Hey y’all, in keeping with this month’s theme of what’s underneath? today we’re going to talk about types of elastic. Being confronted with a wall of elastic or hundreds of online choices can be intimidating for a beginner, so today’s post is meant to demystify those choices.
Types of Elastic
There are three basic types of elastic: braided, woven and knitted. These refer to how the yarns are put together, and the different methods of construction give the resulting elastics different properties.
Elastic braided tape has lengthwise, parallel ridges. Those ridges make this elastic have more grip but they also mean that braided elastic tends to narrow as it is stretched. Braided elastic also rolls more easily than woven or knitted elastics, and tends to lose stretch if it is sewn through. For this reason braided elastic rope is typically recommended for use in casings, not for sewing directly to fabric. But in some casings (like waists) braided elastic isn’t the best choice because of its tendency toward rolling. It’s better in sleeves, necklines, or other areas where rolling isn’t a big issue.
Knitted elastic tape is made by knitting the fibers together. Knitted elastic tends to be softer than braided or woven elastic, and it retains its width when stretched. It also works well even when pierced by needles, so it’s a good choice for sew on applications. It rolls more than woven elastic, but less than braided elastic. Since this elastic is softer, it’s suitable for light to midweight fabrics, but doesn’t have the grip needed for heavier fabrics. With knit elastic, I may cut the elastic slightly shorter than the finished measurement in order to have it grip properly, particularly when I use it for waistbands or bra bands.
Also referred to as non-roll elastic, woven elastic tape is usually the firmest of the three basic elastic types. It retains width as it is stretched, and is suitable for sew on applications as well as use in casings. Because it tends to be very firm, it is also suitable for heavier weight fabrics. I generally don’t cut woven elastic with much negative ease, because it will pull too much. In other words, if I’m using it in a waistband, I’ll cut the elastic to the body measurement where the waist hits, not any less.
The zipper is such a great invention no dressmaker can ever imagine what life in the sewing room would be like without the zipper. Then of course the famous zipper needs a useful foot to ensure it sews up perfectly. That’s where the zipper foot makes its entrance. If you are going to sew a zipper into your garment don’t attempt this process without a zipper foot. The zipper foot enables the sewing needle to stitch close to the raised edge of the zipper. The gadget itself can be attached to the machine’s presser foot shaft. The zipper foot has the added advantage of being able to attach to the right or the left side of the presser foot holder. Use your zipper foot to insert piping as well as cording.
There are two types of sewing pins. The most commonly used is the straight pin, also know as the hemming pin or basting pin. The key facets of straight pins that differ and can help you choose the type you need are length, thickness, and type of head and tip. The metal or finish of the straight pin is typically brass, steel, nickel, or a combination thereof. The metal used with sewing pins determines whether the pins will stick to a magnet - a plus for making sure there are none on the floor. Nickel plating is useful for steel pins as it helps the pin stick to a magnet and prevents it from rusting.
A crochet hook is the basic tool you'll need to get started on your journey as you learn to crochet. Made from metal, plastic or wood with a small hook at one end, crochet hooks are used to turn a lovely skein of yarn into cosy jumpers, snuggly blankets and beautiful home accessories. All crochet hooks have similar basic features, in the same way knitting needles do, but different brands may modify them slightly for extra comfort or a more eye-catching design.