Sewing: One of the controls on a sewing machine. Depending on the age of the machine, it behaves in one of two ways:
- On older machines, stitch width increases the zigzag of the stitching.
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Note that on these machines, a straight stitch is merely a line of stitching with a width of 0.
- Newer sewing machines have stitch selector controls, which produce a number of pre-programmed types of stitching. On these machines, a straight stitch is one selection, and a zigzag another.
- When a zigzag stitch is selected, stitch width varies the width of the stitching, as on an older machine.
- When doing a straight stitch, many machines use the stitch width control to vary the position of the needle. A stitch width of 0 will put the needle at the extreme left, a width of 3 is in the centre, and a setting of 5 moves the needle to the far right.
As with any control on your sewing machine, RTFM if it's available. Whether or not you have the manual, get some scrap fabric and try out the possibilities before using them on a serious project.