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Choosing The Right Elastic For Your Project

Updated: Jun 4

It's no stretch to say that sewing elastics can be confusing—there are so many kinds of elastic it can be hard to know where to start! Whether you're sewing a waistband, bra band, button loop, or anything in between, we'll help you find the elastic you need to make it happen. Download our Elastic Information Chart below for more information on each style, then shop WAWAK's selection of sewing elastics to find what you need!

Strips of sewing elastic on a wooden table.
Learn about different types of sewing elastic to choose the best one for your project.


Braided Elastic is a versatile style of elastic usually used in a casing. It's not the best option to sew directly to a garment, as piercing it with a needle can cause the elastic to weaken. When used inside a casing, however, this versatile elastic is an excellent choice for projects of all kinds, including waistbands, leg bands, cuffs, and swimwear.

Buttonhole Elastic is a type of waistband elastic that features evenly spaced buttonholes cut throughout its length. With Buttonhole Elastic, you can easily create an adjustable waistband with multiple buttonhole options for a customizable fit. This is a super handy option for children's waistbands that can help to accommodate a growing child's size!

Cord Elastic consists of a narrow, lightweight elastic cord that stretches lengthwise. It's commonly used in drawstrings for things like ski jackets and windbreakers that need a bit of stretch to pull tight. Cord Elastic is also great for beading, gathering, or creating button loops. Drawcord Elastic features a built-in cord that can stretch to twice its length for drawstring and stretch waistbands.

Foldover Elastic features a channel down the center that makes it simple to fold in half. Folding this elastic over an edge and securing it in place creates an elastic binding, adding a bit of stretch and flexibility to an edge or encased seam. Foldover Elastic is ideal for necklines, sleeves, activewear, headbands, and other stretch projects.

If you want to stitch through your elastic directly, Knitted Elastic might be the perfect option. Knitted Elastic retains shape and stays flat when stretched or sewn through, so it can be sewn to an article directly or used in a casing. This versatile elastic is ideal for waistbands, belts, suspenders, sleeves, and leg bands.

Knitted Non-Roll Elastic is similar to Knitted Elastic, with extra body and stability that help prevent the elastic from rolling. Knitted Non-Roll Elastic is ideal for sleeves, waistbands, and leg bands, either in a casing or when stitched through directly.

When it comes to lingerie sewing, you need an elastic that's comfortable, soft to the skin, and decorative. WAWAK offers several styles of quality Lingerie Elastics ideal for bras, underwear, lingerie, and other fine apparel. Choose from Bra Strap Elastic, Lingerie Elastic, Picot Elastic, Lace Elastic, and more.

Maternity Panel Waistbands are made of 100% polyester and used in the waistbands of maternity garments. Use a Maternity Panel when sewing new maternity garments or adapting existing garments into maternity wear.

Woven Non-Roll Elastic is very firm and thicker than most elastics. It holds its shape well and resists rolling or twisting due to its sideways running ribs. Because Non-Roll Elastic is extra-firm, it works well for adding support to heavier fabrics. Stitching Non-Roll Elastic will not cause it to weaken, and it does not narrow when stretched. Choose from Non-Roll Elastic and Non-Roll Waistband Elastic.

Similarly to Non-Roll Elastic, Ribbed Non-Roll Elastic's ribbed structure prevents rolling and helps maintain its shape. Ribbed Non-Roll Elastic is commonly used for waistbands in children's and women's garments and can be sewn directly or used in a casing.

Create quick, easy waistbands with Soft Waistband Elastic. Soft enough to lay against the skin and safe to sew through directly, this elastic is perfect for a simple pant or skirt waistband. Soft Waistband Elastic lays flat against the waist and is resistant to rolling, crushing, or curling.

Soft, flexible Sport Elastic is a great choice for comfortable garments. This elastic has channels that run lengthwise so you can stitch it directly to the fabric without losing stretch. Try Sport Elastic for sports garments, activewear, and sleepwear.

Two styles of elastic are available for swim garments: Cotton or Plastic. Both Swimwear Elastic styles are unaffected by chlorine and can be safely submerged in water. Cotton Swimwear Elastic narrows when stretched and is a great choice for leg bands and waistbands. Plastic Swimwear Elastic is very lightweight and thin and can be used as a stabilizer for knits in addition to swimwear and activewear.

Use this handy guide to help determine what type of elastic works best for your project.

Choosing The Right Elastic | Elastic Information | WAWAK Sewing Elastic
Our WAWAK Elastic Information chart includes details on the style, uses, materials, and features of a wide variety of elastic styles.

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