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Elastic thread
What is the difference in type?
Member since 5/12/06
Posts: 36
Skill: Beginner
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Date: 7/6/12 2:07 PM

I have made a few shirred tops that I like but I find a marked difference in the store-bought clothes that are shirred and the home-sewns ones.
First I notice the elastic thread I sew with is a lot 'harder' or 'rougher' than the kind that is used in the store bought clothes.
Next, I notice that the store bought uses a different type of stich that I believe is a chain stitch.

So my questions are, where can I find a different quality/type of elastic thread than I find in the craft and sewing stores? And, is the chain stitch a better type of stitch than regular stitch that I use on my sewing machine?

Also, I have a Sunger Futura and when I use elastic thread in the bobbin it starts to squeal when I sew faster than a snails pace. Is that really unusual or normal?
-- Edited on 7/6/12 2:08 PM --

California USA
Member since 5/2/09
Posts: 4428
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In reply to Mparedon <<

Date: 7/6/12 7:02 PM

If you are talking about tube tops, and those dresses that are shirred on the top with unshirred yardage in a big rectangle below kind of stuff, yes, they most times seem to use a chain stitch for the elastic part. And I don't think sewn by rows and rows. More on a big commercial machine, that just does that kind of stuff and can actually do many rows, all at the same time. So that kind of chain stitch with the elastic, is I think really better than a sewing machine lockstitch there. But we all can't have one of those either. But maybe you already got a serger or something you could run elastic thread in the loopers of?

Most of the time, I just see the elastic thread of the thicker kind, more like just small in diameter round elastic, in white & black on spools in the elastic hang tag racks at the stores. The thinner kind, to actually use in a sewing machine bobbin, is often with the sewing machine threads instead, in those display racks in the same stores, I think I saw it as choices of White, Red, Navy blue and Black on the Gutermann thread racks of all the Joanne Fabrics stores near me.

If you want something like that in different colors, the knitting stores often have it, just wound onto little flat cards even, because people use it knit in with their knitting then, in sweater cuffs and such sometimes, so they don't stretch out. But not a whole bunch comes on a little card that way either, that I have seen.

I actually don't think any of that stuff is going to go through the normal tension slit in bobbin case good at all, with your tension screw there, still set for normal sewing very good though. So maybe that is the squealing you hear when trying to do that. You would have to probably loosen that screw way up to make that happen, or maybe you could even just bypass the slot in a drop in bobbin case for that sometimes. You could try that, if sewing real slow and careful and see how that goes maybe. But pretty much, anytime I suddenly hear a bad noise while sewing, I do stop whatever I am doing as that most times means something bad is about to happen.

I think I would be pretty careful on that with a Futura machine though, particular if it's the newer kind of ones that are computerized and not the older ones that are not. Just because for a kind of not the most, top of line and very very most expensive machine around, they still have a very surprising amount of needle force going on. Most times that might be a good thing, but if you combine that with anything that made your bobbin jump up and down or pulling and tugging that caused the drop in bobbin case, or bobbin to go up and down, in a way it should not, then you might be sewing into it, (the bobbin case) or un-timing the machine.

So if you are using any kind of elastic thread in any bobbin case, and did not loosen up the tension screw first, to be looser, it might really have a hard time going though there. It would probably just sound different on each machine if that was going on actually. But I would pay attention to any bad noises, as most times they are trying to tell you something, and most times it's sort of just stop what you are doing and find a better way most times

PattyE  Friend of PR
Michigan USA
Member since 9/7/10
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Date: 7/6/12 11:54 PM

I've sewn with elastic thread in my bobbin (Babylock machine) and did not need to make any additional adjustments. There were no complaints from my machine (squealing, etc.). Hope you figure it out.

Stash: 175 yds. @ 07.26.15

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