Today’s sewing machines use the metric system for all of their measurements and displays. Sometimes that information can be a little difficult to translate since, in this country, the metric system is not as common as it is around the world. You can use a metric ruler or other measuring methods to help, but what about the numbers displayed for your stitch length? The numbers used for stitch width are clear. They give a direct metric measurement of how wide the stitch is, but what about the numbers used to identify the stitch length? Those numbers are not as straight forward.
First, let’s be clear: all stitches cannot be sewed at all stitch lengths or widths. Sometimes a limit will be put on a particular stitch because it is not able to be formed correctly if it goes outside a set of parameters. When you reach the maximum or minimum length or width for a stitch, your machine will not allow you to go any further, which it may signal to you with the sound of a click or beep. This is especially true when working with decorative stitches. They can skew easily and are usually confined to very narrow parameters. For normal straight stitches, these restrictions don’t apply because a straight line of stitches are not prone to being skewed. The following are the straight stitch length equivalents from millimeters (mm) to stitches per inch.
1 mm stitch length = 24 stitches per inch
2 mm stitch length = 13 stitches per inch
3 mm stitch length = 9 stitches per inch
4 mm stitch length = 6 stitches per inch
5 mm stitch length = 5 stitches per inch
6 mm stitch length = 4 stitches per inch
I hope this helps with your next project. Happy Sewing!