Tips for Sewing with Laminated Fabric

  • Some laminated fabrics "stick" on the bottom of your pressure foot as you sew. Using a walking foot, Teflon foot or painters tape on the underside of the pressure foot work, but my all time favorite is one recommended by Lila Tueller (who designs for Riley Blake fabric) "sewing machine oil" - just a little touch on the bottom of the pressure foot or along the seam line does the trick ... IT REALLY WORKS.  You don't need much - you just want the foot to glide along - I've also had huge success with "chap stick" especially when top-stitching.  
  • Use pins only in seam allowances since they leave tiny holes ... but they really don't show much if you miss :D ..  I use wonder clips which are available at many fabric stores or in my store here. Wonder clips are great because they really hold tight and also have a guide for seam width. They are a huge time saver if you do a lot of sewing. You can also use hair clips, binder clips, even paper clips.  
  • Laminated cotton fabric is thinner than oilcloth or naugahyde. It's soft, pliable and is easy to sew using these tips. The laminate is about 1ml thick and is adhered to the print side of the fabric (between the edges) by the manufacturers. Usually the laminate is about 1" from the edge, but this can vary (I always let you know the laminated width on each listing) I trim the excess laminate using sharp scissors before ironing to avoid it messing with my iron or ironing board. Laminated cotton fabric doesn't ravel (except the occasional thread) 
  • I use a microtex needle for sewing and top-stitching because they are super sharp and I buy them in bulk - but a sharp size 80/12 needle works just as well.  The correct needle for your machine may be different than mine so test on a scrap. I top-stitch most every seam (using a longer length) to reinforce and give a crisper edge using my 1/4" edging foot. I have greatest success top-stitching if I use a tiny bit of chap stick or sewing machine oil on the surface of the laminate.  (See the top-stitching detail on the raincoat photo above) Be sure to use a NEW sharp needle for great results.
  • Thread - I recommend a cotton polyester - a good quality one.
  • Ironing laminated fabric - I iron my laminated projects all the time. If I need to iron the laminated side I use a pressing cloth or parchment paper and am careful not to touch the laminate. I use a cotton setting - steam is fine (test your iron first). I also use "best press" if I need a "starch"  I do ship with a tube if requested at extra charge.  Fusible interfacing works just fine on the wrong side of the fabric. I use pellon fusible fleece (987F) for most of my bags and thin light or medium strips for interfacing behind snaps.
  • Care for laminated fabrics - Because it's wipeable you seldom will need to wash; but all my laminated fabrics are machine washable and dryable. I've washed mine in the delicate cycle and even thrown it in the dryer (remove promptly or you'll have wrinkles) - or just let it drip dry.