Have you ever wondered if you are using the right type of elastic for your pattern - or if it really matters?

In this post, with a little help from the sewing gurus over at Colette Patterns (see video below!) we aim to demystify the world of elastic!

Popular Types of Elastic and Their Uses
  • Braided elastic is best used when you will be threading elastic into a casing. It should be avoided when sewing your elastic directly onto your fabric as braided elastics lose much of their stretch when sewn through.  If your not sure what type of elastic you have, braided elastics have a ribbed finish.
  • Knit elastic has a smooth appearance, unlike braided elastic, it does not lose resiliency when sewn through.  It is best suited to light to medium weight fabrics.
  • Woven elastic, often sold as “no roll” elastic, has both horizontal and vertical ribs. You can use this type of elastic with any type of fabric, inserting it into a casing, or sewing it into place, but it is generally thicker than braided or knit elastic so is recommended for use with heavier weight fabrics.
  • Clear elastic, is designed for use with light to medium weight fabrics and is particularly useful when trying to create gathers in jersey fabrics.  It can be sewn directly onto your fabric, giving gathers good definition.
  • Swimming elastic, is manufactured to withstand the chemicals found in swimming pools, it should be treated as braided elastic when sewing.
  • Lingerie elastic, as well as looking pretty, lingerie elastic often comes backed with a softer finish than regular elastic, making it more comfortable against the skin.  Lingerie elastic is available in a number of colours and widths so it is worth shopping around for the right one for your project.  This type of elastic is usually sewn into garments, with the back of the elastic visible in the finished garment.

Check out the following video from Seamworks YouTube channel to see examples of all these types of elastic and hear more about their applications (Seamworks is Colette Patterns monthly magazine).

Worth Knowing...

We offer volume discounts on all our elastics and most of our haberdashery items - and you don't need to order 100s of mtrs to qualify, discounts start at 5mtrs for many products - check out our elastics at the bottom of this page.