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How Elastic Strips Work and How to Take Care of Them so They Last

Posted by Kylie Naugle on

The ability for all elastic strips to be stretched out and bounce back is provided by either the latex or spandex that is built into it. These expanding materials are held in place by nylon or other cloth material.

The Inner Workings of Elastic Strips

The latex or spandex is the stretchable component inside the elastic strips. This component needs to be woven into the other non-stretchable materials inside the strips. It is the weave that makes it possible for the latex to expand and contract while it interacts with the non-stretchable material that is present. Without this special weaving being utilized by the manufacturers of the elastic strips, their ability to stretch out and return would be severely inhibited.

Increasing the Longevity of the Elastic Strips Present in your Garments

Both the latex and spandex in the elastic strips that are used today can last for years, but if they are not properly cared for, they can lose their ability to remain flexible. It all depends on how the person treats the garments when they are worn and washed.

The most damaging thing a person can do to a garment that has elastic strips is to add bleach when washing the item. Bleach is a basic component, which means it has a pH greater than 7. The bleach dries out the latex or spandex inhibiting its ability to bounce back once it has been stretched out. Many people use bleach when washing their clothes, especially white undergarments, but this will damage the latex or spandex that is inside the elastic waistband. Sometimes bleach is necessary for stains, but it should be used sparingly to help extend the life of your elastics.

Another factor that can diminish the lifespan of your elastics is exposing them to heat. It is best to keep your elastics out of they dryer, but even hanging them out in the sun can cause damage. It is best to hang the clothing with the elastic parts towards the ground and away from the direct sunlight. If you must use a dryer, keep it on the low het setting. The clothing will take longer to dry, but it will help keep the bounce in your elastics.

When it’s Time to Replace the Elastic Strips in your Garments

After so many washes, people start to notice the elastic in their clothing does not bounce back as it once did. The elastic material might even break. This happens when it becomes too dried out, and as of now, there is no known way to revitalize the elastic once it gets to this point. Unless you want to wear the now saggy clothes, it is time to replace the elastic strips. If you do not want to replace the strips, you can throw the item out and buy a new one, but the easiest thing to do is take proper care of your clothing and the elastics inside of them. This way your elastics last longer, and you can keep enjoying your clothes.

Craft Projects for Groups using Elastic Strips

There are many craft projects a group can do that include the use of printed and skinny elastic strips. Other items you should be ready to use include beads, costume jewelry stones and jewelry claps. The advantage to parents when using elastic strips instead of elastic thread for this project is that the beads will be held in place more [...]

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One of the most challenging things when you are traveling in a car or truck is to keep personal items in place so they can be within easy reach. There are many different types of accessories already made to hold drinks, that bag of snacks along with the always used cell phone. What most people have found that these items [...]

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Quick and Easy Animal Toys Made From Elastic Strips

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​What Can You Make with Fold Over Elastic?

Moms, friends and craft circles everywhere have tapped into new and fun ways to use elastic. With multiple colors available and printed patterns that have every print from holiday Santas to football team logos there is no end to the amount of exciting ideas to come up with. Whether using a sewing machine or stitching by hand it is [...]

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