Hooks Eyes Snaps Tape Fasteners - University Of Kentucky

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CT-MMB.029HOOKS & EYES, SNAPS, AND TAPE FASTENERSMost of the garments in our wardrobes have one ormore kinds of fasteners for easy-on, easy-offdressing. Fasteners are used to hold two pieces ofa garment together some pieces lap one over theother, while others meet. Fasteners include snaps,hooks and eyes, self-gripping devices, buttons andbuttonholes, and zippers. This publication willfocus on hooks and eyes, snaps, and tape fasteners.For information about buttons and buttonholes, seeCT-MMB.189, Buttons and Buttonholes, and forzippers, CT-MMB.188, Zippers.The appropriate fastener to use is determined bythe: type of garment garment design position and type of opening amount of stress the fastener will have the effect you want to create. interfacing.sewn in place with a double strand of all-purposedual-duty sewing thread or single strand forheavy-duty thread.secured so stitches do not show on the right sideof the garment/fabric.appropriately placed so the garment edges areheld together smoothly and evenly.applied with appropriate hand stitch (buttonholeor whip) to secure fastener to the garment.secured tightly to the fabric surface.HOOKS AND EYESHooks and eyes are the fasteners used for areas ofstress such as waistlines and neck openings. Theycome in a variety of sizes from very small to verylarge.Regular hooks and eyes come in four sizes. Zerois the smallest and three the largest. Small hooksand eyes should be used on lightweight fabrics.Large ones are used primarily for skirts and pants.Bulky, heavy fabrics need a larger hook and eyethan do lightweight, sheer fabrics.StandardsWell-selected fasteners will be: appropriate to the specific garment and/orgarment placket situation. in the color range (black for dark fabrics; nickel,covered, or transparent for light fabrics) of thefabric to which it is applied.Sport hooks and eyes are designed for use onwaistbands and jacket closings that may receiveexcessive strain. Only one fastener is usedunless the area is wide.Well-constructed/applied fasteners should be: neat in appearance with no loose or unsightlythreads. appropriate for the garment design and fabricbeing used. applied to an area that has been reinforced withMost hooks and eyes are nickel or black enamelcoated metal. In some special fabric centers, itis possible to find a package in a variety ofcolors. These are enamel coated metal. Somecoat hooks are silk covered and come in threecolors black, beige, and white. Regular

The hook portion of the fastener ispositioned on the edge of the garmentsection (Figures 3 and 4)hooks and eyes include the hook and two typesof metal eyes straight and round (loop).To apply:1) Position the top edge of the hook at theedge of the overlap/garment section.2) Secure the hook in the two rings using anoverhand whip or buttonhole stitch.3) Secure the "end of the bill" of the hook tothe edge of the area with three wrappedstitches (inserting the needle into the fabriclayers and out on the other side of the hook,wrap the hook with the thread, and insertthe needle back into the fabric; repeat).Placement & ApplicationWhere there is minimum stress, such as aneckline, thread eyes are used in place of metalones. The type of eye to use will depend on thetype of opening and the garment. Some generalguidelines follow:HINT: Pull hand sewing thread throughbeeswax to help eliminate tangling ofthread.Hooks and eyes are considered finishing touchesand one of the last steps in making a garment.To sew on: Anchor the thread at the top where the hookor eye is to be located by taking two tinystitches. (Figure 1)Figure 3Straight eye (metal) is used when edges overlap.(Figure3)To apply:1) Mark the placement of the eye so the edgesare in correct alignment.2) Secure around both eyes.Round eye (metal) is used when edges meet.Figure 1 Bring the thread up through the ring to besewn. Use an overhand whip or buttonhole stitchwith stitches very close together and stitcharound the ring, being sure the stitches donot show on the right side. (Figure 2)Figure 4To apply:1) Mark the placement of the eye so the roundportion overlaps the edge of the garmentslightly. (Figure 4)2) Secure the eye with the overhand whip orbuttonhole stitch completely around theholes.3) Secure the eye to the fabric on either side ofthe U-shape so that it is firmly attached andwill not swing or move. (Figure 4)Figure 2 Slip needle between the fabric layers to theother ring.2

Skirt hooks and eyes are used where there isstrain or pull, such as a waistline or on a belt.(Figure 5)If you are making a round eye pull thread sothere is a slight loop or slack. Repeat until youhave a "bridge" of approximately four to sixthreads.Starting at one end of the bridge, do abuttonhole stitch over the thread bridge. Pullthreads tight after each stitch. Be sure stitchesform a solid cover over the thread bridge.Securely fasten your thread to the fabric at theend. For additional information, refer to CTMMB.002, Hand Stitches for moreinformation.Figure 5To apply:1) Place the hook slightly back from the edgeof the fabric (no more than 1/8-inch). Markthe placement of the eye so the edges are incorrect alignment (a straight line).2) The side of the metal eye should be securedwith several stitches for greater security.3) The hook should be secured with severalstitches, so it is flat against the band.4) The buttonhole stitch (using a double thread)is more secure than an overhand orwhipstitch.Method B - Chain StitchUsing a single strand of buttonhole twist ordouble strand of all-purpose thread, anchor thethread. Make one stitch at the location wherethe loop is to start. (Figure 7)COUTURE TECHNIQUESFigure 7Making Thread EyesDrop the needle and grasp the thread. Withyour fingers, reach through the loop. (Figure 8)The thread eye is basically a substitute for themetal eye. It is not as strong as the metal eye,but is less conspicuous; therefore, it isrecommended to be used in areas that do nothave a lot of pull or strain such as a necklineopening above a zipper. There are two differentmethods of making thread eyes:blanket/buttonhole stitch and thread chain.Figure 8Pull snugly and repeat until the chain is thedesired length.Method A - Blanket/Buttonhole StitchBegin with a double strand of all-purpose threador a single strand of buttonhole twist or heavyduty thread. Hide thread between the fabriclayers. Take a stitch; approximately 1/4-inchlong across the thread eye position. (Figure 6)If you are making a straight eye, pull threadtight.Figure 9With last chain loop enlarged, insert needle intothe garment and take a small stitch to makeeither a straight or round thread eye. Now pullthe thread back through the loop and pull tight.(Figure 9)Fasten thread securely and inconspicuously.Figure 63

If you had to clip the fabric, be sure toCovering a Hookinvisibly hand stitch the clip to prevent it fromripping or raveling.When a hook is in a place where the end mayshow, such as a fitted waistline without a belt,the hook should be covered with matchingthread to make it inconspicuous.Figure 12SNAPSFigure 10Only large hooks are covered, making themeasier to handle.Snaps are used where there is little strain on theitem area. Their primary function is to holdsomething in place. Snaps may also be used tocomplete a closing that uses buttons andbuttonholes or hooks and eyes.Begin by sewing the hook to the garment in theusual manner. After fastening the end of thebill, start wrapping the thread around the topportion of the hook. (Figure 10) A buttonholestitch can be used to secure the wrap. Stitch asnear to the end as possible, holding onto thestitches with your finger. Make a fewbuttonhole stitches at the end of the hook with asmall needle.Snaps come in several sizes (5/0 is the smallestand 4 is the largest). They are usually made ofblack enamel, nickel, or clear nylon. There aresilk-covered snaps available for use on coats.Some general guidelines are: Use small sizes for lightweight fabrics; uselarge sizes for heavyweight fabrics. Use silk or fabric-covered snaps on coats andjackets for a more expensive and tailoredlook.The ball part of the snap is positioned on theoverlap side of the placket, and the socket to theunderlap.Hiding a HookFor a couturier finish, use this method to hide ahook: Mark the facing where the hook and eye is tomeet. Make a small opening by using the blunt endof a needle and forcing the fabric yarns apart,or if the fabric cannot be separated, cut a verytiny slit. (Figure 11)Figure 13 Pull hand sewing thread through beeswax tohelp eliminate thread tangles. Sew the ball portion on first. Lightly rub theball part with soap or chalk, and press it tothe opposite side of the fabric to mark theexact socket location. (Figure 14)Figure 11 Insert the hook one loop at a time into theopening. Gradually turn the hook until bothhave been worked into the opening. Position the hook leaving only the end ofthe bill exposed. (Figure 12) Using tiny invisible stitches, sew the loops tothe facing, and fasten the end of the bill.Figure 144

The buttonhole stitch (using a double thread)To apply: Stitch ball portion of the snap on one edgeof garment about 1/8-inch from the edge.(Figure 18) Attach the socket by stitching through onlyone hole attaching it to the other edge ofthe garment, letting the snap extend outfrom the edge of the garment. (Figure 18) Fasten thread securely.is a more secure stitch than the overhandstitch. However, either can be used. (Figures15 and 16)Figure 15Figure 16 Fill the opening of the snap with stitches forgreater security.Figure 18 Stitches should not show on the right side.(Figure 17)Covered SnapA covered snap is used when there is thepossibility that the snap may show, such as on ajacket or coat.They add "extra" elegance to a garment. Cut a circle of matching coloredlightweight fabric, such as lining. Make a running stitch around the edge ofthe circle. (Figure 19) Pull on the thread to gather slightly. Drop in the snap portion, being sure it isturned face down before pulling the gatherstight.Figure 17Applying snapsRemember that snaps are used where there islittle strain. Anchor thread where the snap is to beplaced by taking two tiny stitches. Bring the thread up through one of theholes in the snap. Use the overhand or buttonhole stitch,placing stitches close together and fillingup the space. Slip needle between the fabric layers toeach of the other holes and fill each space. When you have filled all the spaces in thesnap, securely anchor thread.Figure 19 Push covered ball half into the covered Hanging SnapA hanging snap is used only on abuttinggarment edges. Like other snaps, hooks, andeyes, these are also invisible from the outside ofthe garment. They are used where there is littlestrain, such as at the top of a neckline zipper. 5socket half. This will force the ball throughthe fabric.Pull apart and draw stitches up tight.Take several stitches back and forth underthe snap.Cut off the excess fabric.Place the snap to the garment and stitch inplace. (Figure 20)To prevent fabric from fraying, apply liquidseam sealant around edges of ball half.

be used on bridal apparel, lingerie, costumes, orswimwear.Hook and loop tape this is a tape thatconsists of soft nylon looped nap on one sideand stiff nylon hooked nap on the other. Thistype of fastener comes in strips or in a variety ofsizes of circles or squares. Hook and loop tapeis closed by pressure, making it ideal forchildren and individuals with poor or limitedfinger and/or hand coordination. (Figure 23) It isused in place of hooks and eyes, snaps, buttonsand buttonholes on apparel and homefurnishings. When used on outerwear, itprovides a windproof closure. These fastenersshould always be closed when not in use toprevent damage to nearby fabric.Figure 20Gripper-type snaps - have four parts socket,ball, and two pieces with prongs or a post and acap that secure the socket and ball. They areapplied with a special tool and hammer or pliertool. (Figure 21) They are a more secure closingthan a regular snap, and are used to replacebuttons and buttonholes, especially on children'sgarments and sportswear.Figure 21Gripper snaps are available in a variety of sizesand weights. Unlike sew on snaps, gripper snapsare applied to garments with the ball half on theunderlap and the socket half on the overlappingportion of the placket. Be sure to interface areaswhere gripper snaps are applied.Figure 23To apply: (Figure 24) Loop side is placed on the wrong side ofthe placket overlap of the garment. Hook side is placed on the underlap sideof the placket away from the skin. Position the self-gripping fastener on thegarment and secure by hand or machinestitches.TAPE FASTENERSSnap-tape a series of metal or plastic snapsattached to a woven tape. They are machinestitched to the garment and are used whereedges overlap. They are most frequently usedon infant and toddler clothing, sportswear, andhome decorating items.Figure 24Hook and loop tape may be purchased with anadhesive backing which can be helpful inpositioning. However, the adhesive is rarelystrong enough to be used without additionalsecuring. Be careful stitching through theadhesive as it may gum your needle and causeskipped stitches when machine sewing.Figure 22Hook and eye tape comes with the hooksattached to one tape and round eyes on theother. Like snap tape, it is machine stitched tothe garment. But because edges abut, it requiresa centered application. Hook and eye tape can6

SUMMARYSnaps, hooks and eyes are important fastenersfrequently used in conjunction with otherfasteners such as buttons and buttonholes andzippers. All fasteners should be selected basedon their function and the type of garmentplacket.Prepared by Nadine Hackler, Professor Extension Clothing Specialist; revised December 1998.Permission to use granted by Nadine Hackler, Emeritus Extension Professor Clothing Specialist, Institute of Food & Agriculture Sciences,University of Florida, Gainesville Florida.Adapted for use in Kentucky by Linda Heaton, Ph. D. Extension Professor Textiles & Clothing. July 2002, rev. 4/2004Revised by Marjorie M. Baker, M.S.Extension Associate Textiles & ClothingDecember 2004Fasteners.docEducational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.7

or whip) to secure fastener to the garment. secured tightly to the fabric surface. HOOKS AND EYES Hooks and eyes are the fasteners used for areas of stress such as waistlines and neck openings. They come in a variety of sizes from very small to very large. Regular hooks and eyes come in four sizes. Zero is the smallest and three the largest.

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