Sewing vinyl fabric

How to sew vinyl fabric? Vinyl material is one of the fabric materials that can be used for so many things. As you can use vinyl for a water-resistant project, you can also use it for your home decoration. Unlike vinyl fabric alternatives, vinyl is reusable. It is also easy to clean. As a beginner, you might not find it easy to work with vinyl. That is why you should consider studying the tips for sewing vinyl fabric. It would also help you understand what is vinyl fabric and how you can be sewing stretch vinyl

Meaning of Vinyl

In most cases, people use vinyl to refer to all materials that have a plastic layer. Some of the materials are plastic sheeting and faux leather. Even though those materials are quite different, they still share some things in common. There are different kinds of vinyl. If you take time to study a particular vinyl well, you can guess how to work with the rest. Materials that you might encounter are listed below


PVC is quite tough and strong. It is also resistant to water, which means water cannot penetrate vinyl. Since PVC can’t also be damaged by UV, it is ideal for outdoors. Some materials have more weight and fabric. A good example is a transparent vinyl but it is only made up of plastic.

Laminated fabric

Whenever you’re making a laminated fabric, you should add an underlying fabric. The best one that you can add is cotton. To make the cotton water-resistant, you should treat it with polyurethane. Out of all the available vinyl materials, only the laminated fabric can be easily recognized as traditional fabric. Traditional fabrics are usually soft and they can be stretched easily. That is why they can be used in sewing stretch vinyl.


To make an oilcloth, you have to treat canvas with oil. The only type of oil that can be used is linseed oil. To make your oilcloth resist water easily, you should treat it with wax. Waterproofing has been improved recently. To make an oilcloth water-resistant, you just have to treat it with PVC. A layer would be enough.


If there is a scarcity of leather, pleather can be used.  Pleather even has more weights and textures than leather. They also come in a lot of colors. With all those available options, it mimics leather accurately.

If you want to know how to sew vinyl seams, you should know that vinyl material and craft vinyl are not the same. Craft vinyl is used to cut out different shapes. Those shapes can be joined to your project. You just have to apply pressure. An Iron would make it easy for you to do the work. Even though iron-on vinyl can help you improve on how you’re sewing vinyl fabric, it is not recommended.

Use of Vinyl

As stated earlier, there are lots of vinyl. Some of those vinyl materials have similar uses while others are different in use. You can add a waterproof liner to your bag. It would make it impossible for water to penetrate the bag. Vinyl can also be used to make placemats.

Unlike other placemats, the ones made with vinyl can be easily cleaned. Since UV can’t penetrate the vinyl, it can be used to make curtains and awnings. A lot of things are made from faux leather. Some of those things are handbags and other accessories.

A presser foot won’t be effective

At times, vinyl can be sticky. The stickiness can result in a tangled stitch. That is why you should always use a walking foot. Walking feet are effective because they have feed dogs, roller foot, and Teflon. The feed dogs would help to push more than one layer simultaneously. The roller foot would help press the seam while the Teflon would help it to slide over.

Make sure you adjust the length of the stitch

Due to the strength and thickness of vinyl fabrics, tiny stitches can’t be used on them. If your threads break, you should change your stitch to a longer one. Even though three millimeters should be enough, you can’t be so sure. That is why you should make enough tests before deciding what to use.

The material shouldn’t be pinned

It is common for vinyl to show all its needle marks. Some vinyl even shows all pins. Even though it is normal to have holes, they shouldn’t be too much. When there are too many holes, your fabric will not be waterproof anymore.

Select the right thread

One of the main tips for sewing on vinyl is to know how to select the right thread. If you don’t know much about sewing vinyl fabric, you might find it difficult to choose the right thread. The first step is to know what is vinyl fabric. Even though vinyl fabrics are thick, they don’t need a heavy thread at all times. In those cases, you should choose your thread based on industrial strength. Apart from the weight of your vinyl, the way you’re going to use the complete project matters.

Use tapes to mark your seams

To understand how to sew vinyl, you have to know how to mark seams. Pins are not recommended for marking seams. So you should avoid them. If you use markers, there is a chance that your material would no longer be waterproof. That is why you should consider using the painter’s tape.  It is safe and it can be applied easily.

Practice frequently

If you want to work with vinyl efficiently, you have to practice frequently. There is no other short cut that you can use. You can even change the settings of your vinyl sewing machine and check how it works. Whenever you’re working on a new project, you should sew a few samples. It would help you improve on how to sew vinyl. It would also give you an idea of how the result of your new project would look like.

Always get your fabric ready

Even though you can’t wash vinyl the way you wash vinyl fabric alternatives, it doesn’t mean that your vinyl should be rough before cutting. There are different kinds of vinyl and you might have to treat them differently. If you don’t treat some vinyl well, they might start to develop sizing issues.

Select a needle with weight

If your materials have plastic, you shouldn’t use lightweight needles on them. Since the fabric is sticky, the stress on the needle would be too much. Even if your material is thin vinyl, it would still put much stress on a lightweight needle. That is why you should always use a leather needle. It works perfectly well with the vinyl sewing machine

Don’t make use of Irons

Whenever iron is used on plastic, you don’t get a good result. It would likely get damaged. The iron might also get spoilt in the process. You can only use a hairdryer. Even when you’re using one, you should reduce the settings to the lowest.

Keep your vinyl on a roll

If wrinkles appear in your vinyl, you might find it difficult to remove them. That is why you have to be careful. If you do the right thing, you can even prevent wrinkles from appearing. You just have to place the vinyl on a roll. It is quite better than when it is folded. It is one of the most important tips for sewing on vinyl.

Select your pattern carefully

Even if you’re experienced, you might find it difficult to select the right pattern. Just like you would do with other bulky fabric, select items that don’t have many overlapping seams. If you want to make a garment with vinyl, you should create time to do a practice garment. You would be able to make changes without the use of needle marks. Knowledge of how to select the right pattern is one of the main steps in learning how to sew vinyl seams.