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 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!
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