Lingerie sewing has so many lovely fabrics, laces, and quality findings. Access to these supplies is vital in creating well-fitting lingerie that flatters the body.
You can find bra-making supplies at large fabric stores and specialty lingerie supply shops.
Regarding bra making fabric, several different fibers are available. When looking for materials suitable for making bras, you are most concerned with movement (whether the fabric contains Spandex fibers like Lycra or elastane) and give or mechanical movement based on the weave or knit.
A supportive solid fabric, the duplex is perfect for your bra’s cups and front frame. It is a reversible fabric with one side shiny and the other matte, and it can be purchased from lingerie fabrics suppliers.
This is a non-fraying, low-stretch stable knit fabric. It can be found in many colors and has a minimal amount of mechanical give in the lengthwise direction of 10% or less.
In years gone by, most bras were constructed from fabrics like cotton broadcloth and twill weaves. Nowadays, you can choose to make your very own bras from a wide range of materials.
You will want a comfortable, breathable fabric easily chucked in the washing machine for everyday use. If you want a special-occasion bra, you can go to town on slinky and silky fabrics that look as good as they feel (although they come with some extra care requirements).
The cups of the bra need a thin, smooth, and robust fabric to hold the breast tissue in place. Stretchy fabrics like tricot and raschel are often used for bra cups, but some lingerie makers will also use woven silks such as stretch silk charmeuse or china silk.
Tricot is a warp-knit fabric that blends natural and synthetic fibers. It features lengthwise columns of loops that create a zigzag look on the front side and a crosswise pattern on the back.
Tricot fabric is wrinkle and crease-resistant, making it easy to care for and quick to dry. It is also soft to the touch, which makes it ideal for lingerie.
A 40-denier weight of this fabric is often used for panties, slips, and pajamas, while a lighter 20-denier weight can be found in delicate, feminine lingerie like negligees or camisoles.
Depending on the type of bra you are sewing, you may need a specific kind of fabric for the bands. These bands include the center gore and the bands that run down the front and back of the garment. Some bands may require a heavier material, such as plush, while others will work with a more stretchy fabric like power net or power mesh.
Power Net/Power Mesh
Power Net is a firm fabric similar to that of Spanx-type shapers. It is solid and supportive and often used in RTW bra bands. It doesn’t drape, so it is best for areas that will be hidden or worn under clothing.
Unlike other synthetic fabrics, power mesh is breathable. The tiny holes in the material allow heat to escape and moisture to evaporate so you won’t feel clammy. This fabric is excellent for activewear or lingerie is worn for long periods.
This type of lining is perfect for a bra’s band and bridge sections. It is also suitable for lining bra cup materials since it offers little to no stretch on the cross grain. Stretch mesh is very similar to power netting but has a higher percentage of time and can be used for bra cups.
Spandex is an essential bra fabric for the frame, bridge, or band. It would help if you also looked for a material with excellent recovery to stay in shape with use and washing. To determine a fabric’s stretch and recovery, mark a 2-inch length of the material with a marker. Then stretch the fabric to measure how far it will go without straining. The result will be the fabric’s stretch percentage.
Exploring the different bra materials and fabrics will help you find the right one. Whether you’re looking for a soft, wireless bra or a strapless camisole, the right material will give you the support and comfort you need. In addition, knowing just what type of fabrics are best for each need will save you time in the long run.
Whether you need a light, breathable material for summer or a warm, fuzzy winter fabric, jersey knit fabrics meet your needs. It is recommended that all knit materials be pre-washed before sewing, as they are prone to shrinking. This prevents a potential problem with the final garment and saves time from rewashing the finished project!
The type of fiber a jersey knit fabric comprises can also affect its feel, stretch, and drape. It can be made of silk, cotton, rayon, or a blend. Some jersey knits may even contain spandex or other elastane for added stretch.
Some bras require a supportive lining fabric. This can include 15 denier nylon, power net, or power mesh. Sheer bra cup lining is also available and is used to line the stretchy sheer fabric used in the bridge of a bra.