Top tips: Sewing with PVC and laminated fabrics!

Sewing with Laminated Fabrics

We just love the super cool PVC fabrics we have in stock at the moment but sometimes they can be a little tricky to work with as they don’t respond in the same way uncoated fabrics do. We have put together these 13 top tips for you to conquer those laminated fabrics and make something amazing!

Laminated Fabrics and PVC

1. Think about the project you want to use your laminated fabric for. It is best to stick to reasonably simple shapes as it doesn’t always work well with lots of curves because it has no drape. One of our most popular patterns for laminated fabrics is the Tilly and the Buttons Eden Raincoat!

Tilly and the Buttons Eden Raincoat

2. Use a new sharp needle. Size 12 or 14 will be fine but if you find it is struggling try a Jeans needle. It is always best to test on a scrap of the laminated fabric first.

Jeans Needles

3. Normal sewing thread is fine. No need to use an extra strong thread. We recommend Gutermann Sew All thread.

Sew-All Thread

4. Lengthen your stitch length. About 3mm long should work. If the stitch length is too short the needle will create too many holes in the fabric and this could weaken your seam. A longer stitch length also helps to avoid puckers. You may however find you will need to decrease the length a little for any tight curves.

Sewing with Laminates

5. NEVER iron on the coated side of the fabric! A cool iron on the reverse side will be fine but make sure it does not touch the front for even a second (it makes a mess of your fabric and your iron!). Finger pressing the seams with this fabric is sufficient for these fabrics. Also a pattern will usually require to top stitch the seams which will help hold them in place too. If you do need to get rid of wrinkles a cool setting on your hair dryer should to help ease them out! Always try to store your fabrics in a way that they will not get creased. Rolling is a good option here.

Sewing with Laminated Fabrics

Sewing with Laminated Fabrics

6. Use an easy glide pressure foot and needle plate. You may find that the right side of the fabric is getting stuck to your pressure foot and needle plate as you are stitching. There are special pressure feet and needle plates available that help to stop the right side of coated fabric. These are made of a ‘non-stick’ material called Teflon which will help your fabric glide through easily. However if you do not want to buy one of these a piece of masking tape over your normal needle plate (avoiding the feed dogs) and on the bottom of the standard pressure foot should do the trick!

Ultraglide Foot

7. No need to finish the edges. Happy days! The coating on these fabrics will stop any fraying so you do not need worry about finishing the edges. You could cut with pinking shears if you wanted a more fancy finish however!

Sewing with Laminated Fabrics

8. Never use pins. Pins will leave permanent holes in your beautiful fabrics. Wonder clips are your best friend here as they do not leave any marks and hold the fabric really steady. Paper clips and bulldog clips also work but may leave some marks on the fabric.

9. Sticky tape can be super helpful. Magic Scotch Tape is great for holding pieces like patch pockets in place while you stitch. This just peels off afterwards and should not leave a residue on the fabric (always test a piece first and remove as soon as possible afterwards).

10. Double sided tape is also good for holding together openings in seams. This does not need to be removed as you won’t be able to see it once the seam gap is stitched up!


11. Remember not to use pins when cutting out. Use pattern weights and a rotary cutter to cut out, or tracing paper and a tracing wheel to transfer the pattern. Alternatively draw round your pattern pieces and then cut. Just choose the method that works best for you.

Sewing with Laminated Fabrics

12. Waterproof the seams. If you are making something like a raincoat you will want to be sure to waterproof the seams so no rain seeps through. A ‘seam sealing tape’ will work well here and is super easy to use.

13. Check twice stitch once. Once the needle punctures the fabric that hole is permanent!

I really hope these tips have given you more confidence to work with these fab fabrics. Don’t forget to show us your makes with #thevillagehaberdashery !

Next article Modern macrame plant hanger tutorial by Susana Cunha


Laurel Sorensen - August 26, 2021

I’m confused…the first tip…It won’t be machine washable. I bought PUL for a raincoat and it said to machine wash before making the coat. I also know it is used for diaper covers. People can’t wash those? Please explain.

Marek Susan - September 3, 2018

thanks for the tips. the pvc is really hard fabric to sew on a machine. this really tough job for the user. thanks for the help and safety tips.

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