Sewing flexible materials often require fasteners, elastic bands, backing fabrics, zippers, and buttons. When sewing them, attention must be paid to the special properties of elastic fabrics so that the fabric does not stretch and the finished work is durable. Poppers and support fabrics, in particular, those referred to in stretch fabrics, are available.
The purpose of the support fabrics is to strengthen the weak points of elastic garments and prevent their edges and pieces from stretching. The support fabric also makes the garment made of elastic material more upright. The backing fabrics exist in fabric-based, knitted-based, and non-woven-based and can be flexible or inelastic. The color of the backing fabric should always be chosen to match the fabric being sewn.
Elastic fabrics need support fabrics, especially for zipper fastenings, sewing the lower margin, under buttons and buttonholes, under snaps, in the mouth of the pocket, and in applique. When attaching the zipper, the use of a support fabric is essential because, without it, the edge of the zipper will start to be wavy. The backing strip should be placed on the zipper for the entire trip about an inch wide. Using a backing fabric at the bottom provides support to the fabric and prevents it from stretching.
If buttons are used on the stretch fabric, a piece of backing fabric must be added under the buttonhole and button to prevent the fabric from stretching. With the help of the support fabric, the button also lasts better. A piece of backing fabric should also be added under the snaps, as there is a lot of stretching on the surrounding fabric, and there is a risk that the fabric around the snap will tear if it does not have a backing fabric. A support fabric in the mouth of the pocket and in application work prevents them from stretching.
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There are different support fabrics, and choosing the right support fabric is important for successful sewing. First, the thickness of the support fabric should be selected according to the work fabric. Thicker to sew like college needs a thicker backing fabric than, say, a thin leotard.
The surface of the fabric is also important. Support fabrics do not adhere well to a soft fluffy surface. It is also worth remembering that the backing fabric must tolerate the same washing program as the actual fabric so that it does not shrink during washing, for example. The flexibility and extensibility of the fabric also determine the choice of support fabric. For flexible fabrics, the support fabrics must also be flexible. Suppose the backing fabric is used in places where the purpose is specifically to prevent excessive stretchings of the fabric, such as zippers and underlay. In that case, the backing fabric should be inelastic.
The support fabric is attached by ironing with an iron. The backing fabric has an adhesive that adheres to the fabric at hot temperatures. However, the iron must not be too hot to prevent the adhesive from burning. The correct temperature for successful attachment should be checked in the product information of the support fabric. Using gauze or baking paper between the iron and the fabric can prevent the iron from getting tangled in the adhesive. The iron must not even move back on the support fabric; just a light press is enough. The iron is held on the cloth for only a few seconds.
When elastic sewing fabrics, choose the right type of rubber band. There are various rubber bands, of which FOE, i.e., elastic band, Framilon, ordinary rubber bands, buttonhole rubber bands, and boxer rubber bands are suitable for flexible materials. FOE tapes are flexible tapes with art in the middle. They are usually used for edging in underwear and diapers.
On the other hand, family is a transparent, silicone-like, and very thin and flexible tape. Because it is extremely light, it is perfect for wrinkling and supporting shoulder seams. The downside to Framilon is its poor resistance to hot temperatures, like ironing, for example, reduces its elasticity.
Due to its thinness, it cannot be used alone as a waistband. A standard traditional rubber band is available in many different widths. It fits well at the waist, leg openings, and cuffs. A buttonhole rubber band is called an elastic band with buttonholes ready. It can be used on the waist and legs of overalls as loops. Because the buttonholes are already in it, adjusting the length of the tape in the finished job is easy. The boxer rubber band is wide and soft and, as the name implies, is worn at the top of panties against the skin.
In addition to these, there are, e.g., lace elastic band and spool of an elastic band. It is used on a sewing machine when sewing as a bobbin thread when the purpose is to crease. The thread is then wound onto the bobbin by hand and stretched slightly. The upper thread is a regular sewing thread. When sewing the ruffle thread, it is sewn with a straight stitch, and the rubber band acting as the lower thread also makes the crease.
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There are also many types of zippers and the design and length of the zipper you choose, depending on the material used and the application. There are zipper models, e.g., closed zipper, open zipper, spiral zipper, toothed zipper, meter zipper, a hidden zipper, and lace zipper. The closed zippers only open at the top and fit into pockets and pouches. Open zippers can be opened completely and are used, for example, in jackets.
The spiral zipper has dense and spiral toothing. Due to their lightness and flexibility, they are well suited for use in sewing knitted garments. Toothed zippers are much stiffer and more robust than them, making them more suitable for thicker fabrics, such as college and lined materials. Metric zippers are long spiral zippers that are sold either in cents or per meter.
They can be shortened to the required length, and then the required number of pullers is added. Concealed zippers are used in dresses and skirts where the zipper is desired to be discreetly embedded in the seam of the garment. When sewing them, a hidden zipper presser foot is used in the sewing machine. In lace zippers, the edges are lace-decorated. They are designed to leave the lace edges completely visible and are suitable for dresses and bags as decorative elements.
Elastic fabrics have their own snaps designed specifically for them. They attach through the fabric with small hooks so that there is no need to make a hole in the fabric.
However, if a hole needs to be made in the fabric, the backing fabric should be glued around it. Otherwise, the hole will stretch. A support fabric should always be used under the snaps. It can be an ironable fabric or an inelastic or stretchy fabric. The elastic is also suitable as a support fabric under them. If the snap is attached directly to the spring, no backing fabric is needed. You need to get your tools for attaching snaps.
A snap pack usu,ally comes with matching sleeves, and in addition to this, you need a hammer to attach the snap to the fabric. Special snap pliers are also on sale, which helps to attach the snaps. If you use KAM plastic snaps, you will need special KAM snap tongs.