Abstract In this paper an intelligent hierarchical controller for the robotized sewing of two plies of fabrics is presented. The proposed system is based on the concept: fabric properties estimation – tensional force determination – sewing – adaptation. A new methodology for integrating the tensile test of fabrics into the robotic sewing station using the sewing machine is presented. The output of this test is the estimation of the fabrics extensibility, which is fed to the next level of decision making to determine the appropriate fabric tensional force that should be applied during the sewing process. Computational intelligence methods (fuzzy logic and neural networks) have been used throughout the hierarchical structure of the controller. The present research is focused on the concept of using qualitative properties of the fabrics and the processing of qualitative and quantitative knowledge in different levels of the introduced hierarchical system. The proposed system is flexible, adaptable and robust enough to sew a wide range of unknown double ply of fabrics as it is shown by the test results. It has also the capability of on-line and endless training in order to be able to respond, handle and sew new types of fabrics. Seams that are produced by the robot and a human operator for joining two pieces of fabrics are presented and compared.