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Date: 3/16/13 7:22

PM
I've sewn a lot but am
trying to conquer
knits. What has me
puzzled are the terms
2 way stretch, 4 way
stretch, all ways
stretch. I've searched
for answers but can
find none.

To me some fabric
stretches width ways,
but not up & down.
Is this 2 way stretch?
(Seems like 1 way to
me.)

Then some fabrics


stretch width wise and
up and down...
4 way stretch? (I'd call
it 2 ways...)

Then some fabrics


stretch all ways? This
makes no sense as
even wovens stretch
on the bias.

Can anyone give me a


primer on what the
stretches mean. (I do
get the percentages...at
least.)

Thank you.
CM
Andi
New York USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 1321
Skill: Advanced

In reply to Foxsews

Date: 3/16/13 7:31


PM
Different vendors use
different terms, so
there are times where
you may need to
clarify before buying
online.

2 way means it
stretches in one
direction, but it might
be width-wise , or
length wise. A 4 way
stretch will stretch
length wise and width
wise. Both a 2 way
and a 4 way will
stretch diagonally, like
awoven has give along
the bias. In general, if
you are making a knit
garment, you position
the most stretch
around your body.

HTH!
mkhpaintsew
Member since 4/5/06
Posts: 300
Skill: Intermediate
Body Type:

1 Replies
2 members like this.

Date: 3/16/13 8:09 PM


Peggy Sayers says there is really only a 1 way
stretch or a 2 way stretch. Just because you can
pull from both sides of the fabric at once (ie
both sides of the selvedge) doesn't make it a 2
way stretch. It's only a 1 way stretch. That
being said, some people will call a 1 way
stretch a 2 way, and a 2 way stretch a 4 or all
way stretch.
Is that clear as mud?
diane s

Oregon USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 5446
Skill: Intermediate
2 members like this.

Date: 3/16/13 8:55


PM
It's very confusing,
when I wrote fabric
descriptions I called it
1-way and 4-way
stretch, just for that
reason.

------
My grandmother
taught me to sew
when I was 10, and
I've been sewing ever
since.
Foxsews

Member since 11/9/12


Posts: 27
Skill: Advanced

1 Replies
Date: 3/17/13 0:08 AM
Oh. Yeah, clear as mud.
Well I note the fabric stores online seem to go
with 2-way & 4-way...but at least now I can
translate.

I like 1 way and 2 way....but they didn't ask me.

Thanks!

CM
Andi

New York USA


Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 1321
Skill: Advanced

In reply to Foxsews

Date: 3/17/13 0:56


AM
Also, sometimes
vendors say it has
cross wise and length
wise stretch, only to
find stretch in one
direction, and "give"
in the other. Knowing
the % of stretch in
each direction as well
as the snappyness or
recovery after being
stretched really helps
to know what you are
going to get.
Sew4Fun

Victoria Australia
Member since 6/23/04
Posts: 4892
Skill: Advanced
Body Type:

3 Replies

In reply to Foxsews
10 members like this.

Date: 3/17/13 1:23 AM


My understanding is this. There is one-way,
two-way and four way stretch.

One-way stretch means a fabric will stretch on


the crossgrain (side to side) but won't recover.
Jersey and interlock knits without lycra are a
prime example.

Two-way stretch means a fabric stretches on


the crossgrain and also recovers. Hence the
"two" part - stretch and recover. Jersey knits
with lycra are a good example.

Four-way stretch means a fabric stretches and


recovers both on the cross and lengthwise
grains. Nylon/lycra swimsuit fabrics are an
example of a four-way stretch fabric.

Confusion however reigns when people don't


understand the difference between one-way and
two-way stretch fabric, and don't take the
recovery of the fabric into account. It's not only
about the stretch. It's also about the recovery.

One-way: stretch on the crossgrain, no recovery


(no lycra)
Two way: stretch and recover on the crossgrain
(contains lycra)
Four-way: Stretch and recover on both the
crossgrain and lengthwise grains (contains
lycra)

I hope this makes sense.

------
Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/
Foxsews

Member since 11/9/12


Posts: 27
Skill: Advanced

1 Replies

In reply to Sew4Fun
Date: 3/17/13 12:15 PM
It makes perfect sense! the way you explain it.
Recovery is very important.
Thanks.
CM
nitsel

Member since 12/25/11


Posts: 256
Skill: Intermediate

In reply to Foxsews
1 member likes this.

Date: 3/17/13 1:44


PM
Thank you for asking
about this-I learned
something today, too!
diane s

Oregon USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 5446
Skill: Intermediate
Date: 3/17/13 2:11 PM
There are swimsuit lycras with one way stretch, often the stretch is lengthwise. I learned the hard
way when I bought a 1/4 yd of swimsuit lycra to make some binding for a fleece project and
there was possibly 10% stretch crosswise.

------