Vinyl is a synthetic fabric that has become increasingly popular in the fashion industry over the past decade. It is known for its durable, waterproof and flexible nature, but one of the main questions that almost all fashion enthusiasts ask first is, can you sew vinyl with a regular sewing machine? The answer is yes! Sewing vinyl with a regular sewing machine can be easily done, although a few elements should be taken into account first.
It is important to bear in mind that, depending on the weight and thickness of the vinyl, a proper tension of the sewing machine’s needle should be set. New or poor quality thread can also cause the vinyl fabric to get stuck in the needle plate. If the vinyl fabric is particularly thick, a speciality needle might be needed, like one designed for leather or heavier fabrics.
Another important point is to keep the temperature of the iron low and opt for a presser foot that helps moving the layers of vinyl fabric, like a walking foot. Any extra feet and tools supplied with the machine suit are also great to use. When it comes to thread, it is preferable to pick one that can perform well in humid conditions, such as polyester or hunting thread.
An interesting fact that many sewers don’t know is that, according to experts, vinyl is a strong material, so it can actually be sewed at speeds of 3-4. Furthermore, it is important to remember that vinyl fabric is affected by heat, therefore, no steaming or direct high-temperature heat application should be used while sewing.
It is also essential to try to avoid too many stitched seams in a single row. This usually happens when the stitches on either side of a seam are too close to each, so it is advisable to set the needle a bit further apart if possible. On the other hand, if the seam is particularly thick and easy to rip apart, it might be necessary to reinforce it by stitched back seam.
In conclusion, sewing vinyl with a regular sewing machine is possible, although some considerations must taken into account. A bit of practice and patience will also help to achieve a perfect result.
Types of Vinyl
Vinyl is a multi-purpose material that is widely used in different industries, including automotive, aviation and marine applications. However, due to it versatility, its use in fashion cannot be forgotten. There are many types of vinyl fabric available in the market, such as PVC vinyl, marine vinyl and eco-vinyl.
PVC vinyl is widely used in the fashion industry, due to its flexibility, durability and water-resistant features. It is also known for its shiny aesthetic and excellent insulation, mostly recommended for costumes, shoes, upholstery and furniture.
Marine vinyl is generally composed of a blend PVC and polyester, offering an even higher durability and tear resistant. It is mostly used for commercial recreational and marine upholstery, such as boats, canoes and other vehicles.
Finally, eco-vinyl is a derivative of PVC, but its production is more eco-friendly and sustainable. Despite it containing no animal products, it has the same properties as regular PVC and it can be used for the same purposes. Perfect for fashion accessories as well as for upholstery and furniture.
Needles for Vinyl Fabric
In order to sew vinyl, a specific needle is needed to create a neat and stable seam. This type of needle has a slightly blunt point on its tip, with a cutting edge on the side of the groove. This creation is done to help the needle penetrate the fabric while preventing it from melting the vinyl due to heat.
Some of the most common types of needles for vinyl fabrics involve the Ball Point Needles, which have a special rounded tip and are generally used to sew knit fabric. There are also several sizes available, depending on the thickness of the vinyl fabric. Generally, if the fabric is thin, a size 7 to 9 needle will work, for medium weight fabrics, size 10 to 14 is recommended, while for thicker layers, a size 14 should be used.
In the market, some brands offer specific needles for sewing vinyl fabrics. These are designed to prevent the material from melting and to help reduce fraying. It is also possible to buy a kit containing several different types of needles for different fabric weights.
Working with Vinyl
When stitching with vinyl fabric, should always apply a few special stitches to enhance the seam’s durability. These includes the Straight Stitch, the Zig-Zag stitch and other specialty stitches, all commonly used when working with heavier material, such as leather and canvas.
In order to make the sewing experience easier, it is also recommended to have a few extra tools, such as a non-stick pressing sheet, scissors and clips. Scissors are great to get rid of any extra fabric or threads, while clips can be used to secure the seams until they are stitched.
It is also very important to use the correct thread for the job. In the case of vinyl fabric, thread with a wax coating should be preferred, as this will help reduce the fabric from sticking in the needle plate.
Caring for Vinyl Garments
It is known that vinyl garments and accessories require special care and maintenance. In order to make them last longer, it is essential to follow a few simple steps.
The first and most important is to keep any garment made with vinyl fabric away from excess heat and sunlight. This will help to keep its elasticity and shine. It is also important to make sure to remove any dust, dirt and debris from the fabric with a soft damp cloth.
Vinyl fabric can also be washed with a gentle, low-ph detergent, although air drying and dry ironing are not recommended. Any sot ironing should be done at a very low temperature and the garment should be placed in between two towel to protect the fabric from direct contact with the iron.
When it comes to storage, it might be necessary to “wrap up” the garment with a breathable cloth as well, or to keep in a cloth bag.
Design Ideas for Vinyl Fabric
Vinyl fabric is a great material to play with, and many designers and fashion enthusiasts are finding new uses and fun projects while working with it. From costumes to daily accessories, vinyl fabric is perfect to create beautiful and unique items.
A great example of vinyl fabric combined with another material is leather. Both materials are perfect to create well-crafted wallets, purses and belts. If a more functional and practical look is desired, a more feminine and delicate style can be achieved with the addition of lace and other appliques.
Fabrics composed of vinyl, such as faux leather, are also perfect to add some shine and sparkle to any outfit. It can be used in dresses and skirts to create a daring but stylish look. Vinyl fabric is also perfect for jackets, vests and coats, as it offers a strong, protective layer against wind and bad weather.
Finally, there is also the option of using vinyl for decorations, such as banners and curtains. Its durability is perfect to make flags and advertisements, and its waterproof features also make it ideal to create umbrellas and awnings.