Tack Stitching: What Is It? Why Is It There? How Do I Remove It?
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Oh tack stitching. These small little bits of stitching that confuse or annoy us all at one point or another. Let's start by identifying a the most common types so they are easy to recognize next time you are out shopping or find some on your own clothing.
The vent tack: this typically looks like an "X" at the bottom of a jacket or pencil skirt near the bottom hem. It holds the vent/slit closed.
The pocket tack: this one is typically not visible from the exterior of a garment and can trick you into thinking your pockets are non-functional as they look to be sewn shut. You know you have a true pocket with a tack by looking at the interior of the garment, if there is a pocket bag on the interior you have real pockets that can be used! Yay! No pocket bag on the interior and you have been duped by the all-too-familiar fake pocket (can we all just agree that these are the worst?!).
Tack stitching is used to help keep garments looking nice throughout production, shipping and trying on. Think about how wrinkled things get when you shove them in your gym bag without carefully folding them. Now picture if all the blazers in a store looked like that. You wouldn't be super stoked about buying something that looked messy! The tack stitching helps keep garment openings closed and therefore reduces the need for excessive steaming or pressing to get it "floor ready" and ready to shop.
Tack stitching is quite easy to remove as long as you have a steady hand. I use this seam ripper to remove all tack stitching but you could easily do it with a smaller pair of scissors or a flat razor blade if needed. To remove it just slide the blade between the two layers of fabric and pull the loose threads out after they break. Just be careful to only sever the tack stitching and not to stab your garment by accident!
Take a look at dressier clothing and coats in stores or in your closet and see if they have any tack stitching that needs removed. Let me know if you were able to find it and how the removal process went for you in the comments below!