Heavy stretch fabric that will take studs and rhinestones?


New Member
Can anyone please suggest some stretch fabrics that can take studs and rhinestones? Regular weight spandex is much too thin and will just perforate. I need a heavier fabric like professional ice skaters wear, but I don't know what I need or where to get it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


Sr Member
I've used SpandexWorld. Good company to deal with although the part of the company that deals with samples seems to be completely different from the part that ships fabric. Fabric shipping is fast, samples less so.

You can ask them to send a sample of everything the have and you will get a sheet of paper covered in pieces of fabric with a corresponding number. You order by the number.

I am working on a project now that involves rhinestones and have found that most rhinestones are glue on now. For spandex, I recommend stretching the fabric in an embroidery hoop before you glue the rhinestones on so future stretching doesn't pop them off.



Well-Known Member
Spandex is just a name brand for lycra. Just like any cloth lycra comes in various weights depending on what you want to do with it.

The first three google hits for spandex provide a ton of useful information about spandex / lycra. Do a new search and add fabric behind spandex and or lycra and you'll find plenty of places to buy it. You can also look for high performance spandex, lycra and perhaps neoprene will also work.



New Member
Thanks for the input, everyone. MaulWalker, the rhinestones and studs aren't glued on, they're applied via prongs that go through the fabric and are bent under on the back side. Each stud creates four holes when applied. As you can imagine, it only takes a handful of studs or rhinestones to perforate (and thus seriously weaken) the fabric. This is the biggest issue. I need something stretchy yet strong enough to withstand being perforated.


Sr Member
The heavyweight spandex is sometimes called "Jumbo". It only has a 2-way stretch though. You may find a heavier weight milliskin or molesking at Spandexworld.

I'd think the Starchild's costume had the stones glued on, unless the suit was lined, because he's way to hairy to have those prongs against his body. Though, it might explain some of his jumping around like a man with an itch he can't scratch during concerts.;)


New Member
Thanks, Batdemon. I appreciate your concern, but I'm not that hairy and I need to use studs as well as rhinestones, so gluing isn't much of an option. BTW, I'm not doing Paul's costume, it's just an example of my needs.

I checked out Spandexworld, but there's so many options and I don't know one from another. It may as well be a foreign language. Between Miliskin, Moleskin and everything else, I still don't know which of these fabrics is what I need.


Active Member
Heat fix rhinestones will stay in place remarkably well even on lycra. If you haven't already invested in the pronged rhinestones I'd suggest testing the heat fix variety out on some scrap lycra to see what you think.

As already mentioned Spandex World is a great resource. I've also been pretty happy with the products I've gotten from Stretch House.

ETA: I apologize, I didn't see your last post until it refreshed when I posted.

For a bodysuit you're probably going to want a 4-way stretch fabric though it can be done with 2-way as well. The 4 way fabric doesn't tend to be very heavy so you may need to look into stabilizing the studs with some type of interfacing. It would be tedious, but to maintain the stretch in the fabric you'd have to cut out shapes a little larger than your studs for every stud you use. The interfacing will help to protect the lycra from the perforations. This would probably be a good group of fabrics to start on. As previously suggested you can ask them for samples so you can actually see the fabric before you purchase.

Here's a pretty good rundown on stretch fabrics from someone who makes ice skating costumes.

I hope someone else has a less time-consuming approach to your project but the interfacing is all that comes to mind right now.
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Sr Member
Request samples. I think you can do it online, but you can also call them and tell them what you're looking for. A third option is Spandex House. All three are within a few doors of each other in NYC and carry most of the same items.


Well-Known Member
Moleskin is a heavy weight 4 way spandex, but you can always double up the spandex to guarantee the sturdiness of it.

Darth Mule

Sr Member
I'd lean towards hotfix stones and studs over the pronged type as well. If you have to use the prong type, you will need to back it with something. You can do this with flannel or something soft with a little body. You don't actually want the fabric to stretch where the studs are or they will just shoot right out.
If you plan to cover a large area, this is bad because you are removing all your stretch of course. But if it's just in clusters, you are safe.


Sr Member
I used pronged snaps for a number of stretch costume projects so have some on hand experience to share :)

You are right in looking for a heavier weight but you can also double up the fabric. I have zero luck in searching for fabric with google, just lots of finished products..
Spandex and Lycra Fabrics : Water Resistant Fabric : Seattlefabrics.com
This has some listings for heavy duty stretch fabrics.

Given the cut out over the front there is certainly some sort of facing going on. That will also help prevent the prongs from popping or the fabric ripping.

Another thing I did was make shaped non stretch facings for each of the snaps I did. Fewer than would be possibly needed here but more than you may imagine ;) Something like 50 odd. The non stretch meant the stress was on the facing rather than the fabric.