Is it possible to put your fabric through a laminator to get protected with a plastic exterior? Honestly, the answer to this depends on the situation. If you also want to know if you can put the fabric through a laminating machine, I will provide solutions in this article.
Before I go into that, you might want to know why people prefer laminate fabrics. Of course, we know about laminating paper and other essential documents to protect them from damage; laminating fabric might sound slightly strange.
Fabrics also need protection. It might be protected from substances that will stain or damage them. Laminating fabric will make a whole lot of sense, especially when the fabric comes in regular contact with what might impair or destroy it.
Most times, fabrics will bleach when exposed to certain chemicals; This will change their look and, in most cases, render them useless. Laminating these fabrics is an ideal way of preventing such occurrences.
Usually, laminated fabrics are sold in different variants like oil cloths, vinyl, chalkboard fabrics, and some types of faux leathers. Such fabrics can be great for purposes that will usually get messy when used in their pure forms. These projects include placemats, makeup bags, baby bibs, etc.
When you have these items around, life becomes much easier, and you don’t have to do the regular fabric washing or replacement every time. However, they can be very pricey at times. So, instead of purchasing these laminate fabrics, why not make them yourself?
This means you must outsource a laminator if you don’t have one to make your laminated fabrics to dodge the high cost. Now, is it possible to put a piece of cloth through a laminator? Let’s find out.
Can you laminate fabric in a laminating machine?
Fortunately, you can laminate fabric in a laminating machine; this means you can put your fabric through a laminator to get laminated. However, not all kinds of fabrics can be laminated in a laminator.
The better part is that most fabrics can be. It all depends on the thickness of the fabric. The area where you put paper through in the laminator can be minimal at times and will not give room for materials that are too thick.
So yes, it is possible to make your own laminate fabric at home with a laminator. However, I will not suggest that you put your fabric through a laminator every time; there are other techniques to go about it.
Basically, there are specific instances whereby you can laminate your fabric in a laminator. For example, if you want to make items like placemats, you can go ahead and laminate them in a laminator. I will describe the other method in which you can laminate fabric without a laminator later in this article.
What happens when you laminate fabric in a Laminator?
You might wonder what the effect of laminating fabric in a laminator could be. Well, after putting your fabric through a laminator, you can no longer sew it into anything else.
That is why I mentioned that you could use a laminator to laminate fabrics that will be used as placemats since they are flat and need no further sewing after lamination.
How To Laminate Fabric with A Laminator
If you choose to laminate your fabric in a laminator, there is a specified procedure that you should follow. If you follow this procedure carefully, I can assure you that you will face no difficulty in the process.
First of all, ensure that the fabric you want to laminate is flat enough to go through the laminator. You can test the thickness before turning the laminator on. If the fabric can go in conveniently, it is excellent for the job.
Also, before you begin the process, starch the fabric, so it can achieve a degree of firmness before going inside the laminator. The tension of pure material is usually low, unlike paper, and might get wrinkled when it gets into the laminating machine.
By starching the fabric, you are giving it a more rigid shape so that it can withstand the forces in the laminating machine. If fabric gets wrinkled in the laminator, you will have to roll it to its entry point backward.
How to Laminate Fabric Using the Iron-on Method
The iron-on method is an alternative and better way of laminating fabric instead of putting it in a laminator. However, it is a long process, so you need to follow the procedure to achieve desired results.
Below are the materials you will need to laminate fabric using this method;
- Iron-On Vinyl: This is a significant material for the process. It comes in small rolls and can either be Matt or gloss finish.
- Cutting tools: Cutting tools include paper scissors or a rotary cutting blade.
- The Fabric: The fabric you want to laminate must also be available. It can be quilting fabric, canvas, or duck cloth.
- Pressing Tools: These include the pressing iron and an ironing board
- Weights: Pattern weights are used as pins and will leave holes in your laminated fabric. If you can’t obtain pattern weights, you can use tins from your pantry instead.
- Optional Materials: freezer paper, brown craft paper, glitter.
Once you have all of these materials in place, you are good to go. Follow this procedure to laminate your fabric using the Iron-on method;
- Cut out a small piece of the Iron-on vinyl you have set aside.
- The vinyl usually comes with a grid at the back to guide you on the amount of fabric required.
- Get some of the fabric weights aside to keep the edges of vinyl in place; this will prevent it from curling.
- Get the piece of fabric you have cut and place it on your ironing board; keep the right side up.
- Use your already hot pressing iron to iron it and ensure there are no wrinkles on it. If you find a thread on the fabric, use the scissors to get rid of it.
- Then pull off the backing of the laminate vinyl, but do not trash the backing.
- The next step is to attach the sticky side of the laminate vinyl to the right side of the fabric you have put up. Then press it with your hand.
- In no time, it should have become smoothen on the fabric piece but will not stick firmly at this stage.
- The backing paper you have pulled out will come to use now. Place the paper over the fabric. If you have already trashed yours, you can use the freezer paper for the same purpose.
- Use the freezer paper or the backing paper as your presser cloth before placing the iron on it. Set your iron to medium heat and ensure it is on “No Steam.”
- If possible, pour out any water in the iron before using it.
- Place the iron on the material and hold it on one spot for ten seconds. Move the iron to another spot and repeat the same process.
- Ensure the iron does not come in direct contact with the plastic, so it does not create a mess on its face.
- Do the same for the other side of the fabric and press again with the iron. In no time, your laminated fabric should be ready.
The last step is usually sewing the laminated fabric. Many people don’t do this, but if you want to, then you can go ahead with it. Remember to use the pins to hold the pieces together as you sew into your preferred design.