You should be especially careful when choosing your pattern because, unlike other fabrics, laminates and vinyl are not exactly known for their flexibility. By this token, it is best to go for a pattern that does not come with a lot of fittings. For example, try to avoid any vinyl and laminate that comes with gathers and darts. According to expert sewers, set-in sleeves should also be avoided. On the other hand, you should preferably go for cut-on sleeves or raglan to enjoy a far easier sewing experience. Another important thing to look out for is whether your fabric is on-grain: indeed, because of the vinyl coating, it would be difficult- if not impossible- to straighten the pattern if it’s crooked in anyway. Beginners who aren’t used to working with this type of fabric should preferably ignore the fabric grainline and follow the pattern design instead.
Using pins can be somewhat useless with laminated or vinyl fabrics since they don’t stay open every time and they can lose their shape if forced open. Pins also tend to leave visible puncture holes when used on these types of fabrics. Consequently, you might need to use finger-pressing to ensure that your fabric remains flat. In some cases, you might even need to fold open the fabric to one side to do the final hemming. If you have any excess fabric, you can use edge-stitching to ensure that the fabric remains entirely while you trim it. As far as caring for your fabric is concerned, you should remember that it is not recommended to machine wash vinyl or laminate, at the risk of completely ruining the fabric. While some sewers prefer to brush their fabrics with a soft-bristle and damp brush, it is actually recommended to wipe them off with a damp cloth.
Zippers and buttonholes
In some cases, you might need to put buttonholes in your vinyl or laminated fabric, especially if you’re making raincoats or regular vinyl coats. In these cases, it would be best to make bound or slit buttonholes. However, some machines also come with features that enable you to make buttonholes with larger spaces between them. With these machines, you can also adjust the overall density. Sewers should bear in mind that it’s best to avoid machine buttonholes since these can damage the laminate, because it delivers thicker-than-average stitches.
Choose the proper foot
When working with laminated and vinyl fabrics, sewers should imperatively invest in a proper foot to ensure that they manage to successfully complete their project. The Teflon foot, for example, comes with a plastic coating that will allow your fabric to easily slide across the plate. This foot is available in nearly every offline and online sewing store. However, a plastic foot might not properly work on a metal plate. In such cases, you can prevent the fabric from sticking to the plate by sprinkling just a small amount of talcum powder across both the plate and the fabric. You can use a damp sponge to wipe it off after use.
Cutting your fabric
If you’re working with a heavy sheet of laminate or vinyl fabric, it is advisable to let out your fabric in room temperature since they can stiffen up in cold weathers. Afterwards, you can cut the fabric in a single layer. More experienced sewers can attempt to do several layers at the same time, but in such cases, you should preferably place a sheet of tissue paper between each layer to keep the fabrics from sticking to each other. If you want to mark the fabric, you can do so with sewing chalk.