Different types of elastic tapes/trims are used in making bras, lingerie, swim wear, masks, shorts, sweaters, belts, suspenders and many other things in sewing. Here are the main types of elastic.
Elastic Beading cord
This is a thin elastic cord meant for stringing beads for making bracelets.It can also be used inside a casing and also for gathering – but remember that the stretch is much lesser than other elastic tapes.
Braided elastic tape
This is an elastic tape which is lightweight. The tape has distinct lengthwise parallel lines on the surface. It can stretch out of shape and get thin if stretched too much. It is used in sewing inside casings, for gathering necklines, waistbands.
This is a soft elastic tape with several buttonholes placed uniformly along the middle – this is used to make the garment adjustable. It is usually used in the waistbands for pants/skirts to make the waistband fit for several sizes and on kids’ clothes to adjust for growth.
Also called Drawstring elastic – This is a elastic tape with a built-in cord. It is usually used on the waistbands of sportswear, shorts, pajamas, lounge pants and on sweatshirt hoodies.
This elastic is used to sew on the sewing machine. It creates a shirred (gathered) effect – the elastic thread is used on the bobbin. Read more on how to shirr using elastic thread here.
Invisible stretch thread/ Clear elastic thread
This is a very thin stretchy elastic thread which is usually used for making jewlery.
Braided elastic cord made of synthetic fibers which is usually used as a drawcord inside casings, for waistbands, bags etc. You may also get it as bracelet string as it can be used to make braided bracelets. It is available in multi colors.
Fold over elastic
This is an elastic binding tape which is used to bind edges of stretch fabrics. It has a mild indentation down the middle to make it easy to fold it to bind.
Flat elastic band – Knit, Ribbed
This is the reguar commonly used elastic tape used inside waistbands, and other casings to gather fabric. It is a thick non roll elastic which can be used with most fabrics. The advantage of this elastic is that it doesnot narrow when it is stretched. A ribbed knit one is used for heavy fabrics. It is available in several sizes.
This is a latex free elastic tape with a soft/plush backing (also called felt-back elastic)- it is usually used on the waistbands of underwears. This elastic tape may have a decorative edge on one edge.
Shoulder strap elastic
A thin soft elastic used to make straps for lingerie.
Picot edged Lingerie elastic
A very pretty elastic usually used as bra straps – these have pretty picots edging either side of the elastic.
Lace edged elastic
This elastic tape will have lace on one edge or either edges. If you search enough you will even get ruffled organza edged elastic and it is very cute.
Stretch lace elastic
This is a lace trim with stretch.
As the name suggests it is a thin (1/4″ or 3/8″) transparent 100% Polyurethane elastic tape. You would have seen it as straps for bras to make it look strapless. It stretches a lot – even stretches to 3 times its original length. It can be used as a stay tape to stabilise the seams of knit fabrics.
Stretch elastic piping
This is an elastic trim with a piping edge. It is usually used to finish necklines and sleeve edges.
Round cord elastic
This is thin elastic encased in a fabric casing. You can get this in many sizes and colors.
This is an soft elastic tape which is usually stitched directly on to the fabric – it is applied to the back of the fabric for gathering. You will usually find them on the waistbands on underwear, boxers.