11 Tips For Sewing With PVC Vinyl Fabric

Hands up if you knew we stock PVC vinyl

Really hope you’ve got a hand in the air right now! Cause if not whaaaaaat’r’u doinnnnnnn?!

PVC vinyl is such a versatile fabric with a variety of finishing options too!

There’s often a little touch on a project where a transparent fabric could finish it off to perfection; Little ‘glass’ panes in windows, a clear tab to hold an ID tag, a bag you can glance the contents of, an apron that doesn’t hide your outfit… there are so many uses big and small.

So here you have it, a comprehensive guide to sewing with PVC vinyl.

Oh and before you start reading… check out our PVC vinyl here!


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A Product Guide For Beginners

Looking for inspiration? Find our ‘Clear PVC Zipper Pouch‘ tutorial here

Why use Vinyl fabric?

Benefits of Vinyl

  • Transparent
  • Waterproof
  • Crease resistant
  • Quick drying
  • Won’t fray
  • No right/ wrong side
  • Wipe clean

Project ideas for clear Vinyl

  • Aprons
  • Placemats
  • Pencil cases
  • Make up bags
  • Wet bags
  • Swim bags
  • ID tags

So PVC vinyl is super useful BUT it does need some special handling…

11 Tips For Sewing PVC Vinyl Fabric

✂ Pressing: DO NOT IRON VINYL DIRECTLY! It will melt… Even with a low heat and pressing cloth it can also go a bit crinkly. So if you MUST press deferentially test with scraps first… Press using low heat with the vinyl sandwiched between cotton fabric.

The best way we have found to get rid of any marks or creases is to press the ironing surface until warm, then place the vinyl over the warmed area and smooth. This works a treat if you’re using vinyl on a project that needs to be turned.

Needle: Project depending – use a 70/10 needle for thin weight projects, 140/16 for thicker weights.

Stitch Length: Use a longer stitch length 3 – 3.5. Using a smaller stitch may cause the vinyl to perforate.

Machine Foot: Vinyl is sticky – it will stick to itself, your machine foot or machine bed. Or try a roller or Teflon foot with the upper tension loosened a little, or if you don’t have one of those you can place a little Scotch Magic Tape on the base of your regular machine foot.

Slipping/Sticking: Another tip to help with sticking is to sew over strips of tissue paper where the vinyl may stick. This can then easily be ripped off afterwards.

Thread Type: Polyester thread is recommended.

Sealing sewing holes: It’s not really possible to seal holes in vinyl. When sewing, a needle will leave tiny holes which MAY affect the waterproof effectiveness of your project.

Securing: Pin holes will not seal in vinyl. You can either use quilter’s clips like these, or pin in the seam allowance.

Cutting: Use domestic scissors (not fabric scissors) or a rotary cutter.

It can be quite hard to cut clear vinyl accurately as it’s see through! We’ve found placing a pattern piece UNDERNEATH the vinyl. Use a rotary cutter & ruler for better accuracy.

Seam finishing: Vinyl won’t fray so no finishing is necessary.

✂ Washing: We recommend testing the suitability with a scrap on a cool wash. Vinyl can melt, which would result in both a damaged project and washing machine

Have you got any other tips for sewing PVC Vinyl fabric? Do let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear them!


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2 thoughts on “11 Tips For Sewing With PVC Vinyl Fabric”

  1. I love sewing with clear or glittery PVC vinyl and have made tags for suitcases and also pouches, including knitting needle cases. I have also sewn ‘quiet play’ and fiddle toys as well as dolls clothes and play house windows with it. It can be a great option and once you have the right kit (tissue paper or a teflon foot is a good way to start) it’s easy to sew. On a couple of occasions I have put talc on my vinyl surface to reduce the stickiness however I can’t imagine that this is good if it gets into your sewing machine workings so I wouldn’t recommend it for regular PVC vinyl sewing sessions!

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