Sewing & Pattern making Terms

Tailor’s ham

As a seamstress, you know that achieving professional-looking garments requires attention to detail and precision. One indispensable tool in your sewing arsenal is the tailor’s ham, also known as the dressmaker’s ham. In this article, we will explore the purpose, benefits and usage of the tailor’s ham, helping you understand how this unique pressing tool can enhance the quality and fit of your garments.

Tailors Ham on a table inside a fashion studio
Tailors Ham on a table inside a fashion studio

The Purpose and Benefits of Using a Tailor’s Ham

The tailor’s ham is a curved, firm, and densely stuffed cushion used for pressing and shaping curved seams and darts. It allows you to achieve smooth, professional-looking curves and contours in your garments. The tailor’s ham helps prevent fabric distortion and puckering when pressing curved areas. It provides support and helps maintain the shape of the fabric while pressing.

Usage of the Tailor’s Ham

  • Pressing Curved Seams: When pressing curved seams, such as princess seams or shoulder seams, place the fabric over the ham and use steam and heat to shape and mold the fabric smoothly.
  • Shaping Darts: Position the dart over the ham, allowing it to curve around the ham’s shape, and press to shape and mold the dart with precision.
  • Pressing Collars and Lapels: Use the tailor’s ham to shape and press collars and lapels, ensuring crisp and well-defined edges.
  • Reshaping Garments: The tailor’s ham is also useful for reshaping garments, such as shoulder pads or sleeves, by placing them over the ham and pressing to achieve the desired shape.

Choosing a Tailor’s Ham

  • Size: Tailor’s hams come in various sizes. Consider selecting a size that suits the scale of your projects and fits comfortably in your hand.
  • Material: Look for a ham made from sturdy and heat-resistant materials, such as cotton, wool, or a combination of both.

Caring for Your Tailor’s Ham

  • Spot Cleaning: If the ham becomes soiled, spot clean it with a mild detergent and allow it to air dry thoroughly.
  • Refreshing the Ham: Periodically, air out and refresh the ham by placing it in direct sunlight.

Final Words

The tailor’s ham is an essential tool for seamstresses, allowing for precise shaping and pressing of curved seams, darts and collars. By incorporating the tailor’s ham into your sewing practice, you can achieve professional results and elevate the fit and finish of your garments. Remember to select a ham of appropriate size and quality, and care for it properly to ensure its longevity.

Embrace the versatility and effectiveness of the tailor’s ham, and enjoy the satisfaction of beautifully shaped and pressed curves in your sewing projects. Let the tailor’s ham become your trusted companion, supporting you in creating garments with impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail.

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Melissa Villegas
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