I just got in some bramaking materials from the NYC based Spandex World. They have reasonable prices and a wide selection of stretch fabrics. Here’s my thoughts:
- I am impressed with the heavyweight powernet. It feels almost as firm as the powernet of my RTW Panache Andorra bra and has a snappy stretch. It would work as a standalone or underlining band fabric for medium sizes, and give great support if doubled up for larger cup sizes (if you like your bands firm). I bought it in both white and light nude, since nude can be a difficult color to get correct when dyeing at home. The white has a softer texture than the nude. (Maybe some finishing chemicals need to be washed out?) At $10/yard I also consider it very reasonably priced. Certainly much more reasonably priced than Bramaker’s Supply’s $30 powernet. It is 50-52″ wide.
- The white matte milliskin would make a very durable lingerie fabric, especially for something like the Christine Jonson body shaper. I think smaller sizes could probably get away with using it for a band without underlining it if they made the band short enough. It has a firm stretch. (It stretches to at least 80%, but you start encountering resistance at around the 25% mark.) Since it has the potential to be very bulky if finished with regular lingerie elastic I would finish the edges with either stretch lace or foldover elastic. It is nylon so it should dye with acid dyes.
- The white lightweight Supplex is nice. Thinner, a slightly softer stretch, and softer in texture than the milliskin, but not quite as slippery. I think it would be the ideal fabric for panties, or for covering bra cups. I really like it! It is $12/yard. Like the milliskin it is nylon, so it should dye with acid dyes.
- I am not a fan of the non-stretch spacer foam. Instead of being light as a feather like the other foams I’ve tried, it is quite heavy and feels very dense. It feels like a piece of supple cowskin leather. It doesn’t seem like it would breathe very well, and has a slight chemical smell. However, it is very cheap – only $12/yard as opposed to polylaminate foam from places like Sew Sassy, which starts at around $18/yard. So if you are looking for the absolute cheapest option out there and/or need an inexpensive muslin foam this is probably it. While my machine tends to skip stitches with Sew Sassy polylaminate foam it sewed this one perfectly and the edges were very smoothly butted together.
One thing I want to note about ordering from Spandex World: they don’t seem to have any lower cost shipping options like USPS, so if you are somewhere near the NYC Garment District I would recommend buying in person instead of ordering online. The shipping for my order – which was less than $50 – was $15. Ouch!