Chainstitching - more correctly, a double lock chainstitch - is a fascinating part of the construction of jeans; it changed the look of them when it appeared in the 30s, and even the way it sets up internal tensions changes the textures; they are also more powerful than predecessors like the Singer, and could stitch through heavy fabric more easily. As for the hem itself, this can look different with different machines - even the form of foot you use on a Union Special will change the look - the Union Speical doesn't fold a hem, it rolls
it. It's a completely different look which is obvious from several yards away - this is why my nipper's chainstitched H&Ms, while they look perfectly fine, don't have the same look as a pair of Levi's or SDA. It's great that more people are looking out Union Specials and preserving them. There's no positive argument I can see on this thread in favour of shortening a classic jean using a standard hem - only the negative one, that it's cheaper. Which seems strange on a board which in general obsesses over details. Hence it would be good to have even more Union Specials around; reduced prices would help eliminate this argument. There's great information on the hem, and other chainstitches here: http://www.superfuture.com/supertalk...ad.php?t=10933
It's really worth googling superfuture for Ande Whall's exploration of the modern machines which give the right look and explanation of the stitch types. Unfortunately, cheapre machines don't apply enough tension. Modern double lock chainstitch machines or fittings which give this look are also expensive, unfortunately, and I'm not aware of any that roll the hem. (The single lock chainstitch is more common, is available on many sewing machines and gives a completely different effect as well as unthreading much more easily.) Mizanation's step by step guide to making a pair of jeans is terrific, but sadly the photos have gone: http://www.superfuture.com/supertalk...149004&page=10
. Admittedly, this is only a question of detail. But it's a vital detail. If you want to save the $10 - cuff your jeans!
Originally Posted by zk4025