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Your Guide To Working With Stretchy Fabrics

Nowadays, you can find fabrics with all kinds of properties and unique characteristics. One of the fabric types you will encounter is stretchable fabric. It is made from elasticated fabric fibres such as spandex, lycra and even elastane. Of course, there is much to know about these fabrics and how they are used in crafting. If this is your first time working with a stretchy fabric, be sure to read through our comprehensive guide to stretch fabric below.

What Are Stretchable Fabric Fibres Made Of?

Stretchable fabrics such as lycra, elastane and spandex are made from a synthetic fibre. The synthetic fibre in question is called polymer-polyurethane rubber. While it is important to remember that all these fabrics are made from the same source material, it is vital to remember that they can have different properties.

What Is The Difference Between 2-Way and 4-Way Stretch?

When you are looking for a stretch fabric, you may encounter the terms 2-way and 4-way stretch. A 2-way stretch fabric basically consists of a single warp stretch or a single weft stretch. Because of this particular weave, the stretch fabric will have some expansion, but it will not return to its original size that easily.

Opposed to 2-way stretch, 4-way stretch has a lot more give and can return to its original size. Because of this additional stretch, they are most commonly used for sportswear.

In addition to 2-way stretch and 4-way stretch, you can encounter the term 1-way stretch too. Since there are many fabrics that can fall under this category, you only need to remember that these fabrics have very little stretch. In terms of percentage, they will never exceed 30% where stretch is concerned.

Can I Find Lace And Tulle With Stretch Properties?

When you think about stretchy materials, the last thing you think about is lace or tulle. However, it is actually possible to get these materials with some stretch in it. Manufacturers can produce these fabrics by including lycra or elastane in the production of lace of tulle. However, it is important to note that the addition of stretchable fabric fibres can make these materials a little less durable.

What Is The Best Way To Sew With Stretchy Fabrics?

Evidently, the types of needles you use in your sewing machine and even the thread can have a positive or negative influence on stretchy fabrics. Here are some of the most important things to remember when you sew with stretchy fabric.

Needle type: Not all needles are suitable for stretch fabric. When the needle in question is too sharp, it can rip and damage the fabric as you are sewing. For stretch fabric, you should always use a ballpoint needle. The ballpoint needle has a rounded tip and is less likely to damage this delicate material.

Stitch type: The zig zag stitch is usually best for a stretchy fabric. With most stitches, you will find that your fabric will start to stretch around your seam, which is something you do not want. On the contrary, a zig zag stitch will keep your seam and your fabric in place.

Thread type: We usually recommend a good polyester thread for stretchy fabrics. The reason for that is quite simple. Polyester thread has a slight amount of stretch, which enables it to stretch with your fabric.

Cutting technique: It may be tempting to stretch the fabric for easier cutting, but this is not a good idea. If you stretch your fabric, your measurements will be completely off. So, put your fabric onto a flat surface and cut it accordingly.

Before you cut or sew with stretchy fabric, be sure to check for any curled corners. If there are any curls on the edges, use an iron to eliminate those edges before you continue.

Stretchy Fabrics From Spotlight

Spotlight has an amazing range of stretchy fabrics. Of course, you can also count on some really sharp prices per metre. If you want to take advantage of some high-quality stretchy fabrics, you will find them in this section of our catalogue.

Don't forget! We have other categories with different fabric types, sewing supplies and much more. Visit them too for some big deals today!



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