77: Fabric

Well, with all the laser cutting of paper templates, buttons and fussy cutters lately, you knew we had to get around to laser cutting fabric eventually.  And it went smashingly.

EPP in the making
EPP in the making
Pile o' Diamonds, which took less than 2 minutes to cut.
Pile o’ Diamonds, which took less than 2 minutes to cut.

Because I don’t have a sewing machine, I decided to make 1″ EPP diamonds.  I can sew these by hand, and I need them for a gift I’m working on.  Rebecca of Hugs are Fun, a much more experienced sewer with a machine, sent along a pattern for a coffee cozy designed by Skip to My Lou.

Cozy in the laser
Cozy in the laser
17 second cut
17 second cut, for both

If you thought cutting paper was nice, cutting fabric is even easier!  Cutting fabric made me remember how amazing this machine from the future really is.  We cut 2 large side panels for a purse (which Rebecca is still working on) in 17 seconds.  Sixty 1″diamonds with .375″ outline took less than 2 minutes.  And the results were perfect.  If you’ve ever cut fabric with a scissors, you understand the awe.  Even rotary cutters, which speeds up cutting tremendously, don’t compare.

Because I seem to work better in lists, here’s what I learned fabric cutting:

– Like paper, cuts are quick and low power.

– The burn of the laser finishes the edges crisply.  No fuzzies, no immediate fraying.

Look at those edges!
Look at those edges!

– There is less worry about it moving around.  The gentle suck of our honeycomb downdraft table was enough to keep the fabric firmly in place.  The pull was strong enough to hold 4 layers of cotton fabric in place to cut at the same time.

These burn / cuts are unintended.
These burn / cuts are unintended.

– I did have a fabric fly up when working with a tall piece (cutting vertically on the bed) vs wide piece (horizontally).  The exhaust goes bottom to top, so it may have been more susceptible to the breeze.  We lessened this by half closing the exhaust gate.

– There was zero difference in sewing up laser cut fabric vs. hand cut.  Except everything lined up perfectly because the lines were perfect.

My diamonds in a partially finished project:

super secret project :)
super secret project 🙂

Rebecca’s perfectly finished coffee cozy, using the anchor button from Week 71!

So cute!
So cute!

Fabric again (2 of 2)

One thought on “77: Fabric”

52 REPLIES