’s an easier way to lock stitch on a sewing machine.

How to Use Your Sewing Machine to Sew a Lock Stitch

Lock stitches are mostly used on sheer fabrics and other fabrics with the tendency to have a big amount of sweeping drape because back-stitch might likely interfere with the fabric’s natural drape.

There are some sewing machines that have a lock stitch feature that is in-built in the machine. These sewing machines are made to sew a particular number of stitches and after that, they stop sewing and lock the stitch. However, this feature is only available on newer electronic machines, not the normal, manual, conventional sewing machines. Many quilters appreciate this feature and use it to secure their quilting stitches without having to deal with unsightly back-stitch that can be easily spotted on their quilts.

Three ways to perform the lock stitch:

  • If you are using an electronic sewing machine with the lock stitch feature, you should refer to the user’s manual of the machine. The lock stitch feature on the sewing machine will sew the same single stitch both forward and backwards without repeating numerous stitches.
  • If you are using a sewing machine that doesn’t have the lock stitch feature, lock stitch can be done by reducing the stitch length and sewing two to four stitches on the same spot or by jamming the sewing machine.
  • Another easy and manual way to lock stitch your seam is to stop the sewing machine sewing leaving a thread tail at the end of the seam. Pull one of the thread tails to the back, and knot the thread tail to the fabric tightly with your hand.

How to Use Your Sewing Machine to Sew a Back Stitch


Back-stitching is another common way to secure the end of your seam. It is done by sewing forward and backwards on top of the seam stitches to prevent the stitches from becoming loose. This is done at the beginning and the end of the seam. Back stitch may change the drape of a fine fabric or large amount of thread that you might not like to see behind your fabric. In cases like this, lock stitch is preferred to secure the ends of the seam.

Sewing machines have different models, and each one is different from the other, but they have the same basics. Some sewing machines may not be able to sew in reverse. In a case like this, what you will need to do is to leave the needle and change the direction of the fabric. Rotate the fabric 180 degrees to have the same effect as if you’re sewing backwards.

When sewing a back stitch, the following steps are involved:

  • Place the fabric under the presser foot in such a way that the fabric is in alignment with the back of the presser foot, and your seam guide.
  • Sew in reverse to the end of the fabric, then stop.
  • Then sew forward ensuring that the seam guide is lined up such that the seam allowance is consistent.
  • After sewing to the end of the seam, stop and sew in reverse again. Sew forward and backwards for a number of stitches.
  • Press your seam at all times and ensure you apply seam finish afterward.

What Is The Difference Between A Lock Stitch And A Chain Stitch?

The chain stitch is formed by two different sets of sewing thread (the looper thread, and the needle thread). In this type of stitch, the threads are bound to themselves by looping and interlacing. It is important to note that the strength is greater than that of the lock stitch, and it doesn’t require back tacking at the ends to serve as security.

The chain stitch is different from the lock stitch in a lot of ways, and the differences are shown in the table below.

01.It takes two types of threads to form the lock stitch, namely, bobbin thread, and the needle thread.It takes two or more sets of threads to form the chain stitch, namely, the looper thread, and the needle thread.
02.Lock stitch does not consume a lot of thread.Chain stitch consumes a lot more thread than the lock stitch does.
03.The threads in the lock stitch are held together by interlacing.The threads in chain stitch are held together by both interlacing and interloping.
04.Seam puckering is almost impossible in lock stitch.The possibility of seam puckering in chain stitch is higher than in lock stitch.
05.Lock stitch does not have as much strength as the chain stitch.The chain stitch is way stronger than the lock stitch.
06.Lock stitch has a lower extensibility than chain stitch.Extensibility stands at 30% and this is much higher than in lock stitch.
07.The speed of the machine is normally at 6000spm which is lower than that of chain stitch.Here, the machine runs faster with the chain stitch at 8000spm.
08.The lock stitch appears the same way on both sides of the seam.The chain stitch appears differently on both sides of the seam. On the upper side of the seam, it appears like a lock stitch but on the underside of the seam, it appears like a double chain.
09.When locking the stitch, back stacking is needed at the beginning and at the end of the stitch.The chain stitch does not require back staking at the end of the stitch.


Related Questions

What is the difference between sewing and stitching?

Sewing is one of the world’s oldest craft. It involves the use of a needle and thread to form stitches to hold to objects together. It is foundation of tapestry, patchwork and embroidery. ? While stitching is a component of sewing, quilting, embroidery and knitting. It is a process of looping thread to fasten two objects together.


Is hand sewing as strong as machine sewing?

It is a popular belief that the result of sewing by hand is very different from the result of sewing by hand. But hand sewing has always been a popular craft long before the invention of the sewing machine. Both methods of sewing have their pros, and cons that you should put into consideration.

How many types of stitch are there?

Different sewing machine produces different types of stitch depending on the looper, threads and numbers of needles. There are at least 70 types of stitches that are known. But the commonly known types are single thread chain stitch, hand stitch, lock stitch, multi-thread chain stitch, over edge stitch and covering chain stitch.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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