If you sew a lot of vinyl like we do, you’re probably used to beating your head against your machine from frustration. From breaking needles, to the fabric sticking to the base plate, to your machine stopping mid-stitch because the vinyl is too thick to sew through, we’re going to give you three tips that will make sewing with vinyl a little easier!
1. Use Jeans/Denim sewing needles.
We learned this over time and as stated above through a lot of broken needles! We were always told that leather needles were the best for vinyl. This is not true at all. Leather needles are thick, sturdy and sharp because they have to essentially penetrate through skin! Vinyl is plastic so thicker needles end up breaking after a while. Denim needles are thinner and sharper, making it much easier to pierce the vinyl’s plastic surface. This is a life saver! No more buying oodles of leather needles!
2. Pick smoother vinyls.
This is key to making your life easier when sewing with vinyl. One of the main problems of sewing with vinyl is when it sticks to the base plate of the machine. The fabric itself is sticky, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that it has trouble moving through a sewing machine.
In the past, pretty much all vinyl was sticky and not even a Teflon presser foot would make much difference, but nowadays they make vinyl with a much smoother surface. If you’re like us, you like the textured vinyl (we make a lot of bags and shiny doesn’t work for us!). But textured vinyl, especially the matte kind, tends to run sticky. A quick test: rub your hand over the fabric. If you feel any stick, steer clear. If it feels slippery, you’ve found your match! Trust us, smooth vinyl is where its at!
If you like to sew designs onto your vinyl projects you know that pinning isn’t an exact science. Often times, vinyl will slip and become crooked when pinned.
Gluing is the key!
And after years of searching, we finally found a glue that basically cements the fabric together making it smooth sailing when sewing!
Gem-Tac. This is the god of all glues! And we’ve tried them all! If you don’t want your designs to pop off in the middle of sewing because the glue isn’t strong enough then Gem-Tac will become your best friend.
We love it so much, we’ve left a link to it below!
Hope these tips helped!! And happy sewing!