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Sewing Tips for laminated fabric

 --- Use pins only in seam allowances as they leave holes.   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 timesaver if you do a lot of sewing. You can also use hair clips, binder clips, even paper clips too.

--- Some laminates "stick" on the bottom of your pressure foot as you're sewing.  Using a walking foot, Teflon foot or painter's 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.

--- Laminated cotton is thinner than oilcloth or naugahyde. It's super soft, pliable and easy to sew using these tips. The laminate is about 1mm thick and is adhered using super high heat by the manufacturers and lays between the edges (selvedges) of the fabric. Some are about an inch or so in from the selvedge and may need trimming  and remember that one-way designs may require more fabric. I trim the excess laminate before I iron so it doesn't stick to my iron or ironing board when I iron.

--- I use a microtex needle for sewing and top-stitching because I buy them in bulk and they work great.  I usually use a size 70/80 machine needle - but test your machine first.  The correct needle for your machine may be different than mine.  I've read that top-stitching needles work well in laminate,  but I haven't tried them.  I top-stitch most every seam to reinforce and give a crisper edge using my 1/4" edging foot. I have great success top-stitching if I use a tiny bit of chap stick or sewing machine oil on the surface of the laminate.

--- Thread - I recommend a cotton polyester - a good quality one.  I use Superior thread in most cases.

--- Ironing laminate - I iron my laminate projects all the time on the non-laminated side. If I need to iron the laminated side I always use a pressing cloth and am super careful not to touch the laminate or it will melt.  Some of the laminates are more sensitive than others so TEST them first.   I use a medium setting - Usually no steam.  I always try to do my ironing on the wrong side (non-laminated side) of the fabric - seldom do I find the need to iron on the laminated side. I do ship with a tube if needed.

--- Care for laminate fabrics depends on the manufacture.  Some say you can wash - some say to only wipe clean.  I've washed many of mine in the delicate cycle and even thrown them in the dryer (remove promptly or you'll have wrinkles) - or just let it drip dry  ... but TEST it first.  I would suspect the fabric will not hold up as long with frequent washing - this is something I'll try testing someday. **update - I've washed all the laminates I sell and there's been no delamination!! - but the look of the laminate changes a bit since the cotton changes with washing - the laminate is less shiny ... I kind of like it better

--- What's the difference between oilcloth and laminated cotton???  The main difference for me is that oilcloth is NOT CPSIA compliant because it has bad stuff in it for kids. I don't know about you, but I don't want bad stuff around me either. I'm also concerned about imported laminated that has not been tested for CPSIA compliance.

--- and Riley Blake has a pdf from Lila Tueller/Amanda Herring with some sewing tips HERE

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