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Lycra® Fabric • Stretch Fabric • Spandex Fabric

Lycra® Fabric

Lycra® Fabric? Spandex Fabric?
How We Identify Our Stretch Fabric

When listing the fiber content of our stretch fabrics, we indicate Lycra® only when we are confident that the fabric actually contains the Lycra® fiber. Lycra® fabric is widely used by garment manufacturers whose surpluses we purchase. However, by the time a Lycra® fabrics reaches us, tags and labels have typically disappeared making it impossible for us to prove that our fabric contains Lycra®. This means that you will often see the fiber content of our stretch fabric identified as spandex even when there is a high likelihood that the fiber is Lycra®. Lycra® is a registered trademark of Invista.

Our site offers a large selection of stretch fabrics for swimwear, dancewear and skating costumes.

Sewing Lycra® Fabric

Layout/Cutting/Marking: Let fabric relax overnight. Before cutting, compare the amount of fabric stretch with the amount required for the design. Generally the greatest stretch goes around the body.

Stitching: Start each new project with a new needle in the smallest recommended size. Change needles frequently; synthetic fibers dull needles faster than natural fibers. To check the needle for burrs, stitch through a nylon stocking scrap. Use polyester thread, which is more elastic than cotton. Wind the bobbin slowly. When wound on high, the thread heats up and stretches. Then, when sewn into the seam, it relaxes, and the seam shortens or puckers. For more elastic seams, stitch with a narrow zig-zag (W,.5-L,1), and stretch slightly when stitching. Or stitch on a serger with a safety-stitch and textured thread on the loopers.

Seams: Use stretch seams where appropriate. When sewing women's swimwear, stabilize shoulder and waist seams and edges with stay tape or clear elastic.

Excerpted from Sew Any Fabric
by Claire Shaeffer