We provides information on purchasing apparel materials for corporate customers from Japan.

Elastic webbing: Beginner’s guide (Part I)

There are many types of elastic used for the waist and cuffs of clothes.

There are various uses for elastic, such as putting it inside clothes or showing it on the front.

In this article, we would like to introduce how to choose the right elastic for such uses and purposes.

Elastic used for clothes and accessories can be roughly divided into flat elastic and  elastic cord.

What is an elastic cord?

Elastic cord, as the name suggests, refers to elastic with a round cross section when cut.

It is made by using a rubber thread as a core and surrounding it with polyester or other material.

It is used in a wide range of applications, such as the hems and hoods of sportswear parkas, bag openings of backpacks, and small items such as hair accessories.

Recently, with the rise of outdoor wear, many of them are being used together with cord stoppers at the hems of mountain hoodies for women.

Elastic cord is used for hoods with a metal tip.
Elastic cord is used for the hood with a cord stopper.

There are soft and hard types of elastic cord , and a wide variety of colors and patterns are available.

Hard elastic cord with tension is recommend for the hood and hem of mountain hoodies.

3112-T ポリエステル丸ゴム(ハード) ROSE BRAND(丸進)
3112-T Polyester elastic cord (hard) ROSE BRAND
3112-T ポリエステル丸ゴム(ハード) ROSE BRAND(丸進)

Soft elastic corde is softer than hard elastic. Soft elastic cord is often used  for hair accessories.

It is also available in a wide variety of colors.

B042 ソフト丸ゴム 500 BRAIDS & WEBBING
B042 Soft round elastic 500 BRAIDS & WEBBING
B042 ソフト丸ゴム 500 BRAIDS & WEBBING

For those who prefer a design on the elastic itself, there is also a gradation elastic.

GD5-B25R グラデーションゴム紐 2.5MM

GD5-B25R Gradation elastic cord 2.5MM

Delicate colors are beautiful.

What is flat elastic tape ?

Flat elastic refers to elastic that has a flat cross section and is tape-like.

In Japan, Kahoku City in Ishikawa Prefecture is said to be one of the largest producers of flat elastic.

Flat elastic can be further classified into woven elastic, Knit elastic, and braided elastic.

Each of these types of elastic has a different structure.

Woven elastic

Woven elastic is produced by placing elastic threads at equal intervals in a thread. The width of the elastic does not change even when it is pulled, making it suitable for elastic waist cuffs, blouse sleeves, and other garments that need to be gathered tightly.

The OGS/OGM/OGH flat elastic series using Asahi Kasei’s Roica is the standard of flat elastic.

We recommend OGS soft elastic for waist elastic of pants and skirts. Many apparel brands  use OGS soft as their elastic waistbands.

*Roica: Spandex (polyurethane fiber) developed by Asahi Kasei with excellent flexibility and recovery properties.

It is a trademarked product of Asahi Kasei.

OGS 安心の日本製  OGS ソフト平ゴム オークラ商事

OGS Soft flat elastic made in Japan

OGM 安心の日本製  OGM ミディアム平ゴム オークラ商事

OGM Made in Japan OGM Medium flat elastic
More firm kickback than soft elastic
OGH 安心の日本製  OGH ハード平ゴム オークラ商事
OGH Made in Japan OGH Hard flat elastic Okura Shoji
The hardness and elasticity of the elastic is quite hard.

If you prefer breathable and thinner elastic than normal elastic, we recommend you to use Spandex Air Elastic.

If you look at the photo, you will see that the weave is rough and thin.

This type of elastic is suitable for sportswear and innerwear. This one also uses Roica.

B23 ライクラ スインタックエアー(レギュラータイプ)[ゴム] 500 BRAIDS & WEBBING

B23 Lycra Spandex Air  (Regular type)


Choosing the right type of elastic band for your design can be challenging, but the above products are not all of the elastic band out there. Stay tune for part 2 where we dicuss about knitted elastic and braided elastic!

For more elastic product, please visit ApparelX Elastic band list.

Hi guys, this is Jane, the editor of ApparelX News. As a foreigner living in Tokyo, I hope my posts will help international readers get an overview about Japanese fashion industry as well as Japanese culture!