Skip to Content

How to Gather Fabric With Elastic Full Guide of 2023

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

Gathering fabric stands out as one of the most crucial methods of sewing. We used this stitching method on upholstery designs, garments for adding fringes or flounces, as well as for interior decoration.

But collecting dust can be a dreaded part of any sewing project. It’s not because the process is complex, but it is quite time-consuming and exhausting.

So, people who want their dust collecting work to be less monotonous can turn their heads towards elastic.

Why? It’s because gathering fabric with elastic is a lot easier compared to other gathering techniques. It will give you an even look and it will save you a lot of time.

When it comes to collecting materials with elastic, it is quite simple and easy. It allows you to get all your sewing-related work done in a specified amount of time. Apart from that, it will also bring you some nice gatherings. Check out this blog for all the information you need.

How to collect fabric with elastic?

The best way to collect materials with elastic is through the sewing machine. Even though you can collect the dust with your hands, it is much faster with the sewing machine.

With the sewing machine you can easily create beautiful skirts and ruffles with no problems. If you want to do the gathering work on woven fabrics, you can use the sewing machine.

It will help you hold soft meetings, and the results will be positive. Do you want to know how? Read more.

If you think that the steps for collecting dust by elastic are difficult, you are wrong. a beginner or novice, you won’t have any problems if you follow the instructions properly.

So, wasting no more time, let’s look at the steps.

Step 1: Collect all supplies

You can’t start collecting if you don’t have the right set supplies or materials for it. First, you will need a clear and wide elastic of ¼ inch or 6 mm.

A 3/8 inch elastic will also work well, but it will not give the desired result because it is a lot more sturdy. Therefore, it is much better to stick to the ¼ inch.

Step 2: Cut the elastic

You need to cut a piece of elastic for the final length of the material. For example, if you’ve added a skirt or ruffle to the bodice, you’ll need to cut the elastic to the perimeter of the bodice.

Then you need to check the length again. Remember to stretch the elastic several times before using it. If you want to cut off a piece of the elastic, you are free to do that.

Step 3: Part the waist

Divide or separate your skirt at the bottom of the ruffle and mark it with a marker. To divide the waist, you can get the job by folding it up.

Make sure you do the marking carefully and make any mistakes or mark the wrong spot.

Step 4: Match Up The Mark

Once you’ve placed the markers, it’s time to match increase the marks on the elastic with those on the material or fabric. The collection of the material takes place between the marked areas.

You can pin the markers together. Otherwise, you may continue to stretch the fabric while sewing. Also, don’t forget to leave an inch off the tail so you can grab it.

Step 5: Start with stitching over the elastic

You can top stitch several times on the first end of the elastic to secure it properly. You can also go for the straight stitch or zigzag stitch while sewing.

please note you need to place the elastic inside the seam allowance. Doing this will prevent you from loosening or removing the elastic once you .

Be sure to stretch the elastic, but not the fabric within the markings. After that, you need to sew over the elastic.

In this step you also need to leave out 6mm or ¼ inch of the tail. Don’t forget to overlap the ends a bit.

If you sew over the elastic, you notice it stretches a bit. This stops the length change from causing problems or problems.

Step 6: Finish the work

Once the sewing is complete, you with the gathering fabric work. Now you can use it as you want with no problems.

Reasons to use elastic to collect dust?

One of the biggest reasons to use elastic for dust collection? collecting material or fabric is the stretchability. When the seam stretches, it won’t be that hard to get.

Choosing the elastic method of collecting material also stands out as one of the most traditional wa of collecting dust. The technique is a lot easier and you don’t need a lot of materials for the work.

You can also use elastic to gather fabric for knit garments. Knitted garments have no openings, zippers or buttons.

So to wear them, you can use elastic to gather the fabric. You can wear the knitted garment easily and no stitches will jump out.

Other wa of collecting material or dust

Although elastic is one of the best methods of collecting dust, there are other methods. Please refer to the information below to find out what they are.

1. Collecting substances with a serger

If you want to gather fabric with a sewing machine, you need to make some changes in the tension settings of the needles. Reset the tension wheels for the needles to a much higher number.

If you want the best pleats; 8o.FaiMzfOhadjust the differential feed. The serger comes with a sharp blade, which helps to cut the edges of the material.

For such reasons, consider the seam allowance when collecting the fabric. Using a serger will give you a solid and professionally collected effect.

When you have finished collecting the fabric, you need to reset the overlook settings as before.

2. Collecting dust with cord

Gathering material or dust with a cord stands out as a handy technique. The method is ideal for materials that are difficult to sew, such as tulle.

In addition, gathering fabric with a cord is also an excellent option for thick materials. Put the cord exactly on the line where it will .

After that you sew over the cord with a zigzag stitch with no problems. Remember, don’t think about sewing into the cord.

Make sure one end is tight, then pull it through the zigzag stitch as the material joins the cord.

3. Gathering dust by hand

You know very well how to collect the dust do by a sewing machine. But you can also do the same work with your hands.

The hand technique is a lot simpler compared to the machine technique. You only need thread and needle for pleating.

You need to make two parallel basting stitches to make the pleats. If the stitches are longer, the pleats will be deeper.

The major benefit you get from hand gathering is full control over the pleats and stitch size.

The method is ideal for fabrics that require a lot of precision. You can also use the hand-picking technique on thick materials.

What are the essential tools I need for collecting substances?

There are two essential tools which are mandatory for the dust collection work. The first is the Gathering Foot, and the second is the Ruffler. The collecting foot will do the collecting job for you.

You need to replace this in place of the standard presser foot on your machine. The foot then collects the entire material in one movement. You have a ruffler that looks like a small device.

To use it, you need to replace it with the regular presser foot. It comes with settings and gauges that allow you the distance and size between the ruffles can .

Can I collect dust with crinkle elastic?

In short, yes, you can. A wrinkle elastic an elastic thread. Using this collecting method will give you a smocked effect. You must thread the smocking and then wind it on a bobbin.

You must set the sewing machine to the most elaborate stitch, which is suitable for gathering. Once the sewing machine sews, the elastic thread is on the wrong part of the material.

When sewing one row, pull the fabric. This prevents the fabric from wrinkling. The method is worth sticking to, although using the elastic thread for tucking elastic may take a little practice.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.