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What Is Seamless Underwear?

A closeup of modal fabric, which is often used to make seamless underwear.
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  • Written By: T. Alaine
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 30 March 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Seamless underwear is a particular type of undergarment that is crafted without visible seams. Many people choose seamless underwear because it lies very flat against the skin, making it a comfortable option that is discreet under clothing. A large variety of underwear styles, offering anywhere from very little coverage to full coverage, are available in seamless cuts.

Traditional underwear styles often feature seams sewn around the waistband and the leg openings. These seams, particularly the ones surrounding the leg openings, can be problematic because they can sometimes be visible underneath clothing that is tightly fitted or made of thin or delicate fabrics. The resulting raised bump, generally referred to as a “panty line,” is considered unflattering and can negatively impact the overall effect of an outfit. Some people may not be concerned with visible lines but still depend on seamless underwear to avoid discomfort caused by seams that are too thick or too tightly fitted.

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Eliminating the seams is accomplished by using technology to replace traditional elastic or thread-sewn underwear joints. Many companies use lasers to cut the fabric pieces, which results in subtle, neat edges that lie flat against the skin. The pieces are cut to encompass as much of the style as possible so that as few edges as possible need to be joined together. Even so, seams are usually still necessary at each side of the waist above the leg openings in order to join the front and back pieces of fabric. Instead of sewing these joints, manufacturers can use heat to seal the fabric pieces together, leaving no bump and creating seamless underwear.

For the most part, seamless underwear is made from soft, stretchy fabrics such as jersey, modal, microfiber, or spandex blends. Soft fabrics are more comfortable and lie more smoothly against the skin than rougher, stiffer materials. The stretch is important because it allows the underwear to be pulled taught, but not tightly, across the skin and form easily around each individual’s unique curves. Fabric that is not stretchy enough is likely to bunch up and be visible underneath clothing.

Seamless underwear is widely available from a variety of different brands and in a multitude of different styles for both men and women. Full coverage cuts such as boy shorts and bikinis for women or boxer-briefs for men are an option, as are styles with less coverage such as thongs for women and briefs for men. Since seamless underwear is largely concerned with a comfortable and flattering appearance, choosing the best fit can be based on personal preference with the knowledge that all different styles will be neat and invisible under clothing.

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