Bar Tack Stitch

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The bar tack stitch is most commonly seen on denim apparel. With a few slight adjustments it can be made on a home sewing machine. 

Bar tack stitch –


  1. A reinforcing stitch made on an industrial or home sewing machine, used to stabilize stress areas in a sewn item.


If you’re wearing jeans right now, look at the pockets – do you see a line of tiny, tight zigzag stitches near the top corners?Those are bar tack stitches; they’re used to give stability and strength to the area of your jeans that’s going to get pushed around a lot – the pockets! To make a bar tack stitch yourself, just set your sewing machine to a very small, very tight zigzag stitch. In a blue jeans factory, you’d find a machine just for making bar tack stitches. Here is a quick video of one in action.


Places you might want to use bar tack stitches:

  • garment pockets
  • bag pockets
  • belt loops
  • uniforms
  • sporting gear
  • buttonholes


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  1. My bar tacks always came out terrible looking until I discovered these tips: Use a manual buttonhole foot when I’m making bar tacks – it keeps the stitches straight and even. Also, when sewing areas of uneven thickness, like belt loops, shim the back and/or front of the foot up with scraps of fabric until it is level.