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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > 2 way stretch vs 4 way stretch...? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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2 way stretch vs 4 way stretch...?
I'm confused
Foxsews
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Date: 3/16/13 7:22 PM

I've sewn a lot but am trying to conquer knits. What has me puzzled are the terms 2 way stretch, 4 way stretch, all ways stretch. I've searched for answers but can find none.

To me some fabric stretches width ways, but not up & down.
Is this 2 way stretch? (Seems like 1 way to me.)

Then some fabrics stretch width wise and up and down...
4 way stretch? (I'd call it 2 ways...)

Then some fabrics stretch all ways? This makes no sense as even wovens stretch on the bias.

Can anyone give me a primer on what the stretches mean. (I do get the percentages...at least.)

Thank you.
CM

Andi
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In reply to Foxsews <<


Date: 3/16/13 7:31 PM

Different vendors use different terms, so there are times where you may need to clarify before buying online.

2 way means it stretches in one direction, but it might be width-wise , or length wise. A 4 way stretch will stretch length wise and width wise. Both a 2 way and a 4 way will stretch diagonally, like awoven has give along the bias. In general, if you are making a knit garment, you position the most stretch around your body.

HTH!

mkhpaintsew
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Date: 3/16/13 8:09 PM

Peggy Sayers says there is really only a 1 way stretch or a 2 way stretch. Just because you can pull from both sides of the fabric at once (ie both sides of the selvedge) doesn't make it a 2 way stretch. It's only a 1 way stretch. That being said, some people will call a 1 way stretch a 2 way, and a 2 way stretch a 4 or all way stretch.
Is that clear as mud?

diane s
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Date: 3/16/13 8:55 PM

It's very confusing, when I wrote fabric descriptions I called it 1-way and 4-way stretch, just for that reason.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Foxsews
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Date: 3/17/13 0:08 AM

Oh. Yeah, clear as mud.
Well I note the fabric stores online seem to go with 2-way & 4-way...but at least now I can translate.

I like 1 way and 2 way....but they didn't ask me.

Thanks!

CM

Andi
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In reply to Foxsews <<


Date: 3/17/13 0:56 AM

Also, sometimes vendors say it has cross wise and length wise stretch, only to find stretch in one direction, and "give" in the other. Knowing the % of stretch in each direction as well as the snappyness or recovery after being stretched really helps to know what you are going to get.

Sew4Fun
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Date: 3/17/13 1:23 AM

My understanding is this. There is one-way, two-way and four way stretch.

One-way stretch means a fabric will stretch on the crossgrain (side to side) but won't recover. Jersey and interlock knits without lycra are a prime example.

Two-way stretch means a fabric stretches on the crossgrain and also recovers. Hence the "two" part - stretch and recover. Jersey knits with lycra are a good example.

Four-way stretch means a fabric stretches and recovers both on the cross and lengthwise grains. Nylon/lycra swimsuit fabrics are an example of a four-way stretch fabric.

Confusion however reigns when people don't understand the difference between one-way and two-way stretch fabric, and don't take the recovery of the fabric into account. It's not only about the stretch. It's also about the recovery.

One-way: stretch on the crossgrain, no recovery (no lycra)
Two way: stretch and recover on the crossgrain (contains lycra)
Four-way: Stretch and recover on both the crossgrain and lengthwise grains (contains lycra)

I hope this makes sense.

------
Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

Foxsews
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Date: 3/17/13 12:15 PM

It makes perfect sense! the way you explain it.
Recovery is very important.
Thanks.
CM

nitsel
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Date: 3/17/13 1:44 PM

Thank you for asking about this-I learned something today, too!

diane s
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Date: 3/17/13 2:11 PM

There are swimsuit lycras with one way stretch, often the stretch is lengthwise. I learned the hard way when I bought a 1/4 yd of swimsuit lycra to make some binding for a fleece project and there was possibly 10% stretch crosswise.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

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