How to calculate thread Consumption in Apparel

How to calculate thread Consumption in Apparel

In this article, garment merchandising  will discuss the methods about, How to calculate thread Consumption in Apparel . As you are not running a business alone in a market place but you have many competitors of yours. To attract your customer just quality assurance of the product is not sufficient, you must understand the buying power of the end user also. To make a quality product with minimum cost is a big challenge in existing marketplace. Thread consumption is also a factor in costing of apparel manufacturing production houses. A precise calculation of thread consumption for a specific garment will not just save your cost but also empowers you to use a good quality thread with the similar cost, without compromising the product quality. The factors influencing the thread usage in a garment producing units are such as, type of stitch, seam type, fabric thickness, how many layers, construction and stitches per inch (SPI).Lets us knoe that how to calculate thread consumption in apparel.

Sewing of each garment in apparel industry is different in style, that’s why there is no standard thread consumption in industry. The thread consumption varies with the stitching styling such as thread consumption in jacket, denim pants, shirts and footwear will be different.

Generally, there are two methods of estimating thread consumption in apparel industries.

  1. Thread consumption by ratio method
  2. Measuring actual amount of thread consumed.

Method 1: Consumption Ratio Method

The simplest and easiest way to calculate thread consumption is ration method. The ratio of thread usage in different type of stitches is different which is enlisted below. By multiplying this ration with the length of seam using all stitch types in any garment the total thread consumption can be estimated precisely.


Type of M/C Stitch ClassesNeedle thread %Lower thread %(lopper/Bobbin)# of NeedlesThread usage CM per CM of seam length / CM
4 thread cover stitch6022080218
2 thread chain stitch 



5 thread safety stitch5162080220
5 thread covering stitch6053070328
3 thread over edge5042080114
3 thread covering stitch4063070218
Lock stitch301505012.5

Lock stitch

Chain stitch101100014
4 thread Mock safety stitch5122575218
2 thread over edge stitch5035545112



Points to be noted:

  • The ratio table mentioned above will be valid if the stitch density is seven stitches per Cm or eighteen stitches per inch.
  • These ratios are recommended to minimum in normal condition and slightly differ with the factors influencing consumption of thread.
  • A specific percentage of the thread consumption is to be added for wastage factor in the above ratios as per factory flow conditions. It may differ from 10% to 20 %.

Theoretical example:


Length of the seam is = 150 cm

Stitch class is 503= 2 thread cover edge stitch

Total thread usage per centimeter in above table = 12


Total thread consumption = 150 * 12

= 1800 cm

Needle thread usage = 0.55*1800

= 990 cm

Lower thread Usage =   0.45*1800

= 810 cm

By applying the same method you can estimate over all thread consumption of your garment. Let us take an example of thread consumption estimation for the medium size Men’s T-shirt.

The Thread consumption ratio table for Men’s T-shirt is given in below.



Type of m/c


Stitch class


Thread ratio


Seam length (meter)

Thread consumption (meter) 




1 thread chain stitch10140.100.40.40
2 thread over edge stitch503120.9511.46.35.1
Lock stitch3012.541055
3 Thread Over edge stitch504143428.533.6
2 thread chain stitch4015.50.75413


Total Thread consumption = 0.4+11.4+10+42+4

= 67.80

Total Lower thread consumption = 46.7

Total needle thread consumption = 21.1

15 % wastage of total consumption = 67.80 *15/100

= 10.17

Total thread consumption for T-Shirt = 67.80 +10.17

= 77.97


Let us take another example of thread consumption calculation for basic five pocket denim jeans.

MachineThread consumption per Inch
Five thread over lock machine


Four thread over lock machine


Three thread over lock machine


Five thread flat lock machine


Four thread flat lock machine


Two thread chain stitch machine


One needle plain machine


Button attach machine ( four eyes)


Button attach machine (two eyes)


Button hole machine


Bar tack machine



  • Outside length =36*2*2.5*1=180 inches


In case of lock stitch=36 *9*1*2= 648 inches

  • Inside length = 28.5 *1*2.5*2 = 5 inches


In case of lock stitch =   28.5*9 *1*2 =513 Inches


  • Belt Length = 2.5*2 *2.5*5 = 62.5 inches
  • Waist = 34*6*2.5=510 inches
  • With of bartake =0.75*12*2*5=90 inches
  • Pocket Opening =7*2*2.5*2=70 inches
  • pocket length = 3*2*2.5*1=15 inches
  • pocket width = 3.2*2*2.5*1=16 inches
  • Back pocket =7*9*2*1= 126 inches
  • Length of back pocket =6*4*2.5*2=120 inches
  • Width of back pocket = 7.2*4*2.5*2=144 inches
  • Bartake pocket= 1*4*12= 48 inches
  • For yoke= 10*2*2.5*2*3=300 inches
  • Seam top=6.6*2.5*2*1= 33 inches
  • Bartake =0.5*2*12*1=12 inches
  • Upper Ply =7*2*2,5*1= 35 inches
  • Lower ply =6.2*1*2.5*1= 15.5 inches
  • Bartake=1.2*12*1=14.4 inches
  • Front bartack= 0.5*12*1=6 inches
  • Front riser=4*2*2.5*1=20 inches
  • Back riser =12*2*2.5*3= 180 inches
  • Mouth stitch =3*1*2.5*1= 7.5 inches
  • Ply=7*3*9*3= 567 inches
  • Thread for zipper=6*3*2.5*1=45 inches
  • Leg opening= 16*3*2*2.5=240 inches
  • Label or batch=5.2*2*2.5*1=26 inches
  • Button hole = 2*1*12*1=24 inches


Total thread consumption =4243.4 inches

To convert inches into yards divide the above figure by 36 then= 117 .88 yards

To convert yards into meters divide the above figure by 1.09 =108.15 meters

So, total thread consumption of basic five pocket jeans is 108.15 meters


Method 2: Measuring actual amount of thread consumed.

By using this method you can calculate thread consumption by measuring seam length with measurement tape. Pull the thread of that seam. After pulling the amount of thread from measured seam you can easily calculate the ration of thread used in the entire seam. Calculate the ration by dividing amount of thread pulled by the length of seam. Now, the ration achieved will be multiplied to the length of seam, and can get total thread consumption of that seam.

LENGTH OF SEAM = 100 cm (1 meter)

STITCH CLASS 401 = 2-Thread Chain stitch


NEEDLE THREAD REMOVED = 19.5 centimeter

NEEDLE THREAD FACTOR = 19.5/15 = 1.3

LOPPER THREAD REMOVED = 62.0 centimeter

LOPPER THREAD FACTOR = 62.0/15 = 4.1

TOTAL NEEDLE THREAD = 100 (centimeter) x 1.3 = 130 centimeter

TOTAL LOPPER THREAD = 100 (centimeter)x 4.1 = 410 centimeter

TOTAL THREAD CONSUMPTION = 130 + 410 = 540 centimeter

WASTAGE ADD 15% = 540 (centimeter) x 1.15 = 621 centimeter


Average Thread Consumption of different Articles are given in below table

Swim wear for ladies


Men two piece






Children short


Sport short


Men shirt


Boy shirt


Rain coats




Men jacket


Waist coat




Men jean





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