Types of Elastic

Types of Elastic

There are three basic types of elastic: braided, woven, and knitted. These refer to the different methods of construction that give the resulting elastics different properties as well as how the yarns are put together to create the elastic. Within each type, there may be variations of elastic patterns and end-uses. ie heavy-duty, soft-sided, grip ridges.

Braided Elastic

Braided elastic is the easiest to roll compared to the knitted or woven elastic. Visually it has parallel ridges that run the length of the elastic. It will narrow as it stretches and the ridges give this some grip as well. Best to use in casings not sewed onto/into fabrics, it will lose some of the stretch if it is sewn through the braided elastic. If you are using it for a waistband, best to use a knitted elastic over braided elastic as it tends towards rolling. Necklines, sleeves, and other areas where rolling is not of a concern, then you may be able to go for the cheaper option.

Knitted Elastic

Knitted elastic is softer to woven or braided elastic and hold its width when pulled. Wonderful sew on properties and rolls better than woven. Mid-weight to light fabrics suit it best and handles being sewn through by a needle making it perfect for sewing on applications. When it comes to cutting, we recommend a 90-95% cut of the intended length to get the desired grip ie negative ease. Perfect for brassiere bands or waistbands. 

In light of the current global issues, knitted elastic has been used for face masks 4mm & 6mm for single-use face masks, with the 8mm & 10mm being used for multi-use face masks. Face shields often use 19/25/28/32mm sizes depending on the weight and end purpose of the face shield. 

Woven Elastic

Popular is industrial use clothing, as it is the firmest of the elastic construction methods. When pulled, it retains the width, but be careful, this type needs a cut to be exactly what you intend to make contact with (zero ease), no less, as it is not as forgiving as knitted elastic. Negative ease means that the finished garment measures smaller than the body in a specific area. Zero ease means that the finished garment measures exactly the same as the body in a specific area. Please cut the elastic to the body measurement where the waist hits, not any less.