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THE SEWABILITY OF ELASTIC FABRIC

THE SEWABILITY OF ELASTIC FABRIC

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03/18/2014

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INFORMATION FOR THE SEWING INDUSTRY
THE SEWABILITY OF ELASTIC FABRIC
There are two basic problems:
\ue000INSUFFICIENT ELASTICITY OF THE
SEAMS
The seams break under longitudinal strain
\ue000ELASTANE DAMAGE
Surface migration of the light-colored elastane yarn

In order to avoid such complaints and to ensure
problem-free production, the following sewing
parameters must be taken into consideration:

1. SEWING PARAMETERS FOR
SUFFICIENT SEAM ELASTICITY

When seams are created on elastic fabric, it is very important that they have sufficient longitudinal elasticity for the strain caused by being worn. Under strain, the seams must not \u201erestrain\u201c the elasticity of the fabric. Rather, they must \u201efollow\u201c the movements.

Sufficient seam elasticity is primarily determined by
the thread storage, which is the amount of thread
contained in the seam.
\ue000The more thread contained in the seam,
the higher the seam elasticity!

The potential thread storage is mostly influenced by the selected stitch type, the stitch density in use and the thread tension. Details on these essential sewing parameters and the use of appropriate sewing thread are presented below.

Other sewing parameters, such as the seam design

or the thickness of the fabric, also influence the thread storage. For example, the seam elasticity is higher for thick fabric and for fabric with many layers. However, in practice it is often not possible to change these

parameters.
THE SEWABILITY
OF ELASTIC FABRIC
2
The processing of elastic fabric for women\u2018s and men\u2019s
outer garments, shirts and blouses is increasingly

popular and is well liked by customers. These garments are pleasant and comfortable to wear, allow movement, and look casual but elegant. For these reasons, elastic fabric garments are unlikely to be merely a passing fad.

This was reason enough for Amann to take up this
topic, and in particular to deal with the technical
demands when processing elastic fabric.

Elastic fabrics are those fabrics with stretchable threads (such as Dorlastan\u00ae, Lycra\u00ae) worked invisibly in warp and/or weft direction. These special characteristics are provided for by an approximate 2-5% part of the elastane threads. These new fabric qualities are either monoelastic (extensible in warp or weft direction) or bielastic (extensible in warp and weft directions). The elasticity of the available elastic fabrics available on the market at present ranges from approximately 20% for fashion wear to around 30- 50 % for functional

clothing. These fabrics find a variety of uses ranging from traditional areas such as sportswear and beach- wear, to sporty skipants and regular outer garments for ladies, gents and boys such as blouses, shirts or blazers.

The decisive factor when processing elastic fabric is the correct setting of the sewing parameters. Production conditions are often set for non-elastic material, and not changed when processing elastic fabric. Experience shows that this often leads to complaints about the

quality of the seams.
Service+Technology
1.2 SELECTING THE APPROPRIATE
STITCH DENSITY

The thread storage is also highly influenced by the
stitch density. More stitches per centimeter of seam
result in having more thread in the seam.
A simple rule of thumb applies:

\ue000The higher the stitch density,
the higher the seam elasticity.
Imperative when selecting the appropriate stitch density

is the material to be processed, in conjunction with
the desired seam elasticity value. A standard value is
a stitch density of 5 stitches/cm, depending on the
selected stitch type.

The adjacent diagram shows the in-fluence of the
number of stitches per centimeter on the elasticity of
seams.

Very high stitch densities can cause damage to the
elastane, displace-ment pucker and wavy seams. The
appropriate stitch density is best determined by a
sewing test to guarantee both flawless appearance of
the seam and sufficient seam elasticity.

It might be necessary to select a different stitch type if the highest possible stitch density is chosen but the seam is not elastic enough.

3
1.1 SELECTING THE APPROPRIATE
STITCH TYPE
Above all, the stitch type determines the potential

amount of thread in the seam, independent of the stitch density and the thread tension. Under standard sewing conditions, for example,

\ue000the lockstitch provides thread storage
of 2.80 m
\ue000the double chainstitch provides
thread storage of 4.80 m
\ue000the four-thread overlock stitch
provides thread storage of 17.10 m
for a 1- m seam.
This shows clearly that if an inappropriate stitch is
selected there will not be enough thread and that even
a slight strain would cause the seams to break. The

tuck seam is an excellent example. It is not often made with a two-needle seaming stitch (stitch type 402), but rather with a lockstitch (stitch type 301) when the

required special machine is not available. However, the lockstitch cannot supply enough thread to make tuck seams sufficiently elastic at parts of the body with much motion, such as the knee area. This remains true even for loose thread tension and high stitch density.

Essential stitch types in the manufacture of knitwear
and thread requirements based on sewing techno-
logical standard parameters (see page 4).

Material: elastane fabric
Sewing thread: SABAC Nr. 120
Stitch type: double chainstitch 401

Stitch density (stitches per cm)
5
Seam elasticity in %
4
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
54 %
46%
Service+Technology
Foto: Brax

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