What Kind of Elastic do You Use for Face Masks?

What kind of elastic do you use for face masks

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In this article, we will discuss the different kinds of elastic that you can use for making face masks. Elastics that are used for sewing face masks are a blend of stretch fibers like spandex and rubber or man-made fibers like polyester and cotton. The elastics are easy to sew and comfortable to wear. It stretches significantly but returns to its original shape.

What kind of elastic do you use for face masks? There are three basic kinds of elastic that are commonly used for making face masks which are braided, woven, and knitted. These refer to how the yarns are put together as well as the different methods of construction which give the resulting elastics different properties.

This article does not contain any product recommendations. If you are interested in purchasing elastics for face masks, here’s our buying guide with products.

What makes the elastics different from each other? Which one is the best to use for face masks? How can I properly sew the elastics on the mask? These are some of the questions that we will answer in this post. If you are planning to make your homemade face masks and are wondering about the kinds of elastics that you can use, you can check out the rest of this article for helpful tips and information.

What kind of elastic do you use for face masks

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What is Woven Elastic?

Woven elastic is also called non-roll elastic and is the firmest of the three basic kinds of elastic. It can be able to retain its width as it stretched and is also ideal for sew-on applications as well as used in casings. Braided elastic tends to be very firm and is suitable to be used with heavyweight fabrics. It does not shrink or narrow when stretched although it is stiffer than knit elastic. You can check out this article about how to make an elastic face mask. We have shared tips and information that you can refer to when making face masks with elastics.

  • Can be sewn through or used in casings
  • It stays the same width when pulled
  • Stiffer then knit elastic

What is Braided Elastic?

Braided elastic has lengthwise, parallel ridges. The ridges make the elastic to have more grips but it can also tend to narrow as it stretches. It is identified by the long ribbed channels along its length. Braided elastic rolls more easily as compared to other kinds of elastic but tend to lose its stretch if it sews through. Because of this, it is ideal for use in casings and not for sewing directly into the fabric. You cannot zigzag stitch over braided elastic because it will stretch out of shape.

  • Not as comfortable as other kinds of elastic
  • Shrinks in width when pulled
  • Cannot sew through it
  • Ideal for face masks with casings

✅ Video – How to Sew a No Pleat Cloth Face Mask

Debs Days shared the video below on YouTube. It shows how to sew a no pleat cloth face mask. She is using braided elastic for the ear loops. The face mask is washable and also reversible. It is easy to make with a sewing machine. You will need a few materials for making this face mask. Check out the video below for the demonstration.

What is Knitted Elastic?

Knitted elastic looks similar to woven elastic but is soft and more comfortable. It does not narrow when stretched and can be zigzagged over the fabric. Knitted elastic is made by knitting the fibers together. It works well when pierced by needed so it is an ideal choice for sewing on applications. This kind of elastic works well with lightweight fabrics.

  • It stays the same when pulled
  • Can be sewn through
  • It is soft and comfortable

How to Choose the Right Elastic for Face Masks

When choosing elastics, you need to consider the fiber content and width. The fiber content will determine the quality and durability of the elastic while the width will determine the comfort and fit that the elastic will provide to the mask. There are many products that you can find on the market so make sure to consider these factors when purchasing elastic.

Fiber Content

Elastic is made of rubber and polyester. These materials are suitable for a lot of uses. However, be careful when washing and disinfecting the elastic because excessive heat and chlorine can break down polyester.

Elastic Width

You also need to consider the width of the elastic. Elastics are available in all kinds of width from ¼ inches to 1 inch and up. The pattern of the face mask that you are using will specify the width of elastic to use. In general, the thinner the elastic, the more comfortable it is for the skin.

✅ Video – A Beginners Guide to Sewing Elastic

Sewing Parts Online shared the video below on YouTube. She talks about how to sew elastics. Moreover, she talks about the different types of elastics and their pros and cons. The three most basic methods of attaching the elastics are also discussed in the video. She demonstrates how to sew elastic directly on the fabric, through a casing, and within a channel. Check out the video below for the visual demonstration.

Helpful Tips for Sewing Elastic on Face Mask

When sewing elastic on a face mask, it is important to stretch the elastic before sewing. Also, check the length of the elastic so that you can properly make some adjustments to the fit of the mask on your face. You also need to consider the type of needle that you will use for the sewing. Below are some of the tips that you can follow for sewing elastic on a face mask.

Stretch the Elastic

Make sure that you stretch the elastic for a few times before you proceed to cut it to the length that you desire. The elastic should return to the same length after it is stretched. Just to make sure that it is the same length, stretch it again after you have cut the elastic. You can trim a little if you need to.

Check the Length

When sewing, treat the length of the elastic in a sewing pattern as a guide and not necessarily an absolute. Take note that there are much elastic with different stretch and you may need to make some adjustments. When threading the elastic through a casing of the mask, you can use a safety pin to join the ends then try the garment on. Once you are satisfied with the length of the elastic, stitch it up the gap in the casing.

Choose the Right Needles

If you are sewing directly into the elastic, make sure to use a ballpoint or stretch needed in order to prevent skipped stitches. The right needles will easily thread through the elastic without damaging it.

Related Questions

How Long is the Elastic on a Face Mask?

There is no standard measurement for the length of elastics on a face mask. Some people consider 8 inches long for the ear loops and 23 inches long for the head loops are an ideal length. It will depend on the size of the face of the wearer. Adult face masks also have longer elastic as compared to children’s face masks. You can also check out this article titled, how long should the elastic be on a face mask. We have discussed the different lengths that you can choose from.

Where Can I Purchase Elastics?

You can purchase elastics from your local craft store. If you want a wide array of choices, you can always shop online. Many online stores are selling elastics with various colors, sizes, lengths, and widths. You can definitely find the one that suits your preferences. The good thing about purchasing online is that you can easily visit different stores and check out the products that they are offering. Your order will be shipped right at your doorsteps.

What Stitch to Use to Sew Elastics?

You can stitch the elastic into the fabric of the mask with a zigzag stitch. 1.4 lengths and 3.5 wide is the ideal measurement. Make sure to properly attach the elastic into the mask so that it will not easily tear or fall off even after many uses. Take note that not all elastics can be sewn on the fabric. Some are only encased on a casing. Always check if the elastic can be sewn on fabric or not.


Thank you for reading this article about the different kinds of elastic for face masks. We hope that the information that we have shared in this article has helped you determine which elastic is best for the face mask that you are making. Consider the different options that you have before you make a purchase. You can follow patterns and tutorials online for more designs and ideas available. If you are interested in purchasing elastics, you can check out the link at the top of this post. We have shared different kinds of elastics that you can choose from.

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