Types of Lingerie Elastics


Lingerie Elastic: Soft and comfortable upon the skin. Perfect for allowing it to be applied with an exposed finish. Available in a variety of widths. Most recognised has one picot or scallop edge.  Always check the pattern for the correct specification but a general rule for waistbands is 1.3 cm width at the waistline and 6mm width at the leg opening. Used mainly on knickers and half slips.

Latex-free elastic. Harder to find but good choice for people with allergies.

Plush Elastic: This is used to finish the edges of a bra. It has a brushed -felted inner surface. You may find some with one picot edge. Feels comfortable against the skin.

Stretch lace: The ones specially for lingeries are most commonly used for lace bras, negliges, knickers and half slips. Most common widths specified on sewing patterns are 2.5 to 5 cm width for waistlines and 1.3 cm at the leg.

Strap elastic: It has less stretch, almost minimal and is typically plush on one or both sides. It offers more support than other elastics.

Fold- over elastic: (FOE) its designed to fold over and finish a raw edge. It has a crease at the centre.

Transparent elastic: Most commonly used in swimwear and for binding legs on knickers.

The elastic length will always be shorter than the garment opening and how much shorter will depend on the style, application and type of elastic. Generally is about 75-85% .


Most instructions will ask you to apply your elastic either flat or in the round. I personally prefer in the round because is neater, although flat construction is easier.  One thing you need to consider when changing the method of application of an elastic on a pattern is you need to adjust the seam allowance. I wrote a few Lingerie tips over SEW Magazine’s blog if you want to read it.

Some of my favourite online UK Lingerie Suppliers. (Not sponsored) 

Vena Cava

English Couture company

Elise Patterns

Sewing Chest