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Four Needle Six Lines Stitching – What All You Need to Know?


Summary: Four needle six lines stitching is a highly advanced and specialized sewing technique that creates strong, durable, and stretchy seams on knit fabrics. It is a commonly utilized technique in manufacturing sportswear, activewear, and other garments that require stretch and recovery properties and is considered one of the best ways to create a professional finish on knit fabrics. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of four needle six lines stitching.

What is “Four Needle Six Lines”?

“Four Needle Six Lines” is used in the textile industry to describe a specific type of sewing technique. It refers to the number of needles and threads used in the machine.

A four needle six lines machine is equipped with four needles spaced evenly across the sewing bed. Each needle is connected to a thread, which creates six lines of stitching. This type of machine is used for attaching elastic or other stretchy materials to fabrics.

It is commonly used in sportswear, leggings, swimwear, and other garments that require stretch and recovery. Because it uses multiple needles, it can produce a more durable and stable seam than a single-needle machine. It is also capable of making a more attractive appearance and can reduce the time of production.

This machine is mainly used in the production of sportswear or activewear, but it can also be used in other applications such as swimwear, underwear, and hosiery.

Who Invented Four Needle Six Lines Sewing?

The four needle six lines stitch was first developed in the early 19th century. The invention of this technique is credited to William Thomas Whittemore, a British artist and author, who published a book entitled “A Treatise on Embroidery” in 1826. In this book, Whittemore described how to create various stitches using four colored threads. He demonstrated that by using four needles and six lines, it was possible to create a durable, stretchy seam that would be ideal for knit fabrics. Whittemore’s book quickly became popular among artists and crafters. His technique was widely adopted by the textile industry, particularly in producing sportswear, activewear, and other garments that require stretch and recovery properties. 

Today, the four needle six lines stitch is considered to be one of the best ways to create a professional finish on knit fabrics and is widely used in the textile industry. Here are some examples:

Some Types Of Four Needle Six Lines Stitches

The four needle six lines stitch is a versatile method used in various ways to finish knit fabrics, with variations that allow for creating unique designs. So let’s dive deep to learn about these stitches one after the other.

  1. Overlock Stitch, which creates a robust and stretchy seam that helps prevent fraying and unravelling.
  2. Cover Stitch creates a professional, finished look on the edges of knit fabrics, commonly used for hems and necklines.
  3. Flatlock Stitch, which creates a flat, smooth seam on knit fabrics, is often used in sportswear and activewear for a streamlined look.
  4. Stretch Stitch, designed to stretch with the fabric, makes it ideal for sportswear and activewear.
  5. Mock Safety Stitch is used to create a decorative, textured seam on knit fabrics, adding visual interest to garments.

Benefits of Four Needle Six Lines Stitching

The four needle six lines stitch technique is ideal for finishing knitted fabrics. It offers a range of benefits, such as creating a durable and stretchy seam that prevents fraying and unravelling, giving edges a polished and professional look, creating a streamlined flat seam that can accommodate the elasticity of the fabric, and adding decorative and textured elements to the seam. These benefits make it a valuable and flexible way to treat knitted materials.

  1. Strength and Durability: This stitching creates a strong and durable seam that can withstand wear and tear.
  2. Stretchability: The four needle six lines stitching method allows the fabric to stretch, making it ideal for activewear and sportswear.
  3. Professional Finish: The stitch creates a clean and polished look, giving a professional finish to the edges of knit fabrics.
  4. Versatility: The four needle six line stitch can be used in various ways, such as creating hems, necklines, and even decorative seams.
  5. Variety: There are variations of the four needle six lines stitch that can be used to create unique designs.
  6. Efficiency: Sewing with four needles takes less time than sewing with three needles. Because you do not have to make extra passes over the same area. Instead, you only need to sew once, which saves you a lot of time. Thus it proves to be an efficient method.
  7. Lower Cost: You can save money using four-needle stitching instead of three needles. It’s because four-needle stitching does not leave space in between like three-needle sewing thus, it keeps the thread and makes the stitching economical.

Overall, the four needle six lines stitch is an essential technique for anyone working with knit fabrics and looking to create a strong and stretchy seam with a professional finish.


With the use of four needle six lines stitching, it creates a strong, stretchy seam that helps to prevent fraying and unravelling. This method can be used in sportswear and activewear to create a streamlined, athletic look, and it is also used to create hems and necklines on t-shirts and other knit garments. If you’re dealing with sportswear or activewear, four needle six lines stitching is the most important one you should know about.

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