Friday, September 20, 2013

Comparing Elastic Threads: Which is Best?

 

Hi there!  Have you ever wondered how elastic thread (you know, the kind you use for shirring) compares from brand to brand?  I normally buy Gutermann because that was what was available at JoAnn the first time I decided I needed some.  I've just been buying it ever since.  But a few months back, I went into Hobby Lobby and tried to pick some up, and they don't carry it!  So I decided to pick up a spool of Dritz elastic thread and a spool of Sew-Ology and hope for the best.  I was really impressed with Sew-Ology (I opted to try that one over the Dritz for my project).  I've also heard a lot of people talking about how awesome Stretchrite is, too.  With all these choices, what's a girl to do?  Well, I decided to do a little experiment to compare all 4 of these brands and want to share my results with you all so you can make informed buying decisions, too! 

Just some background info...


*  I cut 4 identical rectangles measuring 12"x 5" out of gray broadcloth.  I then labeled then A, B, C, and D.

*  I assigned Stretchrite to Fabric A, Dritz to Fabric B, Gutermann to Fabric C, and Sew-Ology to Fabric D.

 
*  I did 8 rows of shirring on each piece of fabric, with each row being 1/4" apart.

 The results...


The photo on the left shows the shirring before I hit it with some steam.  The photo on the right shows how much they shrank up once I steamed them.  Each blue square measures one inch.  The fabric rectangles started out being 12 inches long, and this is how much they've shrunk. 
 

Here's what I found.  The Sew-Ology thread created the tightest shirring, followed by Stretch-Rite, then Gutermann, and lastly Dritz.  This doesn't necessarily mean you should never use Dritz.  If you're wanting to add a little shirring, like to perhaps a pocket for some added interest, then Dritz might be a good choice.  I guess it would just depend on how tight you wanted your shirring to be for your specific project.  If using shirring on a bodice, I would want the tightest fit to ensure the bodice stayed put, so I'll be sticking with Sew-Ology for that :)

Please note that these are simply my findings from my own little experiment in my house.  I haven't made a garment with each of these threads to test their durability and/or long-term elasticity, so those might be other factors you would want to consider.  Plus, there may be other brands of thread out there that are awesome.  I don't know of any...but they might be out there!  So anyways, I hope this was helpful! 

 And now, a reminder about our latest contest!

 
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 Go sew something magical!


 

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8 comments:

  1. It's funny you post your experiment with the elastic thread. A few weeks ago I did a shirring project and could not for the life of me figure out why the elastic thread was not shrinking as it usually does. I thought I had just got a hold to a bad roll of thread. After reading your post I now know what the problem was. I normally buy stretch rite and had picked up another brand for this project because it was all that was available at the time. So I can attest to your experiment and say the brand of thread really does make a difference in the project it's being used for. Thanks for sharing!! Enjoyed reading!

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    1. Thanks, Donna! It's hard to believe there is an almost 2 inch difference between the Dritz and Sew-Ology, isn't it? I wouldn't have thought there would be much of a difference between them all. Have a great day!!

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  2. Hi Kayla, I found your experiment to be very interesting and very well done. I would love to see a tutorial on how to do shirring to make garments. I have never found anyone who could show me how to do it. Please consider it!

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    1. Roberta, thank you so much! I actually am working on a shirring tutorial, but I only know how to shirr using my Brother SE 400. I'm not sure if it would still be relevant for machines other than Brothers. But maybe it will help! I hope to get it up sometime next week :)

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  3. Well done! Thanks, I have been finding new ways to use shirring and love its many effects. I have always wondered if there really was a difference. Now I know :)

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  4. I've been wondering for awhile now, too, and my curiosity got the better of me :) Thanks so much!!

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  5. You saved us hours by sharing this! Thank you!! You are the best!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Thanks for this! I'd been using Stretchrite but can no longer find it in stores near me; seems they all sell Singer now and it's worse than Dritz! Nearest Hobby Lobby is an hour away, but I can stock up on Sewology now that I know it will work well! Wish I'd seen this before I wasted $$ on Dritz.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I'll try to respond as quickly as I can! Have a fabulous day full of sewing!