Any tips for sewing nylon?

Posted by: jrigg

Any tips for sewing nylon? - 03/22/16 10:09 PM

SO I am wanting to tackle my first back pack project and I have some old nylon from a tent I have had forever. But I am trying to figure out a way to sew it with nice clean crisp lines as it moves through the sewing machine.

I wanted to use a basting tape, but since I live in the armpit of the world there is no place for miles that has sewible, double sided basting tape that you can use, unless you iron it on, and I don't want to melt my nylon so that idea is out the window.

I guess I am going to just attempt to pin it as i go, or use paper clips to hold it steady. I also bought some washable glue.....some of the crafty women I know said they use it to hold their projects together as they hand sew on quilts, and since it is washable it just washes out.

Any tips and hints and help would be great. I am going to do some more research before I start so I know what I am getting into, and I will go from there. I like to think about a lot of this before i just jump into it. Thanks again for any help.
Posted by: Pika

Re: Any tips for sewing nylon? - 03/22/16 10:39 PM

Pinning the pieces together works pretty well as does hand basting with needle and thread. Paper clips are, in my experience, more trouble than they are worth. The thing that will help you most, though, is practice. Take some scrap and sew it together again and again until you start getting the results you want. Successful sewing has a learning curve; your first project is likely going to have a few rough edges. Once you can reliably sew a flat-felled seam you are making progress.😀
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Any tips for sewing nylon? - 03/22/16 10:54 PM

I "hot tack" nylon when I sew it. I converted a soldering iron to a hot tacker by adding a simple coil spring. You simply touch the iron every few inches to the fabric and it basically spot welds the two sheets together with tiny little weld dots, strong enough to get it sewn. Just pull it apart if you get it wrong, and re-tack. I make kites and that is by far the best way to "pin" synthetics.

I also use the same tool, spring removed, with a straight edge to hot cut my fabric. Eliminates frayed edges.

Like this:
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Any tips for sewing nylon? - 03/23/16 03:36 PM

Pin or hand-baste. Use ball point pins (less damage to the fabric). Hand basting is actually quite quick (long stitches) and is easily removed.

Also, when sewing nylon, similar synthetics, or silk, remember that these fabrics dull the sewing machine needle really fast. Change said needle after no more 5 hours of sewing.

I'd be hesitant about using old coated nylon; the coating deteriorates and cracks off. Give it a good sniff first--an "off" odor is one of the first signs. Of course if this is just a "practice" run, that's different.