Ultimate Guide for Zig Zag Stitch (Why Use Zig Zag Stitch)


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In this article, you will find everything you should know about the zig-zag stitch. It will discuss how to use a zig zag stitch, when to use a zig zag stitch and the applications of zig zag stitch in sewing and clothing. So, if any one of you is wondering about the zig-zag sewing and stitching, read on to get the most exciting ideas to use today. Here we have provided many of the uses of zig-zag stitch knitting.

The Zig Zag Stitch is one of the versatile stitches you found in the world of stitching and clothing. There is no end to the things you can do with a single Zig Zag stitch style. Some changes in the width and length of the stitch create so much variation and different usage. Also, you can create versatility by lowering the tension.

So, you can explore more and more in this easy crochet zig zag stitch style. 

What Is A Zig Zag Stitch?

Zig-zag stitching is exactly as its name suggests and looks much like a zig-zag. Due to zig-zag motion, it securely locks in the raw edges of the fabric while allowing for some stretch. Depending on what you’re zig-zag sewing, you can sew in various ways with a zig-zag stitch. The zig-zag stitch comes in a narrow, a 3-step, or a wide variety.

Here we’ll go over zig-zag stitches, how you can adjust your machine, and what it’s for. In this machine, the stitches are angled toward each other to create a zig-zag seam. The seam looks elegant and strong. Besides zig-zag stitch knitting lace, applique, and needlework, the zig-zag machine also uses quilting hair padding, and zig-zag stitch hand sews.

In this technique, bobbins and chains are used. Zig-zag stitches result from the needle moving crosswise between the needle holes when the fabric moves one stitch down the seam(a fabric step) and the needle moving on the opposite side(the needle step). 

The seam width is determined with the fabric step, and the zig-zag width is determined with the needle step. Five thousand stitches are done per minute on zig-zag machines, with seams spaced as far apart as 10mm. It is possible to obtain a zig-zag seam by changing the order and direction of horizontal needle movements and the fabric’s movement. These seams repeat after a few stitches rather than after two.

What Is The Purpose Of A Zig Zag Stitch?

Zig-zag stitches enable a seam to move with the fabric’s stretch, adding extra strength and preventing the thread from breaking in the process. Raw edges can also be encased in this way to prevent fraying as well as remove bulk from woven fabric seams.

Zig Zag Stitch Basics

A zig-zag presser foot should be used when sewing a zig-zag stitch. When making a zig-zag stitch, be sure to adjust the needle thread tension. If you use the zig-zag stitch, the needle thread on the fabric’s wrong side should show slightly more than the bobbin thread on the right side of the fabric. Make sure you choose the correct zig-zag stitch pattern.

Standard zig-zag settings apply to all your stitches except 3-step zig-zag, which have their setting.

Standard Zig Zag Stitch

  • Uses/Purposes: Zig-zag stitches are commonly used to sew knit fabrics, sew elastic onto knit fabric, finish raw edges, and attach appliques.
  • Machine settings: The stitch length is 2, and the stitch width is 2 to 3.
  • Needle thread tension: 2 to 5.

Narrow Zig Zag Stitch

  • Uses/Purposes: a narrow stitch supports points of strain. When the stitch is narrow and zig-zag, it is often called a bar tack. Lining straps, pockets, edges, and corners are often embellished with it.
  • Machine settings: adjust stitch length from .05 to 1.5 and stitch width from 05 to 2.5.
  • Needle thread: 1 to 4

Wide Zig Zag Stitch

  • Uses/Purposes: Wide zig-zag stitch is commonly used to stitch knit fabrics, attach elastic to knit fabrics, and finish raw edges.
  • Needle thread tension: 2 to 5

3 Step Zig Zag Stitch?

Note: select the 3 step zig-zag stitch pattern from the stitch pattern selector.

  • Uses/Purposes: 3-step zig-zag stitching is stronger than the standard zig-zag stitching, which benefits lingerie since it will stretch as the fabric is worn.
  • Machine settings: stitch lengths 1 to 4 and stitch width 5(you can adjust these as needed to get the stitch you desire).
  • Needle thread tension: 1 to 4

Satin Stitch

  • Uses/Purposes: It is a decorative stitch that is long and narrow. The stitch is typically used on tablecloths and blankets to overcast raw edges. Applique is also made with satin stitch.
  • Machine setting: Stitch length .5 to 1 and stitch width 5
  • Needle thread tension: 1 to 5

Hand Sew Zig Zag Stitch

Make sure your machine is set appropriately. Before you start zig-zag sewing your final piece, test your machine on a scrap of fabric. During the test of your scrap, you need to ensure that the needle thread tension is correct- it should be neither too tight nor too loose. In addition, make sure to choose the appropriate stitch length and width.

  • Set your zig-zag presser foot on your fabric to begin sewing it.
  • Your needle will then be manually inserted into the fabric. Pull your thread needle away from the machine to ensure it is tight. It should resist being pulled.
  • To secure the stitch, sew about three stitches forward and then reverse them.

As you take the hand stitch zig-zag forward, reverse the stitch at the end.

How to secure your zig-zag stitch? This was mentioned briefly above but did a reverse stitch after your zig-zag stitch is complete to secure it. As a final step, reverse both ends of your seam to ensure they are secure.

How To Do A Zig Zag Stitch?

  • Take a scrap of fabric and practice the zig-zag stitch on it. The best way to zig-zag hand stitch sew is to fold it double and then stitch through two layers.
  • Select the zig-zag stitch in your stitch selector.
  • Select the length and width you want. Starting with 5.0 wide and 2.0 long, try it on your scrap. It will result in a medium-size yet quite open zig-zag stitch.
  • Put the fabric beneath the presser foot.
  • Start zig-zag stitch knitting slowly by lowering the foot. As you begin to sew, hold the thread tails. They will not get sucked into dog food this way.
  • The stitch length and width should be adjusted according to the scrap you are using. Several settings are suggested in the below section.

Tension For Zig Zag Stitch

Despite being a strong stitch, the zig-zag stitch can pucker and snap if the tension is too tight. If you are trying a new stitch on a piece of new fabric, always check the zig zag sewing machine tension. Zig-zags can be worked by zig-zag hand stitch, but given that most sewing machines include this stitch option, learning to sew zig zags by hand is not necessary.

Presser Foot For A Zig Zag

A multipurpose presser foot is most commonly used for zig-zag sewing. Possibly your machine has a zig-zag foot or a satin stitch foot with a slight groove underneath and a wider slot. Zig-zag stitch is extremely versatile. You can use it to finish seams, apply appliques, add bartacks, or stitch satin stitches.

Using a satin stitch foot when sewing with this stitch may help you ensure our fabric doesn’t pucker.

Uses for the Zig Zag Stitch?

Seam Finishing

It helps prevent fabric edges from unraveling when used as a seam finish. Using too wide a width can cause the fabric edge to tunnel under the presser foot. Choose a medium-length stitch.


With a satin stitch, a zig-zag stitch is used to create a machine applique. To attach the applique to the main fabric, stitches are sewn around the edge. When the needle is moved right, it stitches just off the edge of the applique, and when it is moved left, it stitches into the applique. If you want the applique to look exactly the way it should, you must experiment with scrap fabrics.

As a starting point, set the width to medium and then adjust from there. Setting the stitch length high enough will prevent the fabric from appearing between the stitches but not so high that the stitches won’t feed under the foot. Make use of satin stitch foot (as an optional necessary) with a groove at the base so that dense stitches can pass through easily.

Easy Crochet Zig Zag Stitch

There is nothing difficult about crochet zig-zag stitch, and you have to know how it works. The process will come together once you know the exact steps to follow. To make a simple scarf, you can use any color yarn. So, you can craft an easy crochet zig-zag stitch beautifully with an easy method.


Utilize the zig-zag stitch to embellish lightweight cords and yarns. You should choose a stitch width setting that covers the cord without actually stitching into it if your machine has adjustable stitch width and length settings. Pick a stitch length long enough to let you see the cord without hiding it. For maximum control, slow down and take your time.

Decorative Stitching

Sewing zig zags can give fabric texture. Different thread colors and types can be used. To customize your project, you should experiment with different stitch lengths and widths on your machine. The satin stitch foot (an accessory available with some machines) is useful for dense sewing stitches such as satin stitches.

To ensure that thicker threads, such as 12 wt. Cotton can pass freely through the needle; choose a larger size needle. To support the stitches, a stabilizer is recommended underneath the fabric.

Attaching Trims

If you’re sewing over ribbons and trims, use the zig-zag stitch. You can easily embellish your project with it. Choose a zig-zag width that matches the width of the ribbon. For stitch lengths that are adjustable on your machine, choose a long enough one. When sewing around complex shapes, it is useful to use an open toe foot, which allows you to see what is being sewed.

Sewing on Buttons

You can attach buttons with a zig-zag stitch. Please make sure the fed teeth are disengaged, or cover them (consult your machine manual)? The button sewing foot (additional accessory for some machine models) is useful for securing the button in place while stitching and also allows you to see the stitching area better than the all-purpose foot. The button should be placed underneath the foot of the fabric. 

Choose the zig-zag stitch setting on your machine. Make sure the needle moves left and right until it clears the holes on the button by slowly turning the handwheel toward you. Adjust the stitch width of your machine (if it has an adjustable stitch width) until the needle clears both holes. Attach the button with several stitches.

Tying the tails of the thread to the back of the fabric will secure the fabric.

Elastic Insertion

The zig-zag stitch makes it easy to insert elastic. Place the elastic over the opening of All-Purpose Foot if it is 1/4 “to 3/4 “wide. While sewing, this will help prevent the elastic from slipping. 


Fabrics that are difficult to gather can be a challenge to sew. A zig-zag stitch can be used to create a “casing” for a cord. Tie the cord at one end with a knot. You can select a stitch width if our machine has adjustable stitch widths covering the cord but not stitching it. 

When choosing a stitch length setting, select a relatively long one. To stitch zig-zags easily, it is helpful to use a cording foot (which can be added to some machines). It has a groove that guides the cord as you stitch. The fabric can be gathered by pulling the cord once stitching is complete.

Free Motion Monograms

By allowing your fabric to move freely, you can create monograms of any size and style. The feed teeth of your machine must be covered or disengaged before you can set the machine up for free-motion monogram printing (see your machine manual for details). Pull out the presser foot and foot holder. The Darning/Embroidery Foot (an optional accessory for some machines) must be attached to the machine.

Put the stitch in zig-zag mode. To give the stitches extra support, place a stabilizer underneath the fabric. To help you in this process, you may wish to mark your monogram with a fabric marker on the main fabric. As you stitch, manually assemble the layers.

Thread Painting

Sewing with free motion is called thread painting. Layering thread color allows for colorful images to be created. Pull out the presser foot and foot holder. You may also need to attach the Darning/Embroidery Foot (an optional accessory for some machines). 

Choose the zig-zag stitch. If your machine has an adjustable stitch width, choose the appropriate stitch width for your project. Make sure that batting or stabilizer underneath the fabric. As you stitch, combine the layers manually.

Roll and Whip Heirloom Hems

Roll and whip hems, done with a zig-zag stitch, are among the techniques used in heirloom sewing. It is suitable for fabrics such as batiste, which are lightweight. You should use a lightweight thread to thread your machine. It is recommended to use a needle size 9/70 or 11/80 (an additional accessory for some machines). 

Zig-zag stitch should be set on the machine. Use 5.0mm width and approximately 2.0mm length settings for machines with adjustable stitch length and stitch width. Open Toe Foot (an optional accessory for some machines) should be used to ensure that no obstruction exists in front of the needle. It is best to align the fabric so that the zig-zag moves off the edge of the fabric.

During the stitch’s movement to the left, the fabric is rolled over, stitched in place.

Attaching Hook Closures

For hook and eye closures of larger sizes and styles, use the zig-zag stitch. The fed teeth should be covered or disengaged (consult your machine manual). Choose the zig-zag stitch. The button sewing foot (additional accessory for some models) is best suited for sewing the larger hook and eye closures.

It helps hold each side of the closure securely and gives the stitching area a better view than the All-Purpose Foot. Put the closure piece underneath the foot before stitching it in place. Slowly turn the handwheel toward yourself to ensure the needle clears the closure piece when moving left and right. Attach by sewing several stitches. Secure thread tails to fabric by tying them to the back.

Zig Zag Hem Stitch

This technique of zig-zag stitch hem is used to create elegant heirloom hems. The SINGER size 90 WING Needle (an optional accessory for some machines) can be used to sew beautiful hemstitching. You can set the stitch width and stitch length to 3.0mm and 2.0mm, respectively, on a machine that can adjust them. As you sew, catch the raw zig zag hem stitch edge as you go, and turn up the hem allowance.

By creating small holes in the fabric, the needle creates a delicate finish. If you are sewing organdy, organza, or batiste, you will get the best results. In addition, fabrics can be easier to manage when spray starched.

Lettuce Edging

Make a “wavy” zig-zag stitch them out of zig-zag stitches, sometimes referred to as “lettuce edges.” Specifically, it is used on stretch knit materials such as jerseys and t-shirts. Zig-zag stitch is set on the machine. Select the medium stitch length and stitch width setting for machines with adjustable stitch length and stitch width.

While sewing, stretch the fabric both from the front and back. It produces a wavy, curly edge when you release the fabric.

Attaching Lace

Zig zag sewing is one of several heirloom sewing techniques that are used to attach lace. A piece of fine, lightweight fabric with a flat edge on one side, such as batiste or lace, can be steamed with this method. You should use a lightweight thread to thread your machine. A needle size 9/70 or 11/80 (which is supplied with some machines) is recommended.

Zig-zag stitch should be set on your machine. Set the width of the stitch at least 5.0mm and the length at approximately 2.0mm on machines that have adjustable stitch length and width. Ensure that the area in front of the needle is unobstructed by using an Open Toe Foot (additional accessory for some machines). You will do a Zig zag hand stitch the lace on the top of the fabric about 1/8 “to the left of the fabric edge.

As you stitch, you will roll the fabric over and stitch it in place as the stitch moves to the left.

Edge Joining

A zig-zag stitch can be used to join two fabrics together. The first step is to press the fabric edges under. Fabrics can be guided using the edge joining foot (added accessory for some models). The folded edges should be placed side by side on both sides of the center guide, and a piece of lightweight stabilizer should be placed beneath the join.

Choose the zig-zag stitch. Choose the length and width settings you need for your project for machines with adjustable stitch lengths and widths. Ensure that the right side of the needle sews on the right fabric while the left side of the needle sews on the left fabric. Once you’re done, remove the stabilizer.

If you want your stitches to have a stronger appearance, use a Top Stitching thread and Top Stitching Needle (an additional accessory for some machines).

In Conclusion

Hence, you have learned all the basics and technicalities of Zig zag sewing, stitching, zig-zag stitch knitting, zig-zag stitch hem, crochet zig-zag stitch, and many more. All you have to do is collect the required little material and craft a beautiful zig-zag stitch now.  Don’t forget the durability and usefulness of this stitch, and keep sewing it. The sewing world has endorsed it.

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