Over the holiday weekend I had a question from a visitor to my blog. She was reading my post about working with iron-on vinyl and wrote:
“I am wondering if there is a way you can make bigger projects, like an adult full apron, by bumping 2 pieces of the iron on vinyl up against each other on the fabric in order to have a wider section covered. Will this work? Should it be slightly overlapped? Or is it, sadly, only for smaller width projects?”
Unfortunately the iron-on vinyl made by Therm-o-web only comes in 17 inch widths. That’s very limiting, so my reader posed a great question. It was one I didn’t have the answer to, so this morning I headed to the studio for a bit of experimentation. Since I didn’t plan to do anything with these samples other than test the idea of applying multiple pieces of vinyl, I cut two small scraps of fabric left over from another project.
I also cut out two scraps of Therm-o-web for each test, two to match up side-by-side, and two to overlap. I really expected the side-by-side to be challenging – lining up to pieces of material with a sticky side and positioning them perfectly always it. However I expected this method to work better than the overlap.
Well I was in for a surprise. As expected the side-by-side sample doesn’t look very good. The edges seem to want to pull away from each other and it just doesn’t provide the waterproof seal that using this technique is all about. Put this bib on the baby and the berry juice would soak right through that crack.
On the other hand, the overlap worked much better than expected. You may be able to just barely see one line of the overlap running through the heel of the skate, but the two pieces of vinyl fused not only to the fabric, but to each other providing a really strong bond. If you look closely in good light you can see the join, and you can feel the slightest bump when you run your finger over it, but I really do think this is a workable solution for using this product for larger projects. Just overlap by ⅛ to a ¼ of an inch.
One other thing this test demonstrates is how easy it is to get unwanted hair, lint, and thread under the vinyl. Take good care to be sure that your fabric is completely free of anything you don’t want between it and the vinyl because once the sticky side touches the fabric it is very difficult to lift it and remove these items. After it has been bonded, it’s impossible.
What will I do with these samples? I think I'll cut out the skates, snowshoes, etc. and turn them into cute little holiday gift tags. Waste not and all that...