Woven Elastics for your Sewing Projects
When you follow pattern directions for the sewing project you are making, often the specifics about buying woven elastic for sewing are the length and width. For most of my sewing years I’ve followed the pattern specifics for the elastic, and just recently I learned that are different types of elastic for the type of fabric you are sewing with. My guess is that the pattern companies ASSUME you know that there are guidelines for picking the RIGHT TYPE of elastic for the fabric you are sewing with.
I decided to help you, the beginner seamstress, learn the basics of elastic types ‘sew’ you can choose the best type of elastic when shopping for your notions.
Check out this post regarding information on Knit Elastics.
IMPORTANT Tip when buying Woven Elastic
Woven Elastic works best in medium-heavy to heavy weight fabrics.
A Bit of Elastic Knowledge: Woven elastic is stronger than knit and braided elastic.
Woven Elastic-General Use
Use for Waistbands and sleeve bands for heavy jackets. If you are making pants with heavy fabric, you could use woven elastic in the waistband. Home decor fabric is also a great example of where to use woven elastic.
Tips for sewing with woven elastic
Use a size 80-90 needle when sewing woven elastics on heavy fabrics.
If sewing elastic directly to fabric, use a stretch stitch on your machine or a narrow zig-zag stitch.
(There maybe other types of woven elastics in packages- this is what was at JoAnn’s on the day this photo was taken. 😄)
Woven Elastics F.A.Q’s
Can you sew thru Woven Elastic?
YES- You can sew woven elastic directly to fabric.
Woven elastic does keep it’s original width when stretched which is why it works great when sewing elastic directly onto your fabric.
Are there different colors of woven elastics?
YES- Woven elastic comes in multiple colors and styles for use as exposed decorative elastics.
Can you cut thru woven elastic lengthwise?
NO it is not a good idea because edges fray-elastic won’t be stretchy for long! Check out this video as I cut thru knit and woven elastics lengthwise to check out if elastics will fray or not.
(There maybe other types of woven elastics available by the yard- this is what was at JoAnn’s on the day this photo was taken. 😄)
Functional Types of Woven Elastics
Buttonhole elastic works great for places that need to be adjusted. One place where buttonhole elastic works great is in waistbands; especially for growing kids. You can also use this elastic in the jacket waistbands.
Fold over elastic can be used to finish garments that have stretch fabric edges. Can be bought in a package or by the yard.
Ribbed elastic(Non-roll) is most commonly used for waistbands, leg and sleeve cuffs. can be bought in a package or by the yard.
Underwear and PJ elastic has a soft texture making it ideal for Undies & Pj’s.
The , 10-20-30 Minutes to Sew Book , by Nancy Zieman, has a great section about Elastics:
Information about Elastics within this book:
Introduction Photo of Elastic types
Non-Roll and Braided Elastic Techniques
Three-Row Elastic Casing
Action Wear Waistband
How to use a product called Seams Great to use for Elastic Casing
There is also a Giant section on Specialty Elastics including Stitch & Stretch elastic, buttonhole elastic, drawcord elastic, stretch lingerie lace PLUS a few more elastic types…
I have this book and what is awesome about this book is there are plenty of “how-to” directions and photos in this book. This book is well worth the purchase and it a great book to have as reference whether you are just beginning sewing or need a refresher. Click on the image below for more information!
Here is a great article by Sewing and Craft Alliance that talks about elastic.
**Just remember to think about the weight of the fabric by looking at the suggested fabrics on the pattern and then choose the correct type of elastic for the fabric you will use.
Use Woven Elastic for Medium-Heavy to Heavy weight Fabrics.
Thanks for reading and Happy Sewing to you!