4-Way Stretch Vinyl Issues

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#1 Kokoro on 2 years ago

Hi there!

I'm currently making a race queen-type outfit out of 4-Way Stretch Vinyl. So far everything is going fairly decently, but I was wondering if anyone happened to have a possible solution/advice to 2 problems I've had! They seemed to be very specific, so I couldn't find much info online, but I was hoping somebody might have had similar problems!

1. My white 4-way stretch vinyl curls up to an almost unmanageable extent! It wasn't too bad until I started cutting out pieces from the yard I purchased, and the pieces won't stop curling. What's strange is that I also have a blue 4-way stretch I purchased at the same time, and it doesn't have this issue. I want to say maybe it was curled tightly for a long time, but it doesn't seem to mimic the curl of the bolt it was on at the store. I've tried flattening it with heavy books for around 24 hours, and even ironing on a low setting so the plastic wasn't compromised, but neither of these have worked.

2. Sort of a hindsight thing, but I purchased 70/10 microtex needles and a teflon foot for this project, and for some reason this setup would sew for all of my fabric (normal spandex, knits, etc), but it wouldn't make stitches on my 4-way stretch vinyl. I later used some of my older needles and found that one of my slightly larger needles worked perfectly. Is it possible that the 70/10 needles were too small for the 4-way stretch, and somehow caused the bobbin to not catch the thread and make stitches?

Thanks for any advice you may have!

#2 Penlowe on 2 years ago

For issue #1: it's actually probably the direction you cut it. 4 way stretch is on a knit fabric base. All knits, when cut across the grain, roll. It's Just what they do. Use clothespins or quilters clips when assembling to sew instead of pins.

For issue #2: sort of. It's the combination of the fabric thickness, the needle size and the tension setting on your machine. People forget about tension but 80% of 'stitches did not create' issues are focused at the tension settings of your machine.

I had a student yesterday whose zig-zag stitch suddenly wasn't zig-zagging. The thread had jumped out of the first loop on the machine (the one that doesn't appear to do anything but give the thread a right angle turn from the spool down to the tension knobs). That one loop being missed made a zig-zag become a straight stitch.

#3 Kokoro on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=Penlowe;5060308]For issue #1: it's actually probably the direction you cut it. 4 way stretch is on a knit fabric base. All knits, when cut across the grain, roll. It's Just what they do. Use clothespins or quilters clips when assembling to sew instead of pins.

For issue #2: sort of. It's the combination of the fabric thickness, the needle size and the tension setting on your machine. People forget about tension but 80% of 'stitches did not create' issues are focused at the tension settings of your machine.

I had a student yesterday whose zig-zag stitch suddenly wasn't zig-zagging. The thread had jumped out of the first loop on the machine (the one that doesn't appear to do anything but give the thread a right angle turn from the spool down to the tension knobs). That one loop being missed made a zig-zag become a straight stitch.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to use clothespins to keep things in place! I tried to cut the 4-way stretch vinyl from a bunch of different angles just to see if it curled, but it seems they all curled up.

And I see! So within the combination, there could be a couple reasons as to why it didn't sew. I did try to experiment with the tension, but the fact that it could be a lot of different factors makes me thing that tension could also have played a part. Thank you!

#4 fabrickind on 2 years ago

Some vinyl just curls. A lot. And it has little to do with direction. Was it the Yaya Han stuff? That stuff is notorious for curling, but a lot of other brands do as well.

As for the skipped stitches issue, it might also be an issue with flutter, where the fabric moves with the needle too much and causes it to skip stitches -- this is a super common problem with knits in particular (where the tension and everything is fine but it's just too wiggly), and I've never personally had an issue with it on vinyl, but it's a possibility. Try stabilizing the fabric with either tear-away stabilizer (I use tissue paper) or by using a walking foot in your machine and see if that clears it up.

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