Different Types of Trims Used in Garments

Last Updated on 03/08/2022

Different Types of Trims Used in Garments

Mayedul Islam
Merchandiser at Fashion Xpress Buying House.
Badda, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Email: mayedul.islam66@gmail.com


Trims or Trimmings: 
The materials or components except the main fabric used in the garments are called trims. Besides the main fabric, various additional things are used for making the garments. Trims include Sewing Thread, Button, Zipper, Velcro, Label, Shoulder pad, Linings, Interlinings, etc. Trimmings or trims are of two types namely visible trims and invisible trims. Some trims are used for functional purposes and some are for decorative purposes in garments. Moreover, we can say that the materials used in sewing room other than fabric is called trims.

According to book “Apparel Manufacturing” by Glock and Kunz, definition of trims are:

Trims: Materials used to ornament or enhance garments. These components are attach in the garment by sewing. (Button, Zipper, Sewing thread, Lace, tape etc.)
Various types of trims
Fig: Various types of trims

Types of trims:

  1. Visible trims: This types of trims can be seen from outside of the garments e.g. Button, Sewing Thread, Zipper, Velcro, etc.
  2. Invisible trims: This types of trims cannot be seen from outside of the garments e.g. Interlining.

Sewing thread:
It is one of the most important types of trims used in garments. Almost all garments produced have one component in common; the sewing thread. Whilst sewing thread is usually a relatively a small percentage of the cost of garments, it has an extremely significant influence on the appearance and durability of the finished product. The production of sewing thread is an extensive and complex subject.

Sewing thread important types of trims
Sewing thread

Types of sewing thread
For practical purposes, sewing threads for clothing industry can be divided into three broad groups; Cotton, Synthetics and Core spun.

Thread size
There are many systems for defining thread size but the most widely used system is ‘Tex’. This is based on the gram weight of 1000 m of yarn, so a fine thread would have a low ‘Tex’ number and a thick thread would have a high ‘Tex’ number. Thread manufacturers using other systems will provide the Tex equivalent values.

In clothing and fashion design, a button is a small plastic or metal disc- or knob-shaped, typically round, object usually attached to an article of clothing in order to secure an opening, or for ornamentation. Functional buttons work by slipping the button through a fabric or thread loop, or by sliding the button through a reinforced slit called a buttonhole. Buttons may be manufactured from an extremely wide range of materials, including natural materials such as antler, bone, horn, ivory, shell, vegetable ivory, and wood; or synthetics such as celluloid, glass, metal, Bakelite and plastic. Hard plastic is by far the most common material for newly manufactured buttons; the other materials tend to occur only in premium apparel.


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Rivets are not used to open or close the opening parts of garments. They are used for following purposes:

  • Widely used for decorative and reinforcement (support) purposes of Denim or Jeans garments.
  • It has two parts and requires an appropriate device to attach on garments

Hook and loop fastener (Velcro):
This item consists of two woven poly-amide tapes; one is covered with very fine hooks and the other with very fine loops. When pressed together they adhere (stick) securely to each other. This fastener is also used instead of buttons or zippers. A Swiss inventor made this product and he offered the trade name ‘Velcro’ for it. This word comes from two French words ‘Velour, and ‘Crochet’. It is used in only a limited number of garments e.g. shoes, belts, sportswear, children wear, medical textiles, etc. Velcro is available in roll form in the market which has most common width of 5/8 to 3/4 inch.

Hook and loop fastener
Hook and loop fastener

A zipper (British English: zip fastener or zip) is a popular device for temporarily joining two edges of fabric. It is used in clothing (e.g. jackets and jeans), luggage and other bags, sporting goods, camping gear (e.g., tents and sleeping bags), and other daily use items. This is one kind of trims used to open and close of some special parts of a garment. It is sometime also used for decorative purposes. In making trouser and jackets, this is an essential component.


Label is an attached component of garment on which important information regarding the garment are written or printed. No garment can be sold without some kind of label attached to it. Specially, in case of export business label on garment is must. For example: the size of garment, trade mark, country of origin, type of raw materials, etc. are written on label. There are mainly three types of label:

  1. Main label: Main label contains brand name or trade name of buyer which is registered by the buyer e.g. Levi’s, Polo, Addidus, GAP, Lewis Philippe, etc.
  2. Size label: It indicates the size of the garment i.e. S, M, L, XL, XXL, or collar length of shirt 15, 16, 17, 18, etc.
  3. Care label: It contains the care instructions of the garment by some internationally recognized signs. It shows the washing, drying, dry-cleaning and ironing conditions of garments.

The all other labels are called sub-label.

Care code label:
Due to daily usage, normally a garment becomes dirty. This garment should be cleaned and ironed before further using. For this caring of garment, some rules or instructions are expressed by some internationally recognized symbols which are called international care labeling code.

Care code label
Care code label

The special component which is attached outside of the garment for decorative purpose called motif. Company name, trade mark or other symbols can be written on the motif.


Linings are generally functional parts of a garment. They are used to maintain the shape of the garment to the hang and comfort by allowing it to slide over other garment. Linings are available as knitted and woven fabric made from polyester, poly-amide, acetate or viscose for use where decoration and warm handle is required. Linings are joined to main garment by sewing and for this purpose normal plain sewing machine is used. Linings are widely used in jackets, coats, overcoats, pockets, pocket flaps, children wear, etc. Generally cheap fabrics are used as lining materials.


Interlinings are used to support, reinforce and control the shape of some areas of garments such collar, cuffs, waist bands, facings and lappets of coat. They may be sewn into the garment or they may be attached by fusing. Now-a-days sewing interlinings are rarely used and the use of fusible interlining is wide. Interlinings are available in a wide variety of weights and constructions to match the base fabric of the garment. They can be either woven or non-woven products. Woven interlinings are most commonly of plain weave construction, whereas non-woven interlinings are made directly from textile fibres and are held together by mechanical, chemical, thermal or solvent means or combination of these. Sewn interlinings are made by sewing some plies of fabrics together densely then they are joined with the main garment by sewing again, whereas fusible interlinings have coatings of thermoplastic materials on them and are joined to garment by means of heat and pressure. Fusible interlinings give better result than that of sewn ones.


Shoulder pad:
Shoulder pad is a standard item in tailored garments for both women and men. Linings are used on the top and bottom of shoulder pad. As a result, the appearance becomes more attractive, comfortable and lasts for a long time. Shoulder pads are used for functional purposes and sometimes for decorative purposes.

Shoulder pad
Shoulder pad

Snap fastener:
A snap fastener (also called snap, popper, and press stud) is a pair of interlocking discs commonly used in place of buttons to fasten clothing. A circular lip under one-disc fits into a groove on the top of the other, holding them fast until a certain amount of force is applied. Snaps can be attached to fabric by hammering (using a specific punch and die set), plying, or sewing. For plying snap fasteners, there are special snap pliers. Snap fasteners were first patented by German inventor Heribert Bauer in 1885 as the “Federknopf-Verschluss”, a novelty fastener for men’s trousers. These first versions featured an S-shaped spring in the top disc instead of a groove.

Snap fastener
Snap fastener

Hook and eye closure:
A hook-and-eye closure is a clothing fastener that consists of two parts, each sewn to their respective pieces of cloth, one with a small protruding blunt hook, and the other with a small loop (also known as the “eye” or “eyelet”) protruding. To fasten the garment, the hook is slotted into the loop. Hook-and-eye closures are typically used in groups to provide sufficient strength to bear the forces involved in normal wear. For this reason, hooks and eyes are commonly available in the form of hook-and-eye tape, consisting of two tapes, one equipped with hooks and the other equipped with eyelets in such a way that the two tapes can be “zipped” together side-by-side. To construct the garment, sections of hook-and-eye tape are sewn into either side of the garment closure. Hook-and-eye closures are commonly used in corset.

Hook and eye closure
Hook and eye closure

Frog (fastening):
A frog (sometimes referred to as a Chinese frog) is an ornamental braiding for fastening the front of a garment that consists of a button and a loop through which it passes. The usual purpose of frogs is to provide a closure for a garment while decorating it at the same time. These frogs are usually used on garments that appear oriental in design. Tops with a mandarin collar often use frogs at the shoulder and down the front to keep the two sections of the front closed. Frogs are usually meant to be a design detail that “stands out”. Many sewers make their own because supplies are inexpensive and the results are customizable. Using larger or smaller size cording or fabric tubes will result in larger and smaller frogs. Also, self-fabric can be used to create frogs that are the same color as the garment, though frogs are usually chosen to be a contrasting color to that of the garment. Frogs are made by looping and interlocking the cording or fabric tube into the desired design, then securing the places where the cords touch by hand-sewing. The frog is then stitched onto a garment, usually by hand. When a fabric tube is used, the fabric is cut on bias. This allows the fabric tube to remain smooth and flex easily when bent into curves.

Frog (fastening)
Frog (fastening)

Interfacing is a textile used on the unseen or “wrong” side of fabrics to make an area of a garment more rigid. Interfacing can be used to:

  • Stiffen or add body to fabric, such as the interfacing used in shirt collars.
  • Strengthen a certain area of the fabric, for instance where buttonholes will be sewn.
  • Keep fabrics from stretching out of shape, particularly knit fabrics.

Interfacing come in a variety of weights and stiffness to suit different purposes. Generally, the heavier weight a fabric is the heavier weight an interfacing it will use. Most modern interfacing have heat-activated adhesive on one side. They are affixed to a garment piece using heat and moderate pressure, from a hand iron for example. This type of interfacing is known as “fusible” interfacing. Non-fusible interfacing do not have adhesive and must be sewn by hand or machine.

Bias tape:
Bias tape or bias binding is a narrow strip of fabric, cut on the bias (UK cross-grain). The strip’s fibers, being at 45 degrees to the length of the strip, make it stretcher as well as more fluid and more drape able compared to a strip that is cut on grain. Many strips can be pieced together into a long “tape.” The tape’s width varies from about 1/2″ to about 3″ depending on applications. Bias tape is used in making piping, binding seams, finishing raw edges, etc. It is often used on the edges of quilts, place-mats, and bibs, around armhole and neckline edges instead of a facing, and as a simple strap or tie for casual bags or clothing.

Bias tape
Bias tape

Cord (sewing):
In sewing, cord is a trimming made by twisting two or more strands of yarn together. Cord is used in a number of textile arts including dressmaking, upholstery and couching.

Cord (sewing)
Cord (sewing)

Lace is an openwork fabric, patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand. The holes can be formed via removal of threads or cloth from a previously woven fabric, but more often open spaces are created as part of the lace fabric. Lace-making is an ancient craft. True lace was not made until the late 15th and early 16th centuries. A true lace is created when a thread is looped, twisted or braided to other threads independently from a backing fabric. Originally linen, silk, gold, or silver threads were used. Now lace is often made with cotton thread. Manufactured lace may be made of synthetic fiber. A few modern artists make lace with a fine copper or silver wire instead of thread.


A ribbon or riband is a thin band of flexible material, typically cloth but also plastic or sometimes metal, used primarily for binding and tying. Cloth ribbons, which most commonly includes silk, are often used in connection with dress, but also applied for innumerable useful, ornamental and symbolic purposes; cultures around the world use this device in their hair, around the body, or even as ornamentation on animals, buildings, and other areas.

Garment Ribbons

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  1. List of Garment Accessories: Types, Features, Functions and Uses
  2. Different Types of Garments Accessories with Pictures
  3. Different Types of Trims Used in Garments
  4. Interlining in Garments – Complete Know How
  5. Interlining: Types, Functions, Uses, Advantages & Disadvantages
  6. Different Types of Buttons Used in Garments
  7. Button and Buttonhole: Types, Techniques and Machines
  8. Garment Trimmings – An Overview

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