In sewing, a seam is the join where two or more layers of fabric, leather, or other materials are held together with stitches. Prior to the invention of the sewing machine, all sewing was done by hand. Seams in modern mass-produced household textiles, sporting goods, and ready-to-wear clothing are sewn by computerized machines, while home shoemaking, dressmaking, quilting, crafts, haute couture and tailoring may use a combination of hand and machine sewing.
In clothing construction, seams are classified by their type (plain, lapped, abutted, or French seams) and position in the finished garment (center back seam, inseam, side seam). Seams are finished with a variety of techniques to prevent raveling of raw fabric edges and to neaten the inside of garments.