Laminated fabrics are fabrics that are coated on one side with a polyurethane sealant. These types of fabrics are ideal for projects that need protection against water or moisture, and are perfect for bags and purses such as cosmetic bags, travel bags, and reusable shopping bags.
These days you can find laminated fabric in a wide range of designer fabrics, but for times when you want a laminated fabric in a specific print or fabric design, it’s really easy to make your own using fusible vinyl such as Pellon Vinyl Fuse which is available in several sizes: Pellon Matte Vinyl Fuse: 15″ x 2yds packaged and Pellon Matte Vinyl Fuse: 20″ wide by the yard.
The only limitation when using Vinyl Fuse is the width, as it only comes in widths of 17″ for the pre-packaged or 20″ by the yard. However this is more than wide enough for making small items.
For best results you should always read the instructions, but basically, the vinyl fuse has a fusible surface on the underside that is ironed onto the right side of the fabric to create a permanent laminated surface on the fabric.
First you need to pre-wash your fabric to remove any sizing or dirt that may be on the fabric. When washing, don’t use a fabric conditioner as this can affect the fibers in the fabric and prevent the vinyl from adhering properly. Iron the fabric to remove all wrinkles.
For this tutorial I’m going to use some of my hand-dyed fabric and in an upcoming tutorial I’ll be using this fabric to make a small zipper pouch.
Once the fabric is washed and ironed, cut it slightly oversized. Once the vinyl fuse is adhered, you can then easily trim the fabric to size. I’m going to laminate the lining for the zipper pouch and I’m using the yellow part of the fabric because a light colored lining makes it easier to see things inside your purse.
Pre-heat your iron to a medium setting which is the wool setting. Remove the backing paper from the Vinyl Fuse. Position the fabric on a firm surface with the right side of the fabric facing up. I like to use a teflon ironing sheet or mat underneath to protect the surface of my ironing board. Place the vinyl fuse with the sticky side facing down on top of the fabric and press flat with your hands.
Place the backing paper with the shiny side facing down, on top of the vinyl fuse. Position is carefully because you don’t want your iron to touch the vinyl.
Once everything is in place and beginning at one corner, press and hold the iron for 8 seconds. Lift the iron and move it to the next spot and press and hold for 8 seconds. Slightly overlap each section as you move over the surface. Continue in this manner until the whole fabric surface has been pressed. You can lift the paper to check your progress.
Flip the fabric over and repeat the process on the underside of the fabric by pressing each section for 4 seconds at a time. Ta Da! Your very own laminated fabric.
You can also see the process in action in this video demonstation.