Identification Productive Uses of Different Trimmings and Accessories in Apparel Industry

Productive Uses of Different Trims and Accessories in Garment Industry

Showeb Khan
Department of Textile Engineering
BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology (BUFT)


In garment manufacturing, fabrics are not the only material to make garments. Several types of equipment are used here for both decorative and functional purposes. Where some are called trimmings or trims and others are called accessories. But there’s so many who don’t know actually what is the difference between trims and accessories. As its importance, now I will present a table, by which you can easily differentiate between trimmings and accessories.

Objectives of This Article:

  1. To know about trims and accessories.
  2. To know about its application.
  3. To know about different between trims and accessories.

What is Trims and Accessories?
Trimmings are the materials which directly piece together with your clothing products. Trimmings have both functional and aesthetic properties. So you can’t think of your fabrication of your clothing without trimmings. Trimmings can be attached with garments by sewing, gluing, pressing or heat setting. Sewing thread, zipper, button etc. are some examples of trimming.

Accessories are the materials which are used to give a finishing touch to your clothing products. These are generally used to finish, decorate, pricing& packing the clothing. Accessories don’t have the functional properties but have the aesthetic properties. Hanger, polybag, carton etc. are some examples of accessories.

Difference between Trims and Accessories:

01.Technical DefinitionThe materials which are attached to the body of garments by sewing are termed trimmings.The materials which are not attached to the body of garments by sewing, only used for garments finishing and packing are termed as accessories
02.Non-Technical DefinitionTrimmings are the ultimate materials that are attached to the garments while using by the end-users.Accessories are the ultimate materials that are not attached to the clothing while using by the end users.
03.Key PointTrimmings are used for functional purposes.Accessories are used for decorative purposes.
04ExampleSewing Thread, Button, Interlining, etc.Carton, Gum Tape, Polybag etc.

Identification Productive Uses of Different Trimmings in Garments with Pictures

1. Sewing thread:
Sewing thread is a mandatory trim for clothing products which ensures the functional properties of clothing products by securing the seams. Sewing thread is not used for knitting or weaving. It can be made of staple fiber or continuous filaments by twisting. Sewing thread can be made from both natural and synthetic fiber. Polyester sewing thread is the most commonly used sewing thread.

Sewing thread
Fig: Sewing thread

2. Button:
A small disk or knob sewn onto a garment, used for decoration or to fasten the garment by being pushed through a hole made for the specific purpose. Button is the most popular among the fasteners. Generally, it is made of plastic but other materials like metal or wood are also used. You may choose different types of buttons for your clothing like plastic button, metal button, wooden button, fabric button, toggle button etc.

Fig: Button

You may also like: Different Types of Buttons Used in Garments

3. Zipper:
Zipper is a slide fastener consisting of interlocking elements each attached to one of the opposing edges of two tapes and a movable part called a ‘slider’ that spans the interlocking elements, which when moved in one direction causes the elements as one tape to interlock with the elements on the other tape and when moved in the opposite direction causes the elements to disengage. There are mainly two types of zipper: concealed zipper and continuous zipper. Zipper plays an important role as clothing accessory.

Metal Zipper
Fig: Metal zipper

You may also like: Types of Zippers and Methods of Application

4. Lining:
Lining is one type of fabric which is used inside the garment. Lining may be woven or knitted fabric. Generally, smooth and lustrous fabrics are used as lining. Linings are joined by sewing with the main body fabric. Lining is mainly used to give comfort to wearer. If you talk about outerwear, then you can’t think about it without lining.

Dark navy colored fabric is the lining fabric of the Outerwear
Fig: Dark navy colored fabric is the lining fabric of the outerwear

5. Interlining:
Interlining is a textile material which is used between two layers of fabric in garment. It is basically used between shell fabric and lining. Interlining is used as reinforcement in the garment. It also controls the shape of the garment. It improves the clothing performance. So interlining is necessary for every garment.

Fig: Interlining

You may also like: Interlining in Garments – Complete Know How

6. Snap button:
Snap button is a pair of interlocking discs made of metal or plastic, commonly used in place of buttons to fasten clothing. If you are a teen, then it would be your favorite way of closing skirts, shirts or pants by just applying snap buttons instead of normal button. There are two types of snap buttons and they are pressing studs with two parts to sew as buttons and rivets studs in plastic or metal with three/four parts that are needed to be used with riveting tools.

Metal Snap Button
Fig: Metal snap button

7. Hasps and slider:
Hasp and Slider is a metal fastening mechanism used on the shoulder strap to adjust length of the strap by the slider and attached by the hasp to a button fixed to the overall bib. Hasp and Slider is mostly found on baby clothing products. Hasp and Slider give a cool looking to the baby clothing products.

Hasps and Slider
Fig: Hasps and slider

8. Embroidery:
The art or process of forming decorative designs with hand or machine needle work is called embroidery. Embroidery is a very popular way of fabric surface decoration to make beautiful pattern on the garment. It can be done either manually or by machine method.

Fig: Embroidery

9. Applique:
An applique is an ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are attached onto another fabric to form patterns. There are three types of applique application. They are by machine, hand and fusing. There are also different types of applique like smooth edge applique, raw edge applique, decoration stitch applique, felt applique etc.

Felt Applique
Fig: Felt applique

10. Beads:
A small piece of plastic or similar material typically rounded and perforated for threading with others as a necklace or for sewing onto fabric. There are different types of beads you may choose for your clothing like seed beads, cylinder beads, crystal beads, ceramic beads, glass beads, wooden beads etc.

Colorful beads
Fig: Colorful beads

11. Glitter:
Glitter is an accumulation of tiny, colored, reflective particles that comes in a variety of shapes, which reflect light at different angles, causing the surface sparkle or shimmer. The most common application process of glitter on to the textile or garments or clothing products is glitter printing by adhesive.

Glitter Printed Petals
Fig: Glitter printed petals

12. Rhinestones:
It is an imitation stone of high luster made from glass, plate or gem quartz used in costume jewelry and to decorate cloths. If you pay your attention to clothing or bags, you will find different types of rhinestones like flat back hotfix rhinestones, glue on flat back rhinestones, sew on rhinestones etc. To decorate or to make a fashionable product for babies or women, rhinestone plays an important role as a trim.

Fig: Rhinestones

13. Sequins:
Sequin is a small plate of shining metal or plastic used for ornamentation, especially on garments. Sequins may come in different types of colors. They are also classified into four main types: metal, hologram, pearl & coated. Sequin is the most eyes catching among all the trims.

Movable Sequins with single stitch
Fig: Movable sequins with single stitch

14. Drawstring:
Any close fitting surround and non-surround retractable cord, ribbon or tape of any textile or non-textile material with two loose ends. Drawstrings are pulled together and used to adjust the size of the garment opening. There are different types of drawstrings like knotted drawstring, thick flat drawstrings, continuous loop drawstrings etc.

Drawstring used in Bottom
Fig: Drawstring used in bottom

15. Waist ties:
A piece of string or cord made from any material used for fastening or to adjust the size of the garment.

Waist Tie used in clothing
Fig: Waist tie used in clothing

16. Bows:
A knot tied with two loops and two loose ends, used especially for tying laces and decorative ribbons. There may be different types of bow knots like skinny bow knots, thin bow knots, normal bow knots, butterfly bow knots, diamond bow knots etc. There are also different types of bow like simple fabric bow, stacked ribbon bow, winged bow, easy buckle bow, ribbon bow etc.

Decorative Bow used in waist
Fig: Decorative Bow used in waist

17. Fringe
An ornamental border of threads left loose with no knots or single assembly point. Fringe is typically constructed with yarn or thread and is integrated into trim tape or embroidery artwork. You may find different types of fringes in shops readily to be attached but you may also make it by yourself. Loop fringe, brush fringe, bullion fringe, self-fabric fringe, tassel fringe, layered fringe, knit fringe etc. are different types of fringe.

Fabric Fringe used in Clothing
Fig: Fabric Fringe used in Clothing

18. PomPom:
Pompom is an ornamental ball or tuft used on clothing, caps or costumes. You may find pompom in many colors, varieties and sizes which are made from different types of materials like cotton, wool, thread, glitters etc.

PomPom used in a Scarf
Fig: PomPom used in a Scarf

19. Tassel:
Tassel is an ornamentation consisting of gathered yarn or thread which includes a solid, bulky knot or assembly point connecting to a cord.

Tassel used in Clothing
Fig: Tassel used in Clothing

20. Labels:
Labels don’t play functional role but give basic ideas about the garment products to customers like size, fiber composition, brand name, care instructions etc. There are different types of garment labels like brand label, size label, care label etc.

Care Label
Fig: Care Label

21. Patch:
Patch is a kind of trim made from fabric, leather or other materials which is attached on to the garment by sewing or heat transfer. The idea of patches on cloth was a very unique, famous and attractive idea that lasted for a long time and till now patches bear some unique meaning of different brands. Patches are generally used on jeans and tops items. Custom embroidered patch, printed patch, PVC patch, woven patch, leather patch are some examples of patch.

Leather Patch
Fig: Leather Patch

22. Hook and Loop/Velcro:
Hook and Loop fastener is a trim made of two thin plastic strip sheets one covered with tiny flexible hook and another with loops, which cling together when pressed together and can be separated when pulled out. Hook and loop fastener is a kind of trim that you will get fun when pressed together or pulling out. It also saves our valuable times. You can find different types of hook and loop fasteners in the market like woven, knitted, non-woven or high-tech hooks (HTH).

Hook and Loop Fastener
Fig: Hook and Loop Fastener

23. Eyelet or Grommet:
Eyelet or Grommet is a two part piece of hardware made from metal or other material that are pressed together to hold or reinforce the pre-punched hole in a garment. It allows draw cords to go through. It is a necessary trim for hoodie items.

Eyelet or Grommet
Fig: Eyelet or Grommet

24. Hook and Eye:
Hook and eye closure is an absolute and simple method of fastening clothing parts together. Different sizes of hook and eye from very small to large are available. It is mainly used where there is less stress. In non-woven pants hook and loop is the main fastener.

Hook and Eye used in Woven Bottom
Fig: Hook and Eye used in Woven Bottom

25. Padding:
Padding is a thin soft material which is used inside clothing products. It is generally used in jackets, bras or other outer-wears. It is generally made of synthetic fiber like polyester.

Inter-sectional view of Padding used in an Outerwear
Fig: Inter-sectional view of Padding used in an Outerwear

26. Elastic:
Elastic was a great invention for the clothing industry. Elastic makes the garments more comfortable to the wearers. Elastic is a necessary trim for undergarments. It is made of rubber or elastic cores that are wrapped in polyester, nylon or cotton fiber and then knitted, woven or braided. There are different types of elastic like braided elastic, knitted elastic, woven elastic, lingerie elastic etc.

Different types of Elastics
Fig: Different types of Elastics

27. Lace fabric:
Lace is a sensual fabric made from yarn or thread in an arbitrary web like pattern by manually or by machine. Originally silver, gold, silk or linen threads were used but now a day cotton thread is mostly used. Synthetic fiber lace is also available.

Lace Fabric used in a Wedding dress
Fig: Lace Fabric used in a Wedding dress

28. Twill tape:
Twill tape is a woven fabric trim which construction is like herring bone twill. Twill tape can be made from both natural fibers like cotton, linen etc. and synthetic fibers like polyester. Twill tape is used in sewing seams to give reinforcement.

Twill Tape
Fig: Twill Tape

29. Rib:
Double knit or rib fabric is the second family of knit structures. Two sets of needles are used to make this rib structure. Rib fabric has similar looking in face and back side. It is a heavier fabric. Rib fabric is mostly used as a fabric trim. It is used in making collar, cuffs etc.

Collars of T-Shirts made from Rib fabric
Fig: Collars of T-Shirts made from Rib fabric

30. Belt:
A strip of flexible leather or textile material which is worn around the waist and secured with a fastening mechanism like buckle is termed as belt. There are different types of belts like buckle belt, suspender belt, metal belt, hip belt, yoke belt etc. Belt is an important accessory to a fashion sensible person.

Belt used with Jeans bottom
Fig: Belt used with Jeans bottom

31. Rivets:
Rivets are not used to open or close the opening parts of garments.

Fig: Rivets

They are used for following purposes:

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

32. Motif:
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.

Fig: Motif

33. 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 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
Fig: Hook and eye closure

34. 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.

Frog (fastening)
Fig: Frog (fastening)

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 cuton bias. This allows the fabric tube to remain smooth and flex easily when bent into curves.

35. Ribbon:
A ribbon or rib and 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.

Fig: Ribbon

36. Reflective tape:
Reflective tape is use both outdoors and indoors, as well as in private and commercial settings. It has the ability to collect light and send it back to its source. This is useful for both night time and day time use. It can prevent road accidents.

Reflective Tape
Fig: Reflective Tape

37. Wadding:
Various types of filling materials are made in different thickness and in the form of sheets, in non-woven method, from synthetic fibers, which are called wadding or batting. Wadding is used in those garments where the garment should possess the worm quality but the weight of the garments should not be high. There are a number of advantages in use of wading, such as, it can easily be washed and dried, thickness is high but the weight is very light, the price is also comparatively very cheap.

Fig: Wadding

List of Garment Accessories Used in Apparel Industry:
The materials, which are used to make a garment attractive for sale and packing, other than fabrics and trims, are called Accessories.

  1. Collar stand,
  2. Carton,
  3. Carton sticker,
  4. Safety sticker,
  5. Hanger,
  6. Backboard,
  7. Neck board,
  8. Collar stays,
  9. Butterfly,
  10. Patch,
  11. Gum Tape,
  12. Price ticket,
  13. Polybag,
  14. Safety Pin,
  15. Tag pin,
  16. Brass Pin,
  17. Buckle,
  18. P.P belt,
  19. Tissue paper,
  20. Size strip,
  21. Pocket flasher,
  22. Hand tag,
  23. Photo inlay,
  24. Both Side Tape,
  25. Plastic Clip.

Trims and accessories are used to make garments suitable for use and make it attractive and good looking for sales. Trims can be defined as a part of the garment whereas accessories are added for increasing the aesthetic properties of the garment to make it attractive. It can be said that all trims are accessories but all accessories are not trims.

You may also like:

  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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