THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

July 4, 2008

Fine Men’s Tailoring: Pants Hemming

 Do you recognise a European tailor made or High End RTW men’s pants or trousers by the way it is hemmed?



 Since I never found any information about this way of hemming outside Europe I thought it would be interesting to show you.


 The hem has a tape sewed on at the hem allowance partly covering the hem fold by 1 mm or 1/24 inch to protect the hem from wearing out, and for reinforcement.


 Grey pants example detail  : which shows the 1 mm ridge which is peeking out but is hardly noticeable by others , or you must be lying on the ground so your eyes are on the same level as the pants hem. 














 Detail outside view black pants















 Inside view black pants















This tape is sewn by 2 stitching lines after the hem fold is steam pressed and the ridge should peep out  for 1 mm ( 1/24 inch) 

 I used a non matching thread for better view.





 This polyester or cotton tape is 15,5 mm wide (5/8 inch) and has a small ridge at one long end.


 The tape which is called “Stootband” in Dutch, “Trouser Kick Tape” in English, “Hosenstossband” in German,  “Talonnette” in French, “Slidbånd” in Denmark, “Cinta Talonera” in Spain.
























Visible ridge 1 mm, 1/28 inch






















This way of protecting a hem from wearing out is mainly used in men’s pants/trousers but I also heard that in theater clothing it is used for floor-length gowns or skirts to protect the hem from wearing out.


 I have sewn this tape too in a pair of wide legged pants for myself.


 This tape is available in several colors like dark blue, black, beige, grey and brown and can be purchased at European well stocked notion stores, it is sold per meter or at prepacked cards which consist of 2 meters (2.18 yards)
















 I bought a few cards from a store who was selling out their inventory

(1 grey, 2 1 beige, 5 3 black and 5 3 dark blue) which I can part off if anybody wants to try them out.


 The price per card is Euro €1,25 plus shipping.

 If you are interested in a card contact me at diva-els  hotmail dot com










  1. Oh that looks so useful!! I definitely want to get some. Thanks for a great tutorial.

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — July 4, 2008 @ 7:49 am

  2. How kind of you to offer to make some of your stash available, Els. I’ve never seen anything like this in US notions. Great post, challenging to those of us who want to tailor fine quality for our guys 🙂

    Comment by Mary Beth — July 4, 2008 @ 8:30 am

  3. BTW your language expertise is incredibly useful. Bravo!!!

    Comment by Mary Beth — July 4, 2008 @ 8:31 am

  4. thanks for the tip: This application of hem tape is new to me. I am going to have to try it out on my daughter’s longer length pants. I am more familiar with the historical version of this technique.
    The concept of binding a hem goes way back–it shows up on crinoline and bustle gowns of the period. Usually silk garment fabric was faced in a wool twill tape that hit the floor to protect the more delicate silk fashion fabric. There is often a 1″ or wider expanse of this tape on the inside of the hem, since the train or hem might drag on the floor.
    I have used this concept in wedding gowns, especially those for outdoor weddings. I use muslin or cotton broadcloth cut into bias strips and sewn to the gown at the hem edge. This will face the hem of a train and is what will drag on the floor/grass/dirt >ouch<.
    If it is sewn in by hand, it can be removed for the actual wedding service, and used only for photos etc. prior to the wedding. If it is left in for the wedding, the dress will be preserved from abrasion and dirt. Sorry to say this won’t prevent footprints when the groom steps back onto the train (wrap his shoe sole in masking tape before the wedding)

    Comment by Jen O — July 4, 2008 @ 10:22 am

  5. Thank you for sharing that with us, Els! You sent me some awhile ago which I intend to use on my own pants since I like them very long (short legs, lol). What a shame that such a useful notion is not available here in the States. I’m glad you posted the pictures as I thought the tape was put across the back only. It’s nice to be able to see exactly how to use it!

    Comment by Gigi — July 4, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

  6. My dd has bought unhemmed pants over the years that came with this wonderful tape. I have never seen it for sale here.

    Comment by Nancy Karpen — July 4, 2008 @ 5:21 pm

  7. That’s the tape I used to sew into my dad’s store-bought pants! Then I could never find it in the US.

    Comment by Alexandra — July 5, 2008 @ 3:13 am

  8. Interesting – I’ve never seen this on US trousers, and I’ve altered and hem quite a few. I have seen this in historical clothing, as Jen O has explained. Thank you for sharing such a useful technique – yet another Old World technique that has been lost to those of us who sew in other parts of the world.

    Comment by Summerset — July 5, 2008 @ 7:13 am

  9. I just love odd notions! I too am interested in seeing this in person. I have plans for making a gown that will have a floor sweeping length skirt. This tape would be a hem saving idea I would love to use if I can find a supplier for it.

    Comment by Linda T — July 6, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  10. Fabulous post, Els. I’ve never seen this detail on hems and I think it could easily be incorporated, not only on men’s pants. Thanks for this very useful article

    Comment by Tany — July 7, 2008 @ 6:22 am

  11. Interesting that its not so common in US. Here in UK it is probably more generally known as kick tape and most men’s tailored trousers will have it as well as some casual styles, like chinos. It simply guards against wear and tear from shoes.

    Very good instructions for applying the tape. I love the tutorials on this site! Thank you.

    Comment by Vivienne — July 7, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

  12. Just for your info, that tape in Italian is called “battitacco”.
    It comes from battere (to hit) and tacco (heel), so ta sort of “where the heel hits”.


    Comment by Gloria — July 11, 2008 @ 5:46 am

  13. Gloria, thanks for the Italian name of the tape.

    Comment by Els — July 11, 2008 @ 6:03 am

  14. This tape is available by the metre here in the UK. I bought some on Saturday. I was surprised to see it in white and thought that there would not be much need for white for mens’ hems: I never thought of wedding gowns! It sells at 45 pence per metre, by the way. Juliet

    Comment by Juliet — July 15, 2008 @ 3:30 am

  15. I found this on the Atlanta Thread & Supply site, googled how to use it. And found another service to offer clients now, thanks for the tutorial as well! Have you got one on how to do a proper NY hem on jeans?

    Comment by thestitchwitch — February 1, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

    • I am sorry but I have no idea what a NY hem on jeans look like.

      Comment by Els — February 2, 2010 @ 11:11 am

  16. Thank you! I was doing it right, just wanted to make sure 🙂

    Comment by thestitchwitch — February 4, 2010 @ 9:20 am

    • You’re welcome.

      Comment by Els — February 4, 2010 @ 9:40 am

  17. Very good tips for men’s pants. Now I just need to apply them to mine.

    Comment by Larry — August 30, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

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