A dart is a tailored fold sewn into the fabric of a garment to help shape it to the contours of the body. Darts are most commonly found in garments at the bust, waist, hips, and elbows, and they function as a powerful tool in garment construction to provide a better fit and add shape to otherwise flat fabric.
Darts are essentially wedge-shaped tucks that are stitched and pressed flat. The point of the dart, where the fabric is most pinched, aims toward the fuller part of the body it is meant to fit, allowing the garment to accommodate curves and contours. The stitching starts at the wider part of the dart, narrowing down to a point at the end where the fabric fold ends, creating a smooth, tailored look.
Properly fitting darts are crucial for the garment’s overall appearance. They can dramatically alter the fit and are often adjusted in tailoring to better suit individual body shapes. Darts can be straight or curved, and the length and angle can be varied to fit different body shapes and design aesthetics.
While darts are primarily a functional element of garment construction, they can also be a design feature, adding an element of structure and detail to a piece. The precision and placement of darts are key factors in high-quality, well-fitted clothing.