Few people realize just how essential stretchiness is to our everyday comfort. Manufacturers make most clothing articles today using techniques and materials intended to stretch. As such, no clothing crafter should shy away from using stretchy fabrics. To celebrate the importance of this aspect of clothes, we present our five main elastic fabric types and their uses.
When most people think of elastic fabric, their mind likely pictures a roll of thin, stretchy bands. However, what’s available in the crafting section of many retailers is the least impressive of the varieties. Braided elastic tends to curl up when stretched and is coarse. On the other hand, kitted elastic stretches more, doesn’t curl, and feels fine directly against the skin. As such, it’s ideal for just about any project in need of flexibility. Furthermore, high-quality tapes are available from affordable wholesale elastic sellers right here in the USA. There’s no need to pay import fees and high shipping costs to find the best deal.
Of the entries on this list of the five main elastic fabric types and their uses, spandex is one of the most widespread. Most people quickly recognize it for its incredible flexibility. Impressively, spandex can stretch up to 300 percent of its original shape. This ability comes from polyether-polyurea copolymer—a flexible synthetic resin. Its manufacturers create it to flex around the body without being too hot. Most modern spandex is highly breathable and lightweight, making it ideal for sportswear. What’s more, spandex is easy to blend with other materials to lend them stretchiness.
Much like spandex, neoprene is a mix of synthetic resins with a cloth material. However, companies use it almost exclusively to create wetsuits. Many consumers are familiar with it as a standard material of bathing suits. It’s ideal for making summer wear.
While it’s possible to blend rubber or latex with fabric, its usefulness has its limits. Originally, companies painted natural rubber over fabric to create the earliest forms of waterproofing. The logic is still sound today. If you need to add a waterproof element to your project, a patch or strip of latex is ideal. It’s also available in a usable form to seal up certain areas, such as stitching. It’s even possible to purchase a prefabricated waterproof zipper for quick use. The cloth that has this material applied to it attains a small amount of stretch.
Manufacturers proceed with the understanding that a quality knit should include a little give. As such, clothes that have aged can shrink. Also, the knit can degrade in some way, leading to uncomfortably tight clothes. Often, our favorite items to wear are those that adjust to the movements of our bodies. Whether it’s cotton, polyester, or a blend, it’s the fibers’ pattern that makes everyday clothes feel stretchy and comfortable. In particular, jersey knit fabrics are well known for their quality stretch.