Elastic is a material made from a series of rubber, wrapped in polyester, nylon, and cotton to hold your garment together. It is a vital element in the sewing world that offers great convenience when you are stitching garments or introducing adjustments in between. Different elastics across the market are designed to serve a distinct purpose based on the size, thickness, width, and fabric used in the construction.
Thus, having so many options often confuse sewers (especially newcomers) as to which one is the best for them and suits their project’s requirements. Here, it is important to consider some essential features from size to fabric, and the purpose one is designed for. Therefore, here is a review guide of the top 6 sewing elastics in 2021 alongside a buying guide based on different types, sizes, and purposes they are designed for.
Things To Consider Before Buying Sewing Elastic
Using a sewing elastic facilitates you in keeping a hold of your fabric ideally and introducing adjustments and flexibility to your garments. Elastic is an important element of sewing that helps you in keeping the fabric in one place. Thus, here is a complete and detailed guide on different types of elastics you can find across the market and some buying instructions that can ultimately help you in making a buying decision;
What is a Sewing Elastic? Why do Sewers Use It?
Elastic is a stretchable material used to create a flexible opening in fabrics and garments. These things are designed for stretch and recovery (coming back to their original shape). There are a variety of sewing elastics present in the market for different purposes, such as swimsuits, costumes, lightweight fabrics, and heavy fabrics that require a strong and quality hold. Now, you can also find elastic threats to sew through the fabric and buttonholes elastics to do the desired job.
You can sew these elastics through the fabric or use them in a case, depending on its overall nature and material used in the construction. Different elastics serve distinct purposes ranging from custom designing, lingerie, regular clothes, heavy fabrics, and much more. Here is a detailed account of different types of elastics for sewing and their usage that can help you decide which one to go for.
Types of Sewing Elastics
Here are some of the basic types of sewing elastics that can help you understand for which projects you can these;
- Braided Elastic
First of all, the braided elastic is the regular narrow elastic all sewers have that gets narrower when stretched. Many users usually find it useful when there is no extreme need for a hold as it loses its stretch over time. So, if you are going for a cost-effective elastic that you can use for sleeves and hem, this one is a well-suited option to go for.
- Knit Elastic
Likewise, although it looks similar to a braided one, it has an appropriate hold, strength and is soft to be used for most of the fabrics. It is a quality and appropriate option for lightweight garments that require an improved hold but doesn’t lose the stretch with time. These elastics can be used with a casing or even directly on the fabric. If you are into custom designing such as dance dresses or swimsuits, knit elastic is the one to go for. These also come in wider pieces that can be used for waistbands and other similar applications.
- Woven Elastic
Furthermore, also known as non-roll elastic, this woven elastic is famous for its strong hold and thick construction that goes well with almost all the fabrics, heavy or light. This elastic is usually used for heavy fabrics and for home decorations such as canvases and upholstery. This elastic comes in both crosswire and ribs form with a weaving pattern from which you can choose. Also, it is suitably lightweight and doesn’t narrow on stretching. However, it can be sewed through the fabric as there is no danger of damaging the fibers of your clothes. You can also use it in casing according to preference.
Specialty Elastics for Sewing
These special elastics are designed to help you with particular requirements your project’s demands;
- Lingerie Elastic
These elastics generally come under the category of knitted elastics and are used for specific purposes. Most commonly, you would find these with delicate and decorative edges and lace patterns. These things come in two different sides, from which the soft one is designed to face the skin and is not used in the casing. However, still, you can choose the way to use it based on your preference.
- Fold-Over Elastics
FOEs, Fold-Over Elastics, or elastic ribbons are the most commonly used elastics for hair accessories such as ponytails and hair ties. These things come in a variety of colors and patterns and look more like a ribbon. It is designed to give a depression from the middle so that it bends and folds easily in half. While using these elastics, many sewers prefer to use these with zigzags and cover stitches. You can also use these on sleeves, necklines, waistbands, children’s clothes, and so on.
- Clear Elastic
It is the most popular transparent polyurethane elastic that is rubber-free and different from all other types. It is a synthetic elastic that stretches phenomenally three to four times its own length and offers great recovery when it comes to its original size. However, it is not used in casing and is only recommended to be sewn directly within the fabric. This is used for costume designing, lingerie, and for swimsuits that require a quality hold with no visible straps.
Other Modern Types
Here are some of the modern or contemporary options across the markets;
- Fashion Elastic
These are contemporary types of elastics that are becoming more and more popular among sewers. You can find these in different prints and colors according to your preference. These are also affordable and go well with skirts, frocks, and dresses. These are also used in a variety of baby diapers covers that conceal the diaper within.
- Elastic Thread
Here comes the commonly used and sewer’s favorite elastic thread, known for its number of uses. Most of the time, it is used for gathering fabric and shirring purposes. For this purpose, you will have to use the thread in the bobbin and sew parallel lines (approximately 16 to 20).
- ButtonHole Elastics
If you have newborns or small kids, you might be familiar with these elastics. These are contemporary types of elastics that are designed for adjustable waistbands in a variety of jeans and shorts. So, instead of using belts, many garments come with these buttonhole elastics that incorporate different holes after every inch for adjustments. However, you can use it anywhere based on the project requirements and your preference.
It is Important to Pick the Right Type
While buying a top-quality elastic for sewing, it is significant to look for something that perfectly suits your project’s requirements. First of all, you should consider whether it will be sewed through the fabric directly or within the casing. Once you are done with this, go to the weight of the fabric, whether the one you are using is light, heavy, or is moderately weighted.
This is important as the ultimate decision of buying an elastic is directly influenced by the weight of your fabric as knit elastic is a great choice for light fabrics, or if you have a heavy fabric, I would recommend you go for the braided or woven elastic. If you are using it for a specific purpose, such as lingerie, hems, smocking, sleeves, or swimsuits, you can go for the one that is appropriate for the tasks (either a baby elastic or a fold-over one depending on the task)
Pick the Right Size
Similarly, while you are buying an elastic, you must consider a size that best suits the garment you are using. Here, your decision should be based on the casing size, insertion area of your fabric, and the part of the garment where you are going to use the elastic. For instance, if you are using an elastic for the neckline, I would recommend you go for a thinner one such as braided or narrow elastic. Likewise, for hems and waistbands, you can go for woven elastics and so on based on the purpose.
Cutting the Sewing Elastic Lengthwise
Many users want to cut their elastics lengthwise to serve their purpose instead of buying a new one. However, the general thumb rule suggests not to cut it this way as it can impact the overall stretch and recovery of your garment. Yet, it is to notice that some of the elastics don’t show any change and can bear a cut lengthwise quite ideally, such as knitted elastics or the ones that are relatively thicker and have a better recovery.
Here, to understand your elastic, try to test it by making a small cut and checking whether it comes to its original position in the same amount of time or not. If everything is okay, you can proceed further. To cut it lengthwise, it is important to consider the overall stretch of your elastic such as thinner elastic is more reliable than wider ones in this scenario. Finally, based on your purpose and recovery of the elastic you are going for, you can cut it in emergency situations when there is no alternative.
In conclusion, after having comprehensive knowledge about the primary types of sewing elastics and essential features of these, you can ideally choose the one that suits your requirements.
Top 6 Sewing Elastics in 2021
Tbwisher Elastic Band
To begin with, this TBwisher is one of the best elastic bands for sewing that is efficient, versatile, and equally durable. It is present in black color and serves a number of purposes, making it a great choice for home sewers who are invested in many projects at a time. Additionally, it is best known for its flexibility and better recovery that makes it stand among others.
Likewise, it is worth notice that this one comes with 10 yards of elastic and can be cut lengthwise according to your preference. It is further made up of high-quality woven polyester that makes it extremely durable and suits most of the fabrics out there. Also, the fact that it can easily be washed in a machine adds value to it.
In the end, the manufacturers have used spandex for the construction, known for its breathability and ultra-fine fibers that don’t get damaged. So, you can ideally sew it directly through the fabric or in a casing. Speaking of the usage, you can use it pretty much for everything from necklines to waistbands, laces, bags, home decoration projects, and so on.
- Offers great durability / breathability
- Offers impressive versatility
- It is machine-washable
- You can cut it lengthwise
- It is not soft enough
In essence, this one from Tbwisher is a well-suited option for hobbyists or home sewers who are looking for a versatile elastic band. It provides the users with a quick recovery, durability and can be cut lengthwise according to your preference. Additionally, it is machine-washable and offers great breathability that helps you throughout with convenience and long-lasting usage.
Airisoer Elastic Bands
Secondly, this elastic band for sewing from Airisoer is the one you need for regular use with absolute durability and flexibility without any deformation. It comes in white color and offers a notable amount of elastic that can be used for the longest time. Also, it can be used for a number of purposes and can easily be cut into your preferred size.
Likewise, it comes in 1 inch with 12 yards of elastic that is enough to last you for long. Additionally, it is thick enough and offers you great elasticity with exceptional recovery. Thus, it can be cut lengthwise to be used in a preferred manner. All being said, I have been using it for waistbands, pants, swimsuits, and DIY projects and haven’t noticed any deformation over time.
Last but not least, it is made up of polyester silk and natural latex that offers great safety and doesn’t bother you with synthetic odor. Also, it is soft enough to accommodate you with comfort and breathability. I also really like the neatly rolled packing that offers great convenience as you can cut the size you need easily.
- Offers impressive flexibility
- It uses soft rubber and silk
- It comes with 12 yards
- Offers great durability
- Used for multiple purposes
- Complains about cutting
- Not strong enough
Wrapping up, if you are looking for an elastic band that can not only last you long but offers great versatility, this is the one to go for. I really like the length of this one that can be used for regular tasks ideally. Furthermore, it is soft and breathable enough to help you with breathability. The natural rubber used in this band gives it an edge over others and doesn’t present you with a problem of unnecessary odor.
COTTILE Elastic Cord
If you are in search of a narrow option that can be used for light fabrics and masks utilized by a handheld sewing machine, I would suggest this Cottile cord. This one is designed with premium material that provides you with impressive elasticity and is easy to work with. Here, it is worth mentioning that you are getting 25 yards of braided elastic at an affordable price, making it a great option for regular DIYs.
Moreover, it comes with ¼ elastic for sewing in white and black color that you can ideally use for DIY projects. I have used this one for masks, sleeves, hems, necklines, and other common DIYs and haven’t noticed any deformation and loosening over time. I also find it easy to cut and use as it is narrower than usual and can be conveniently washed in the machine.
Lastly, speaking of the construction, it is made up of polyester fiber and woven latex that is exceptionally soft. After using it for quite some time, I can say that it feels comfortable and doesn’t leave marks afterward. Finally, I would like you to know that considering this is a braided elastic; it has phenomenal elasticity that can stretch 80% ideally.
- It is exceptionally soft
- Offers great breathability
- It is machine-washable
- A great option for DIYs
- Offers impressive elasticity
- Not the best for durability
In essence, if you want a narrow elastic cord for DIY projects that is machine-washable and doesn’t bother you with synthetic smell, this Cottile one is a great option to go for. It is best known for its ¼ inches size, flexibility, and comfort that facilitate you in the best manner. Lastly, it is extremely easy to work with, making it a great deal for me.
Elastic Rope/Elastic Cord Heavy Stretch
Here comes another ¼ inch elastic cord with breathability, sturdy construction, and absolute elasticity to serve you well. It is a popular choice for DIY projects as it is made up of top-notch natural rubber, with which you do not have to worry about the smell and durability. Additionally, it is ideally stretchy that can last you long.
Talking about the construction, it is woven polyester elastic that is incredibly stretchy and helps you with durability. I have been using this for a month and haven’t experienced any deformation overall; however, there were some issues in overlapping the ends (rarely). It comes in a ¼ inch size and includes 10 yards of elastic, which was enough for me.
In the end, it is machine-washable and easy to work with, which adds to the convenience. All in all, it can be used for most of the home DIYs such as masks, waistbands, sleeves, hems, and so on. However, I would recommend you not to use it for heavy fabrics. Finally, it is equally breathable, making it a great option for light fabrics and costumes.
- Offers great elasticity
- Includes natural rubber
- It doesn’t bother you with the smell
- It is breathable/soft
- Complains about overlapping ends
- Not the best in durability
In conclusion, if you are a beginner who wants to experiment with different DIYs, this one from Elastic Rope is a well-suited option for you. It provides you with great elasticity, is soft and breathable enough to accommodate you with comfort. I also found it convenient and easy to work with. Lastly, the fact that this is machine-washable makes it a great choice.
Sewing Elastic Band 3/4 Inch Wide
First of all, this one from Myuren is a wide elastic band for sewing with all the right features that can serve you well. It comes in black and white color with a scope to use it for multiple applications. Additionally, the highlights of this band would be its impressive elasticity, quality construction and size that helps you throughout.
Secondly, it is made up of polyester and natural rubber fabric that is durable and doesn’t bother you with unnecessary odor. I also found it soft and breathable, which adds points to its overall comfort. Additionally, it is worth noting that it doesn’t get narrow when stretched and offers you impressive elasticity without deformation.
Finally, it comes in 10 yards (5 yards each color) with machine-washable construction, making it an appropriate option for anyone looking for a reliable option. Speaking of the usage, it offers great versatility as it is designed with a thickness that can be cut lengthwise. So, you can ideally use it for most of the applications ranging from decorations, costume designing, and home DIYs.
- Offers impressive durability
- It is soft / breathability
- Ideal for multiple applications
- Offers great elasticity
- Feels comfortable throughout
- Not the strongest hold
- Not for really heavy fabric
In essence, if you are in search of a reliable elastic band that can last you long, this is the one to go for. It is one of the best natural fabric elastic bands with impressive elasticity, breathability, softness, and comfort, not to mention it is machine-washable. I also really like the overall durable construction that can be used for almost everything from home decoration to garments and costume designing.
3 Yards 1/2″ 3/4″ 1″ Mixed Size White Flat Elastic Band
This one offers ½ elastic for sewing with all the correct features that can serve you ideally. It is a plain, flat white elastic band with quality construction that can be used for a number of purposes. Furthermore, the fact that it can be cut to a preferred size makes it a great option for home sewers, especially newcomers who are looking for a reliable option.
Likewise, this one is made up of natural rubber and nylon that is durable enough to last you for long. Moreover, I found it breathable and comfortable; however, it is not the softest you can find in the market. It is machine-washable and easy to work with, which also adds points to the overall convenience.
In the end, it is specifically designed for costume-related crafts such as trousers, frocks, and other accessories. You should also consider that this one is not suitable for medium to heavy fabrics. Still, I have seen it be used in sleep bags, tents, toys, and jewelry. All in all, it comes with 3 yards of fabric that is enough to last you for a variety of projects.
- Ideal for costume designing
- Offers great comfort
- It is machine-washable
- Offers great durability
- Includes impressive elasticity
- Not the softest
- It only offers 3 yards
Finally, if you are looking for something to be used in camping accessories and costumes, this is the one to go for. I really like this one because it is not only easy to work with but offers great durability. Overall, I didn’t notice any deformation even after quite some time. It is also durable enough to last you for the longest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best elastic for sewing?
TbWisher is one of the best elastic for sewing and has all the essential features that can serve you well. It incorporates natural polyester and soft rubber spandex that is durable, breathable, and machine-washable. Additionally, it is used for multiple purposes, from home decors to customers, and heavy fabric, making it ideally versatile.
What is the best elastic for waistbands?
Cottile elastic cord is a braided elastic that can be used for a variety of applications such as waistbands, necklines, swimsuits, light fabrics, and so on. It is made up of natural rubber that is exceptionally soft and offers great durability. Also, it can be cut lengthwise to suit your task’s requirements. Lastly, the fact that it is machine-washable adds value to it.
Can you cut a sewing elastic lengthwise?
The general rule says that you should not cut your elastic lengthwise. However, if there is some emergency, there are a few alternatives out there that you can cut according to preference. Here, if your elastic is thick enough to resist any deformation on cutting, it is safe to go for cutting. Still, it is better to do a patch test by cutting a small piece of it to check whether your elastic can tolerate cutting or not.
What are the types of sewing elastics?
There are a variety of sewing elastics present in the market based on the size and fabric. The basic elastics you can find in the market are probably knitted, braided, or woven. These are designed for different purposes (braided for light fabrics, woven for heavy, and knitted for regular tasks), so you can choose the one that suits your needs.
How to choose the best sewing elastic in 2021?
To find the right elastic that suits your requirements and serves you well, there are some things you must consider. First of all, you should look for the right size that is compatible with the insertion area of your fabric. Additionally, it is important to have a soft and durable fabric that can hold your garment well.
Wrapping up, there was a brief account of sewing elastics and their types you can find in the market. Sewing elastics are a great alternative to hold your fabric. After having basic knowledge about these things, you can find the best one that suits your individual needs. However, having so many options can overwhelm newcomers who are looking for a reliable product that helps them in a variety of fabrics.
Likewise, the following review guide offers you a detailed account of the merits of each product and for what purpose you can use these. Here, it is important to consider some essential features from size to fabric, and the purpose one is designed for. Some of my favorites here are;
- COTTILE Elastic Cord is one of the best for home sewers with great breathability, impressive elasticity, and is easy to work with.
- Sewing Elastic Band 3/4 Inch Wide is known for its natural construction, breathability, durability, and you can cut it lengthwise for multiple purposes.
- Tbwisher Elastic Band is famous for its variety of applications, natural construction with no odor, and impressive elasticity.
I hope that you will find the best sewing elastic that suits your individual requirements.