If you are just about to get to know Mr.Neoprene, no worries! Neoprene fabric is of different qualities, and as you might have guessed by now, Italian and French scuba is the best match for sewing something original and gorgeous without having a headache.
We have just got a couple of neoprene fabrics and one of them you can see our website.
- Fabric Content
- Stitching Techniques
Overlock: The overlock stitch is the easiest, least expensive stitch. It is very durable but when used on a garment may cause discomfort due to the ridges left on the inside. (see edging below to soften ridges)
Flatlock: The flatlock seam provides both durability and comfort. This technique requires taping to hold out leakage from the seam holes. Gluing the joint adds additional strength. A double stitch will provide a much stronger hold than the single stitch.
Needle: You will have better results using a large needle such as a Universal 16 or 18. The smaller needles will not make a large enough hole to allow the thread to pass through easily. Neoprene is sewn best with longer stitches which depend on the neoprene thickness and your sewing machine. Experiment with stitches until you get the results you want. Your needle will heat up with the friction of sewing through the thicker neoprene so go slow to avoid melting your thread.
- Seam Sealing
Taping: The pieces are glued or sewn, then a heat sealable tape is applied across the seam. This method insures a waterproof seam. Use a Melco or Bemis seam seal tape, preferably meant for sealing against nylon tricot fabrics. You'll really want to experiment with scrap pieces here as getting the correct setting/time/pressure to get the tape to bind without damaging the nylon cover or neoprene foam.
Edging: Add a strip of Lycra or fold-over elastic that has been folded in half around the rough side of the neoprene edge. This will create a non-chafing surface. The item on the right was sewn together with a flatlock and the raw edges finished with Lycra binding.
If you have used an overlock stitch to join the neoprene edges then you may also want to “smooth” out the seam by taping a Lycra binding or elastic over the seam like this shown here.
Enjoy sewing neoprene!
With Fabriclove, Elliott Berman Textiles