We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Bartacking?

By Carrie Grosvenor
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Bartacking is a type of reinforcement stitching used by the fabric and textile industries to fortify stress points in clothing, sporting equipment, uniforms, and a host of other products. The bar tack stitch is a tight zigzag pattern repeated perpendicularly over itself several times to make sewn products stronger, and resistant to tears or rips in the seams. Commercially, either a special bartacking machine or an industrial sewing machine with a bar tack attachment can be used for this purpose.

Stress points that require bartacking are the areas of a garment where normal wear will cause strain on the seams or fasteners. On a pair of jeans, for example, bartacking is used to reinforce pockets, zippers, crotch seams, button holes, and belt loops. All of these points are prone to added stress while being worn. Equipment such as slings and harnesses for rock climbing need to be safe and strong, and bartacking ensures that the seams will not fray or split while the equipment is in use. Government, military, and emergency service uniforms are heavily bar tacked, as are pieces of protective equipment like industrial aprons.

Most consumer garments that are commercially manufactured feature three rows of bartacking at each stress point. Safety equipment and sporting gear use at least five rows, and sometimes even more. Commercial descriptions of sporting equipment, for example, will include bartacking as a safety measure included in the design of the item.

Bartacking can also be used by the home sewer or hobbyist. Items like quilts, which are made up of many different sections of fabric, benefit from bartacking to ensure durability. Replacing zippers on pants or jackets requires a bar tack stitch at the point where the replacement zipper is trimmed to fit the garment. While some home sewing machines are fitted with a bar tack attachment, this type of bartacking can be done by hand with a simple zigzag stitch repeated often and at an angle to ensure strength.

If you want to see bartacking in action, take a look at the buttonhole on your pants. Not only is the entire hole stitched to deter fraying, but each end of the hole is also stitched several times over to ensure a strong hold without tearing. Any item with straps, such as backpacks and purses, also feature visible bartacking where the strap meets the main fabric.

Bartacking has become standard for any item that is sewn together. These additional stitches create durable and safe garments and gear that can withstand use and wear, giving additional value and peace of mind to consumers.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By KaBoom — On Aug 14, 2012

@LoriCharlie - I never realized how many different uses there are for bartacking either. However, I'm glad I found this out. I've been looking into buying a sewing machine, and I'm definitely going to get one with a bar tack attachment now.

I've actually seen a few sewing machine models advertised with bar tack attachments, and they weren't much more expensive than other sewing machines. I think I would probably use a bar tack attachment more than enough to make up for any extra cost.

By LoriCharlie — On Aug 13, 2012

I've heard of bartacking before, but only in the context of jeans. I had no idea how many other items feature bartacking! I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though. Bartacking is very strong, and there are a lot of sewn items that are meant to withstand rough handling and hold a lot of weight.

By Ted41 — On Aug 13, 2012

@Monika - I don't blame her! I find hand sewing to be pretty tedious anyway, and that's just a normal stitch. I can't imagine doing bartacking by hand on all the different parts of a pair of jeans that need it. When everything is said and done, it would probably be more cost effective (when you take your time into consideration) to just buy a pair of jeans!

I suppose you could make yourself a pair of jeans and omit the bartacking, but I'm pretty partial to the way the stitching looks on bartack jeans.

By Monika — On Aug 12, 2012

My mom likes to sew, and a few years ago, she attempted to make herself a pair of jeans. She doesn't have a bartack machine, and her sewing machine doesn't do a bartack stitch. So she did all the bartacking by hand!

She said it was so tedious, she may never make another pair of jeans again!

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.