Looking for the best sewing elastic for your projects? Here below I will be explaining how you can find them, and hopefully, in the future, you can help someone else out when they are at the same stage you’re in now.
Elastic is made from a variety of rubber cores that are fixed together or wrapped in a blend of fiber threads, such as nylon, cotton, or polyester. Its exterior threads are then braided, knitted, or woven together to make elastic. Now, one thing you have to look for is that different elastics can have either less or more stretch. Good quality elastic will stretch more than twice its length and then be able to return to its original form. Its quality and behavior when stretching will be determined by its construction and fiber content.
When writing this blog post, I understand that many of my readers might be newly interested in sewers, kids, etc. I plan to break it down the best sewing elastic by explaining the main types of elastic that are available, what’s good characteristics about them, and when you should use a certain type.
Top 10 Best Sewing Elastic Choices
1. Braided Elastic
You should consider this the cheap stuff. This type of elastic loses it’s stretch and shape when you attempt to sew through it. It‘s only really useful when you are using a casing and don’t need a stronghold. Personally, if I were to use this it would be for sleeve hems or sometimes even loose gathered necklines.
Sample Customer Review…This is a 1/4″ soft elastic that I use to make cloth masks. This elastic has a slight stretch to it making it perfect for around the ears. I find that the thinner elastic cuts into the ear and can irritate them. I have made over 50 masks and it seems like the roll of elastic never gets smaller. When I run out I will definitely be purchasing again, these are the best!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
2. Knit Elastic
This type of elastic is a soft and lightweight substance that can be used in direct contact with your skin. It also doesn’t narrow when you stretch it, and you can sew through it without wearing out the elastic. If you are looking for a strong garment that can be great for a majority of fabrics (best suited for lightweight), then this is elastic for you.
Sample Customer Reviews…It seems like every sewing project I’ve undertaken recently needed two or three packs of elastic from my local fabric store. This big roll means I have enough for several projects and honestly, it cost as much as a few small packs. This is meant to be inside a casing but it’s soft enough to not feel binding in clothing. It is perfect and does its job well. Great buy!!Read more at Amazon.com.
3. Buttonhole Elastic
This type of elastic is great for being used in waistbands. Since it has buttonholes the tightness of the waistband can then be adjusted by looping another buttonhole over an interior button.
Sample Customer Reviews…Love this stuff! I just sewed it into my daughter’s school uniform bottoms (they were too big) and they’re going to fit her today, and still be able to grow with her for at least two years!! I also sew this elastic into my own pants and jeans (I just make one snip to the top layer of the material inside the waistband, feed the elastic in, make another snip to the material again above the brand tag still inside the waistband so that I can pull the elastic out and also feed it back in, then my last snip is on the other side where I pull the elastic out again. I sew a button on each side and pull the elastic to the desired tightness before securing it to each button. And then, wah-la, I have an adjustable waistband (or belt inside the pants). It’s genius! I’ve been able to prevent having to constantly hike my pants up and I love that I don’t need to wear a bulky belt.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
4. Fold-Over Stretch Elastic
This fold-over elastic is made from spandex, making it very stretchy and suitable for multiple uses. The ribbon is 10 yards long giving you enough elastic for multiple projects. This stretchy fold-over elastic is great for headbands, cloth diapers, and finishing raw edges. It comes in a variety of colors ranging from neutrals to brighter colors.
- Width: ⅝ inches
- Length: 10 Yards
- Material: Spande
Sample Customer Reviews… I’m in healthcare & I use this for my face shield head strap. Comfortable, fun color, and quick/easy/cheap to replace, I just cut another length. The cleaners we use are harsh on most materials, but even with spraying and soaking with hospital-grade cleaners frequently, both the color and the elastic have held up well. It is a great alternative to the traditional elastic to use for masks. A lot softer & more comfortable. It also comes in a wide variety of colors.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
5. Swimwear Elastic
This type of elastic has become popular for many sewers dealing with swimwear. It is labeled as safe for saltwater, chlorine, and suntan oil. The product has good temperature endurance to save you the trouble of the elastic stretching out of shape.
Sample Customer Reviews…I sew a lot of dancewear and these have been fabulous for sewing into the straps. I immediately purchased a second spool after trying out the first one. This is my new go-to for elastic and will be buying from them in the future.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
6. Clear Elastic
Clear elastic is a rubber-free, synthetic product that can stretch four times its length. It’s usually used to sew into the fabric, without the use of a casing. This type of elastic is used to stabilize seams, such as necklines to prevent them from stretching out.
Sample Customer Reviews… If you sew a lot of knits, you need this to help stabilize the seams. I’ve used this to make a swimsuit and a couple of shirts with plenty remaining on the spool. I wouldn’t use this as strap elastic because I need more support but for a smaller chested lady, this would work very well. Plus the price is right for the amount you receive. I love this product and will be buying from them again!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
7. Elastic Thread
This is a thread that you can use with more stretchy materials like jersey cotton or elastic. Elastic thread is thicker than a normal thread and it will stretch more. This type of thread can be used in your sewing machine bobbin with regular thread in the top stitch since the elastic thread will be too thick to be threaded in the machine. An example of what elastic threads is great for are elastic waistbands or swimsuit material.
Sample Customer Reviews…After researching the availability of “elastic” threads both online and on Amazon I soon discovered that not all thread that claimed to be elastic was and not all threads were of the quality and width I was looking for. It should be thin or as close as possible to sewing thread but as stretchy as elastic and be of quality fiber and strength. I also purchased at the same time another elastic thread that was economical for the quantity of the spool, but the quality was NOT EVEN comparable to this one, nor worth ruining your hard work for just to save a few dollars. I am thrilled with the quality of this authentic elastic sewing thread! The size is perfectly thin, less than 0.5 mm if compared with the other purchased thread but wider than regular sewing thread. The purpose of my purchase was to knit it into the ribbed cuffs of my personal luxury 100% Cashmere knitting projects (leg warmers, winter ear muffs/headbands, glove cuffs, sock cuffs, etc), for better form and fit. It works brilliantly! I’m so happy to have finally found the perfect elastic thread! WORTH EVERY PENNY!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
8. Underwear Elastic
Where your undergarment plastic is placed is important. The elastic has to be allowed to let there be breathing room for perspiration to escape and to dry so you don’t have any problems with your skin.
Sample Customer Reviews… This elastic is miraculous. So far, I’ve revived one pair of sweat pants, one pair of shorts, and two pairs of capris. Other than the elastic giving out, all the clothing listed is in good condition and very comfortable, so rather difficult for me to give them up. Now I don’t have to! I have plenty left to rescue many more items in similar conditions, so my rejuvenation project continues… Very happy so far. And the shipping was fast too!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
9. Woven Elastic
Woven elastic is strong and is the strongest elastic than the ones mentioned before. It is labeled as a “no-roll” elastic because of its distinctive horizontal and vertical ribs. This elastic is usually used on heavier fabrics, such as home decorating fabric, even canvas, etc. It does not narrow when stretched, and you can sew through it without destroying any of the fibers.
Sample Customer Reviews…I am a DIY person and I wanted to make a 3-inch wide elastic loop to put on my sun visor to hold items. I took a chance on the i-craft 3-inch wide elastic band in gray that matched my visor color. It cut easily and it hand sewed without tearing out at the seam. I used a handheld lighter to lightly melt the two sewn ends when I finished to keep the ends from fraying… Holds together really well and looks good. Elastic is thick and has a firm, not over stretchy response. I would recommend this to anyone, a great buy!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
10. Elastic Cording and Thread
This type of material is made from fiber yarns that are knitted around a stretchy core. It’s a thin elastic sewing thread that is used to create shirrings, gatherings, and smocking’s on lighter fabrics. There are two types of cords you can use. If you want to use the heavier ones you can put them on the button loops and put them with very narrow casings. However, if you want to use thinner cords, then you can use these for beading when you are jewelry making. The thinner cords are not recommended if you want to use it for clothing.
Sample Customer Reviews…I used this for thousands of masks I made and donated to hospitals and the community and it was better than the wide elastic for ears. Can be used in many other ways also. The quality is so great on this product, it was a great buy. You need to get this!!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
Best Sewing Elastic Uses
Underwear, Pajamas, & Lingerie Elastic
For underwear and pajamas, you want a type of elastic that will be soft since it will be in direct contact with your skin. It’s important if you are using elastic for these direct contact purposes that you use something that can stretch and return to its original form so it can be comfortable for the user. When using lingerie, you want something that will be heat resistant so it won’t shrink. It should have the ability to either be inserted into the fabric or sewn in so it can come in contact with your skin.
Other types of uses
Baby elastic should be made specifically for baby clothing. It should be heat resistant and be able to stretch and return to form. If you are looking for a decorative touch, this material will usually come in a fold-over style.
When you’re looking for swimwear you should look for a type of elastic that will be labeled as safe saltwater, chlorine, and sunscreen. Another thing you should be aware of is that if you don’t get a swimsuit that is heat resistant it can shrink if you ever go to a hot tub. In conclusion, for this type of attire, you should be looking for clear and lightweight elastic.
Lastly, for sports clothing or equipment, you want to look for elastic that will be resistant to perspiration and can be able to be machine washed. It would be a shame if you got material that when washed would lose its original shape and elasticity.
Lastly, I will leave you all with some tips when using thes best sewing elastic options:
- Always follow the pattern to find out the correct elastic length to use.
- Before you make your final cuts always stretch out your elastic. Doing so will help prevent your elastic from becoming loose in the future.
- To not create any tears you should use a ballpoint needle.
- Use a zig-zag stitch or stretch stitch when sewing an elastic to a fabric. When you do this it allows your elastic to stretch.
- Keep your elastic out of sunlight when you store it.
Written and Edited by: Claudio Hudtwalcker
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