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What is elastic? To Stretch Or To Streeeetttcccchhhhh...



Elastic used in garments is a flexible, stretchable material designed to provide a snug fit, allow for movement, and maintain the shape of the clothing. It is widely used in various parts of garments to enhance comfort and functionality.


The elastic that we will be talking about in this post is 'braided elastic'. Braided elsatic is usually concealed within a garment and is used for waistbands and the like.


This elastic usually comes on the roll with differing widths.


-  Description:  Features parallel ribs running along its length.

- Characteristics: It narrows when stretched and can be sewn directly to fabric.


As previously mentioned you can get so many widths anywhere from 5mm (0.5cm) to 200mm (and possibly beyond).


5mm is usually used for small straps on lets say a facemask for attaching it around your ears or it could be used as a ruching detail around a neckline, armhole or cuff.


200mm elastic, may be used when making a very high waisted pair of trousers, skirt or a dress detail.


The two examples used was just to demonstrate the uses of elastic and the size use cases.

(examples of braided elastic below)




Braided elastic is chosen for its durability and versatility. It is particularly valued for its ability to provide a strong, secure fit that is comfortable and allows for movement. Its tendency to narrow when stretched makes it ideal for applications where it will be directly sewn into fabric and will undergo frequent stretching and relaxin


Braided elastic is chosen for its durability and versatility. It is particularly valued for its ability to provide a strong, secure fit that is comfortable and allows for movement. Its tendency to narrow when stretched makes it ideal for applications where it will be directly sewn into fabric and will undergo frequent stretching and relaxing.


Braided elastic is used in a variety of contexts and has been a staple in garment manufacturing for decades. It is particularly useful in applications where repeated stretching and relaxation occur, such as waistbands, cuffs, and other areas that need to conform closely to the body. Its usage spans across all seasons and fashion trends due to its fundamental role in providing fit and comfort.


Braided elastic is produced by braiding strands of fiber around a core of rubber or spandex. This process creates the distinctive parallel ribs along the elastic’s length. When sewn into garments, braided elastic is often placed within casings or directly stitched onto the fabric. It is typically cut to the desired length and securely sewn to ensure it provides the necessary stretch and fit.



Summary of where braided elastic is used:

- Waistbands: Used in skirts, trousers, and underwear to provide a secure, adjustable fit.

- Cuffs and Ankles:  Found in the cuffs of sleeves and ankles of trousers to keep fabric close to the body.

- Headbands: Used to create comfortable, stretchy headbands that fit various head sizes.

- Facemasks: Employed in making the ear loops of facemasks, offering flexibility and comfort.

- DIY Projects: Popular in various craft projects where stretch and recovery are needed.


Strengths

- Stretchability: Braided elastic can stretch significantly from its original length, making it ideal for applications requiring flexibility.

- Narrowing: It tends to narrow when stretched, which can be advantageous in certain sewing applications.

- Durability: Resistant to wear and tear, making it suitable for garments that undergo frequent stretching.

- Versatility: Available in various widths and colours to match different garment needs.


In summary, braided elastic is a highly functional and widely used material in garment construction and other textile applications, valued for its durability, flexibility, and ability to provide a snug, comfortable fit.

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