What is Bobbin Elastic Thread in Garment Stitching

This is a guest submission from Rakesh Kumar.

First, let me explain what elastic thread is. It is a kind of elastic which is mounted with thread. This thread is stretchable. Mainly used for shirring, smocking in garment component.

Thread mounting can be done clockwise or anti-clockwise. Anti-clock wise wrapping is helpful to provide locking strength to the stitch. Elastic threads are available in the different count. Elastic threads are thicker than normal threads.

The elastic thread can be used as bobbin elastic or looper elastic or needle elastic. Material is almost same in all cases. When elastic is fed from bobbin, it is known as bobbin elastic.

There are two kinds of bobbin elastic thread. First one is knitted elastic thread and other one woven elastic thread. Normally woven elastic thread in woven garment and knitted elastic thread in knitted garments.

Bobbin Elastic

In case of bobbin elastic, stitch formation is being done with normal thread in needle and elastic thread in bobbin. This is used to provide gather look (shirring) in the garment or to meet style specification. Elastic thread is visible from the bottom and normal thread on the top of the seam. 
Bobbin winded with elastic thread

Many assume that in bobbin elastic stitch formation is being done on needle/looper thread while elastic is fed through spreader is called bobbin elastic. But it is not. This stitch is being done on lock stitch machine only. The elastic thread can be winded (coiled) in bobbin manually or through bobbin winder. This stitch is helpful to provide better strength to seam due to lock stitch features. While winding bobbin thread should not be stretched.

Additional information: Sourcing lead time of white elastic thread is 3-6 days while for dyed 5-12 days depending on the supplier (in India).

About Rakesh Kumar
Rakesh Kumar has nine years of work experience in garment manufacturing field. He is currently working as Manager, Re-engineering Team of Management Audit at Shahi Export Pvt. Ltd. Earlier he worked as industrial engineer in garment export house.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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