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How to use Elastic For Sewing Projects – Which One Should I Use?

Elastics For Sewing Projects

There are a few different common types of elastic for sewing projects, but do you know which one you should use when? If you are a beginner sewer, the range of products in a haberdashery can be quite overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start.

So, in this blog, we’ll look at the 3 most common types of elastic for sewing use and give you some handy hints on when to use each one.

First, there is Flat Elastic or Flat Elastic Cord, which is also known as braided elastic. Flat or braided elastic has parallel ridges that run along the length of the elastic. The ridges provide extra grip. But one downside is that flat elastic has a tendency to become narrower as it is stretched.

Flat Elastic

You should also be aware that braided elastic also tends to roll more easily than woven or knitted elastics. If you sew through braided elastic, it can also lose its stretchiness. For these reasons braided elastic works best in sewing projects where the elastic is contained within a casing or hem rather than being sewn directly onto the fabric. Be careful of using braided elastic in waistbands though because of its tendency to roll up. It can work well on smaller areas such as cuffs where the rolling is less of an issue. You can purchase braided elastic in a variety of colours, although white or black elastic are most popular and naturally, it is available in a range of widths to suit your project. At Marent, we offer white and black flat elastic cord in 3 different widths.

Woven Elastic

If you are sewing a waistband for skirts or trousers, a woven elastic, also referred to as non-roll elastic is your best choice, especially if you are using heavy weight fabrics. This elastic does not lose width when stretched and is generally firmer, giving more structure to your garment. It can be sewn directly onto fabric or used in casings.

Woven elastic, like braided elastic, may fray if you cut it lengthwise, so it’s always best to buy the correct width of elastic for your sewing project. Our woven elastic is available in white and black and 6 widths between 19mm (3/4 in) to 75mm (3 in).

Knitted Elastic

Knitted elastic is a lighter, softer elastic than braided or woven elastic. It rolls more than woven elastic but less than braided and therefore does not work so well on heavy weight fabrics.  Like woven elastic, the knitted version does not lose its width when stretched. It works well for lingerie and pyjama sewing projects.

There are some other different types of elastic for sewing which you could use for different types of projects such as buttonhole elastic for adjustable waistbands, lace elastic for lingerie, round clear elastic for swimwear and stockings and you can even get plush backed elastic which is softer against the skin if you are making a garment for someone who has sensitive skin.

Whatever your project, whether large or small, a garment, a bag or perhaps a facemask, you can be certain that at Marent Crafts we will have an elastic to suit most needs.

We’d love to see example of projects you’ve made that use our elastic, so please do send us your pictures.

Checkout our video on Elastics for some more information:

Flat vs Woven Elastic

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