Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sewing With Laminates

Sewing with laminated fabric can sometimes be a challenge, so I wanted to offer a few tips I've learned that might help you as well. 

Laminate fabric is different from PUL (Polyester Urethane Laminate). For starters, it's cotton. This means it won't have the stretch that a polyester knit has, which will alone make it easier to sew for most. It is also laminated on the print side of the fabric. This allows you to enjoy the print without concern of soiling the fabric. Laminates are growing in popularity and availability in the past couple of years, and there are so many uses for it! I personally love sewing with laminate.

I often use it for kid's items like bibs, aprons or A+ Art Portfolios ;) to make them easy to wipe clean.

If you have trouble sewing laminate, here are a few tips that might help.
  • Sew with the cotton side down. If the feed dogs of your machine have the woven fabric to grip to rather than the slick laminate side, they will often do better.
  • Use a Walking Foot. If your machine has a Walking Foot, laminates are the perfect kind of fabric to use it with. 
  • Adjust the tension on your machine. For some machines this will help a lot, for others you won't be able to tell a difference. My older model Singer absolutely refused to sew laminates, but my Janome will chew through them like regular cottons. ???
  • Put a piece of masking tape on the bottom of the presser foot to create a better grip. I've never used this method, but I have heard it suggested several times.
  • Use a sturdy needle. Laminates are thicker, and will sew better with a heavy weight or denim needle. 
  • Using a trim like fold over elastic is very helpful with laminates and will help reduce the bulk of your seams.
  • NOTE: All laminates are NOT the same! The material and process of lamination differs, so you will want to know the specifics of the kind you are working with. For example, some MODA laminates, like the sock monkey, are a much thicker, more durable laminate, but they are not machine washable. These are best for items that will get lots of use and can just be wiped cleaned and air dried. Others like the Michael Miller Dot are thinner, more flexible and machine washable. These are best for items like raincoats, bags and multi layered sewing. You'll want to choose the kind of laminate based on the kind of item you are making.

If you have questions about sewing laminate fabric, I'd be happy to help as I can, just email me!
As always, if you have further suggestions, please share them in the comments.


Pam @Threading My Way said...

The thought of plastic and sewing machines... eeeekkk!!! I've pinned this for future reference, Kristy!!! I'll know what to do when I venture down this track...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...