When textile material is transformed from its stock form, usually sheets from a roll, into a product or garment the term ‘forming’ is used. This term is used with any product that has been made from material. Products that have been made from timbers, metals and polymers have all been ‘formed’ from a stock form of that material type.
gathering - achieved by sewing two parallel lines to the top of a piece of fabric that can be pulled gently to ruffle up the fabric and create fullness
pleats - folds of fabric that are sewn into place and used to shape skirts
shirring - created by sewing thin elastic, known as shirring elastic, into a garment in rows, creating elasticated panels
darts - used to shape a garment on the bust, waist or back by sewing parallel lines on the inside
seams - formed at the point where two pieces of fabric are joined, they can be plain or overlapped to be hidden
hems - used to neaten edges and to finish raw edges, they are generally straight but can be used to create a decorative edge
felting - uses bonded fabrics, such as felt, which can be moulded over a former by heating and wetting it, the fibres can be pulled into shape and permanently set, used to make seamless hats
Wastage is the process of cutting away material with tools and equipment. Creating textiles products will always involve a certain amount of waste, cut away from the pattern shapes needed, but good design can minimise the amount of fabric wasted.
die cutters - shaped blades inside a foam stamp that can press through and cut several layers of fabric at once