When you go into any sewing shop there is a mind-boggling selection of elastic widths and types. This easy guide will show you the different types of elastic and their purposes. Elastic is great to use in kids clothing patterns as it is easy to sew and accommodates their fast growing bodies.
TYPES OF ELASTIC
What is Braided Elastic?
Braided elastic is usually used in casings and narrows when stretched. It is great to use in peasant dress patterns for neck casings and wrist casings as it is soft. It tends to overstretch when used in waist casings so if you do use it for this purpose, you may have to cut the lengths shorter than the pattern specifies. It is not suitable for swimwear or leotard patterns as it stretches out and will not survive chlorine and sweat.
What is Woven Elastic?
Woven elastic is firm when stretched and does not narrow when stretched. It is great to use in skirt and pants waistbands as it doesn’t overstretch and lose its shape. Woven elastic often comes in wider widths for a variety of uses.
What is Swimwear Elastic?
Swimwear elastic is usually firm and is salt and chlorine resistant. It is also recommended for leotard patterns and swimwear patterns as it is sweat resistant and less likely to rot. This elastic doesn’t stretch when you sew over it, which is great for swim and leotard necks and legs. It generally comes in 1/4 inch (6mm) or 3/8 inch (10mm) widths. Common brands include Birch and Dritz.
What is Fold Over Elastic?
Fold over elastic has a groove down the center on the underside and is used for binding raw edges on stretch garments. It comes in several widths and an amazing array of patterns and colors. Read an article on how to sew fold over elastic.
What is Lingerie Elastic
As the name suggests, lingerie elastic is a soft elastic designed for underwear. It often has a decorative edge and is soft on the skin. Lingerie elastic is generally stitched to the edge of delicate fabrics.
PROFESSIONAL TIP – always stretch elastic out a few times before you cut it. A good elastic should return to the same length after it is stretched.
Why not try some woven elastic in the skirt of this FREE girls skirt sewing pattern?
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