What Is the Term for Gathered Fabric? All You Need to Know!

Whether you’re working with sergers, overlock machines, or the esteemed Janome CoverPro family, Madeira Aerolock is the ideal choice for achieving professional-quality results. So, if you're wondering what’s the term for gathered fabric, rest assured that Madeira Aerolock is the ultimate companion for all your sewing endeavors, giving you the confidence to create stunning, long-lasting designs that will leave a lasting impression.

What Is It Called When Fabric Is Bunched Up?

When fabric is gathered or bunched up, it’s commonly referred to as “ruching.”. Ruching is a technique often used in fashion design and sewing to create decorative gathers or pleats in fabric. It adds texture and visual interest to garments, giving them a unique and elegant look. The gathered fabric can be used to create interesting design details on garments, such as on sleeves, waistbands, or bodices.

One important aspect of achieving successful ruching is using a high-quality thread, like the Madeira Aerolock Premium Serger thread. This thread is specifically designed for sergers and coverlock machines, making it ideal for creating precise and durable gathers. Made of 100% core-spun polyester, this thread is known for it’s strength and resilience, ensuring that the gathered fabric will withstand frequent washes and strain.

Different Types of Ruching Techniques and How They Are Achieved

Ruching is a term used to describe a decorative technique in which fabric is gathered or pleated to create a gathered effect. It adds texture and visual interest to garments and is commonly used in various types of clothing, including dresses, tops, and skirts.

There are several different types of ruching techniques that can be achieved depending on the desired effect. One common technique is called drawstring ruching, where a drawstring or cord is threaded through fabric channels or casings, allowing the fabric to be gathered and adjusted.

Another technique is called elastic ruching, which involves sewing elastic thread onto fabric and then stretching it, causing the fabric to gather. This technique is often used in the waistbands of skirts or dresses to create a fitted look.

Additionally, some ruching techniques involve using pleating or stitching to gather the fabric in specific areas, creating ruffles or draping effects. This can be done by hand or with the help of a sewing machine.

Ruching isn’t only a decorative technique but also serves functional purposes. It can add volume, create a flattering silhouette, and allow for adjustable fit in garments. Whether used subtly or prominently, ruching adds dimension and interest to a variety of clothing styles.

Serger and coverlock machines have become popular for various sewing techniques, including gathering and ruching. While these techniques may seem similar, there are notable differences between them. Gathered fabric creates soft, loose folds by drawing in excess fabric, while ruching involves creating small, tight gathers along a fabric’s length. Madeira Aerolock Premium Serger thread, with it’s high-quality construction, ensures that the gathered or ruched fabric stays securely in place, even through repeated washes and strain.

What Is the Difference Between Gathering and Ruching?

In the world of fashion and sewing, there are various techniques and terms that are used to describe fabric manipulation. Two commonly used terms are gathering and ruching. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are subtle differences between the two.

Gathering refers to the process of drawing or pulling fabric together along a straight line to create volume or fullness. This can be achieved by using a gathering stitch, which is a long and loose stitch, and then pulling the thread to create the desired effect. Gathering is commonly used in creating ruffles, adding fullness to skirts or sleeves, or even gathering curtains.

On the other hand, ruching is a more intricate technique that involves gathering fabric in a controlled and structured manner. Unlike gathering, ruching usually occurs in specific areas of a garment, such as along the neckline, bodice, or waistline. Ruching is often used to add texture and visual interest to clothing, and it can be achieved by using elastic, drawstrings, or manual stitching techniques.

When it comes to sewing and creating gathered or ruched garments, it’s important to choose the right thread for the job. Madeira Aerolock Premium Serger thread is a top-quality option that’s specifically designed for sergers and coverlock machines. Made of 100% core-spun polyester, this thread is strong and durable, making it perfect for garments that will undergo frequent washes or strain.

Whether you’re gathering fabric to create a romantic, flowy skirt or ruching fabric to add dimension to a top, the right thread can make all the difference. So, the next time you embark on a sewing endeavor involving gathering or ruching, consider using this high-quality thread for the best results.


In conclusion, when it comes to the term for gathered fabric, it’s important to understand the various techniques and tools used in creating this unique effect. From shirring to ruching, these methods allow for added volume and texture in clothing and home decor. Additionally, selecting the right thread is crucial in ensuring the longevity and durability of gathered fabric. Compatible with sergers and coverlock machines, such as the Janome CoverPro family, this high-quality thread offers reliability and performance for all your gathered fabric needs. So, embrace the art of gathering fabric and explore the endless creative possibilities it can bring to your sewing projects.

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