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 9 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. Pros

  • Great for using with casings
  • Useful for sleeve hems


  • Loses stretch & shape when you try to sew through it
  • You need a stronghold

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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 the elastic for you.Pros

  • Soft against skin
  • Doesn’t narrow when stretched
  • Great for light to mid-weight fabrics


  • Not great for heavier fabrics

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3. 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 shirring’s, 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 it on the button loops and put it 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. Pros

  • Comfortable against the skin
  • Great stretchability
  • Good for making loops for button-fitting area


  • Small in size
  • Not good for the rigors of sewing or laundering

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4. 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.Pros

  • Strong elastic
  • Great for casings in garments
  • Doesn’t narrow when stretched


  • Shouldn’t use it for lighter stuff

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5. 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. Pros

  • Can stretch three to four times its length
  • Great for swimwear and lingerie
  • Doesn’t lose shape


  • Not good for casings

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6. 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. Pros

  • Great for shirring/gathering fabric
  • Lots of stretch


  • If you wind too much the elastic your bobbin could break

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7. 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. Pros

  • Good for chlorine, saltwater, and suntan oil
  • Keeps shape
  • Can go three to four times its original length


  • You have to read the label
  • Need right temperature endurance

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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.Pros

  • Allows for perspiration to escape
  • Soft on skin
  • Can stretch and return to original form


  • Can’t stretch too far

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9. 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.Pros

  • Great for children’s clothing and maternity clothing
  • Allows you to adjust the fit of the elastic
  • Allow for button-fitting


  • Requires an opening in the elastic casing

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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.