Importance of Decorative trims in the Garment Industry

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Material components except for the main fabric of the garment can be understood as trims. Trims are used in an ornamental capacity to enhance either the looks or functionality of the garment. Decorative trims like embroideries, screen printing, appliqués, etc. enhance the visual appearance of the garment while functional trims like buttons, labels, edge finishes, etc. serve a functional purpose in the garment.

Mostly trims are used to increase the garment’s hanger appeal, for product differentiation or to align with a fashion trend or theme of the collection. Trims are often applied prior to garment assembly for easy handling and application, but their placement and stage of application depends on the design need of the garment.  They can be superficially or structurally incorporated in the garment.

Types of Trims

The materials used as trims vary extensively from piece goods, support material, enclosures, to special purpose fabrications. Broadly, trims can be categorized into four types, i.e. bindings, edging, flat applications and other trims.

  • Bindings

    Bindings are functional trims used to finish the edges of the garment, like finishing of necklines, hems, armholes, openings, etc. The materials used for bindings vary depending on the type of garment and the design requirements. Bias cut woven, folded braid, and knitted strips are often used in binding trims. The binding trim should have inherent flexibility to conform to the garment’s contours, and thus stretch and flexibility are the properties looked for, in binding trims.
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  • Edgings

    Edgings are used to outline shapes, accentuate style lines or compartmentalize color blocks within the garment. As the name suggests, they are applied on the edges in the garments like hems, tucks, ruffles, design lines, necklines, etc. piping, laces, ribbons, fringes, picot trims, tapes, etc. are some of the edgings used in garments.

  • Flat Trims

    These trims are applied on the garment in an ornamental capacity. Braids, twill tapes, knit tubing, ribbons, narrow weaves, embroidery, screen printing, appliqués, warp knit bands, etc. are some examples of flat trims used in garments. The width and fabrications changes in these trims are used to change their aesthetic appeals. Flat trims are also used to cover seams, create a textural or visual appeal, and to conform to fashion trends.

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  • Other Trims

    Other trims include buttons and metal trims like nail heads, rhinestones, grommets, buckles, rivets, etc. that are clinched or sewn into the garment. These trims often require special equipment for application and are placed mostly to align the garment design to the fashion acceptance or functional requirements. For the application of these trims on soft or knitted fabrics, backings are used for stabilizing the trim.

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    Trims are both purchased and produced in-house in garment factories depending on the make or buy costing and availability constraints. Appropriate trim selection is crucial, as it allows enhancing both the garment’s functionality and appearance.

Why do we need Trims?
  1. Aesthetics

    Trims play a great role when it comes to the aesthetic appeal of a garment. High-quality trims can make inexpensive garments look amazing. Trims can extensively be used to enhance the appeal of the garment. However, in some cases, cheap buttons or laces may also ruin the overall look of the garment.

It should be understood that some trims have a specific appeal to certain market segments. For example, trims like laces and ruffles are more relevant to party wear clothes while functional trims suit more on ethnic wears.

  1. Performance

    For good performance, trims must be compatible with other materials that are used in the garment and suited to assembly methods, equipment, and skill of operators. Trims should have dimensional stability and compatibility. Trims like bindings, edgings etc. should be flexible, have a soft hand and should be abrasion resistant.

During application, special attention should be given to the garment because any carelessness may result in puckering of the garment and poor fit. Excessive stretching of the trim may result in uneven application and distortion. In cases like these, work aids such as folders and guides must be used to facilitate sewing operation and to improve the quality of application of the trim.

Hence, a good understanding of aesthetics and performance of trims is really important to sync with production methods.

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