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What does Puckering mean?

In the context of fabric and clothing, Puckering is a bumpy, uneven surface as a result of incorrect sewing tension, fabric or thread instability, and/or poorly controlled fabric feed into the machine.

Heddels explains Puckering

You can think of Puckering like a really bad wrinkle or kink that just can’t be ironed out. Mentioned above, this can be due to a number of factors, including an inefficiency in the fabric or stitch thread used, an incompatible pairing of fabric and stitch thread (e.g. the fabric might be too dense or the stitch thread might be too thick), or simply the fabric being fed through the machine in a nonuniform, meandering line.

The beauty of Puckering is truly in the eye of the beholder. Some feel it causes the fabric and garment to look shoddy and rough (e.g. those wanting a perfect, cleanly pressed shirt tend to be anti-Puckering), while others believe it lends even more character to the aesthetic of a clothing item (so much so that some clothing companies will intentionally design for this attribute). As we’ve covered before, one prime example of Puckering is along the seams of the polarizing Dad Jeans.

Additional Resources

Take a look at the red highlighted boxes below for examples of Puckering