It can be challenging for novice sewers to learn how to stitch ripstop nylon fabric.
You might be surprised at how frustrating it can be when sewing light materials for the first time, such as ripstop nylon. Make sure you have the appropriate needle and thread for ripstop if you’re prepared to work with heavier-weight fabrics. Also, a rotary cutter or sharp scissors, and possibly painter’s tape.
A lengthy list of sewing advice for ripstop nylon fabric is provided below.
How to Sew Ripstop Nylon Fabric?
In order to give you the best chance of success with the least amount of frustration, let’s now discuss how to sew ripstop.
Prewashing Ripstop Nylon is Not Necessary
Prewashing is not always advised, especially for the waterproof variety of nylon ripstop because it doesn’t need to be preshrunk. Although prewashing is ultimately up to you, cotton ripstop may slightly shrink.
Due to the varieties of ripstop, check the bolt of fabric for the best wash and dry settings.
If you can’t find them, wash the fabric in warm water before hanging it up to dry or laying it flat. You can try your dryer’s low-medium heat setting, but be cautious at first, especially if your ripstop is coated. The waterproofing qualities can be impacted by vigorous washing and drying.
Be Careful When Ironing Nylon Ripstop
In order to avoid creasing, ripstop nylon should be stored rolled rather than folded. When wrinkles do appear, the majority can be removed with an iron. Once more, we are grateful for variety. Check the fabric bolt for detailed instructions, and be sure to test the iron’s settings on a small scrap of fabric first.
If you can’t find the right pressing instructions, err on the side of caution and use a low-heat iron and pressing cloth. Press coated ripstop gently, but with extreme care. Use a water spritz and a seam roller or your finger to press out larger creases if the fabric is too delicate to be heated.
Be Careful With Pattern Layout and Avoid Pinning
Pins leave holes in nylon ripstop, so when laying out pattern pieces, use pattern weights or only pin in the seam allowances.
Exactly the same rules apply when joining two pieces. Use sewing clips, washable fabric tape, or fabric glue instead of pinning anything but the seam allowance. A thin, sharp pin that will pierce the tightly woven fabric with the least amount of disruption is the best kind to use.
Make sure to cut pattern pieces from coated ripstop with the coated side facing the outside of the project. Finally, aim for 1/2″ or larger when possible because smaller seam allowances are more likely to get caught in the machine.
Cut Ripstop the Right Way
For the best results, use sharp rotary cutters, sewing shears, or scissors. In addition to not producing a clean cut, dull cutting tools exacerbate fraying at the edges. To prevent fraying, sew the pieces as soon as they are cut rather than storing them.
Minimize Fraying and Neaten Edges before Sewing
By searing the edges of the fabric through a candle flame (extreme caution! ), you can lessen the likelihood of ripstop easily fraying and raveling.) or using a hot knife or stencil cutter. Of course, this is only applicable if you don’t intend to sew over any raw edges.
Before sewing pieces together, you can also use pinking shears, zigzag, or overcast stitches. If you can adjust your serger settings, another viable option is to serge the edges with a 3- or 4-thread overlock stitch.
Use Proper Marking Tools
To make sure a marking tool will work and can be easily removed, test it on a small piece of scrap fabric. For marking ripstop fabric, I prefer to use chalk, though water- or air-soluble markers also function.
Pick the Right Needle
Choose a New and sharp needle with the size of the needle corresponding to the weight of the fabric. Choose the smallest needle that works well and doesn’t skip stitches because bigger needles leave bigger holes, which reduce waterproof qualities and create unsightly seams.
Ripstop nylon also quickly wears down needles, so check your needle before using it on other projects and change it out right away if you see any skipped stitches.
Choose a Compatible Presser Foot
Recall how some ripstop have coatings while others are slick and slippery. Sewing with the incorrect presser foot is a nightmare. To keep the layers feeding evenly and avoid the ripstop sticking to the presser foot, choose a walking, roller, or non-stick presser foot (typically made of Teflon).
If you only have a zigzag presser foot, you can add a layer of tissue paper on top of the ripstop fabric to help if you notice uneven feeding or coated fabric that is adhering to the presser foot.
Use the Best Thread for Sewing Ripstop Nylon
Typically, synthetic fabrics and synthetic threads work best together. Therefore, 100% nylon or 100% polyester thread is the best thread for synthetic ripstop. Match the bobbin thread’s color to the ripstop’s color by using the same thread as the top thread.
Choose Lightweight Interfacing, If Needed
Some zipper snaps, and other types of closures might need interfacing, though this is uncommon. Select fusible or nonwoven sew-in interfacing that binds at lower temperatures. Keep in mind that fabrics require interfacing that is lighter than the fabric weight.
Learn to Adjust Sewing Machine Settings for Best Results
By using these sewing techniques, you can reduce the possibility of ripstop puckering and achieve the best stitch out.
To prevent problems, start by selecting a medium-length stitch (about 2.5mm) and sew slowly. Too many needle penetrations may result from a small stitch length. If needed, stop and adjust tension (slightly lessen) and presser foot pressure (again slightly lessen).
Hold the thread ends with your fingers when doing your first stitches to avoid the ripstop getting jammed in the throat plate. At the ends of your stitching lines, try to use reverse stitching rather than reinforcement stitching.
Ripstop has the lovely feature that the grid can be used to guide you in sewing straight seams.
Next, always hold the fabric securely on both sides of the presser foot and help guide the fabric.
After taking the above precautions, if the fabric is still puckering, try using tissue paper or an embroidery stabilizer to strengthen it. Following the creation of the seam, this is torn or washed off.
Explore Options to Make and Neaten Seams and Hems
Ripstop frequently has either plain or double-stitched seams. Other options include welt seams, French seams, double-fold seams, topstitched seams, and many more. When sewing a hem, neaten your edges to stop fraying or double fold to cover the raw edges.
Waterproof Ripstop Further, If Needed
Due to the fabric finish, many varieties of ripstop are waterproof; however, water-repellent fabrics may become less effective due to large needle holes from seams. If you observe leakage, think about applying a waterproof seam sealant along the seam on the reverse side of the fabric.
Tips on Sewing Ripstop Nylon Fabric
Due to its characteristics, ripstop nylon cannot be sewn. Use it accordingly in the applications and projects of your choice. Some tips for sewing ripstop nylon fabric are:
- Think of your needle. The best type of needle to use when sewing ripstop nylon is a sharp, pointed needle because round, ballpoint needles don’t work well with this thin fabric. For sewing ripstop nylon, use a needle with a universal size of 70/10.
- Why your fabric is slippery? Considering how well it handles water, ripstop nylon is strong and occasionally slippery to the touch. To avoid your fabric getting stuck inside your machine, think about using a roller presser foot.
- Check your stitches! You run the risk of the ripstop nylon deteriorating more quickly if you’ve set your machine to produce very small stitches. To ensure durability, limit the stitch density on your machine to no more than eleven per inch.
- Be mindful of your thread type. Ripstop nylon is best paired with a thicker nylon or polyester thread. Usually, the style or fiber of the thread will match what you’re working on. This makes it easier to reinforce your fabric and keeps your project consistent. Using threads that don’t match your fabric when creating a project can go wrong.
- Use sharp scissors or a rotary fabric cutter to reduce the fraying of the nylon. When cut to size for your project, nylon has a tendency to fray.
- Keep the fabric tight by pulling the fabric on both sides of the needle instead of trying to pull the fabric through. Do not pin ripstop fabric. To quickly fasten the seams, substitute a glue stick.
Risks of Sewing Ripstop Nylon Fabric
There are a few considerations to make to minimize risks when sewing ripstop nylon fabric. Utilizing a needle with a sizable, robust eye is crucial. When using a needle, be careful not to tear the fabric.
Making sure the fabric is properly prepared before sewing is another safety measure. The procedure involves getting rid of any creases or wrinkles that might interfere with sewing. Last but not least, it’s important to remember that nylon fabric can be extremely fragile, so take caution when handling it.
How to Care for Ripstop Nylon Fabric?
Ripstop nylon fabric must be properly cared for when being sewn in order to maintain its best appearance. Here are some tips for caring for this type of fabric:
- Keep the fabric away from heat and sunlight. The fabric may deteriorate or fade as a result of exposure to these elements.
- Avoid using hot water or abrasive detergent when washing the fabric. The fabric may be harmed as a result, making it more likely to tear.
- Only use mild soap and gentle agitation on a cool cycle when washing the fabric if you must. Overwashing can make a fabric less likely to wrinkle, but it can also make it lose color and stiffness.
- Use only premium fabric finishing products to keep the fabric looking sharp. If stitches are concealed in this manner, the fabric will look its best.
- Store your ripstop nylon fabric in a cool, dry location to increase its lifespan.
These pointers ought to help your ripstop nylon fabric maintain its best appearance and longevity.
Conclusion: Sew Ripstop Nylon Fabric Properly
Fabric made of ripstop nylon is strong and lightweight. It can handle a range of applications and is water-resistant. Ripstop nylon is a woven fabric. Thicker threads are woven together during the weaving process in a crosshatch pattern to strengthen the weave.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to learn how to sew with ripstop nylon fabric. That’s all I have right now. Do you want to add any additional advice? Wishing you luck with your ripstop project!
Is Ripstop Nylon Easy to Sew?
Learning how to sew ripstop nylon fabric can be difficult for sewing beginners. For instance, ripstop is infamously slick and prone to slippage. Additionally, it frays and might make a mess of your machine. Sewing problems such as puckering skipped stitches, and even lightweight objects getting stuck in your machine are other potential issues.
What Sewing Needle to Use for Ripstop Nylon?
Ripstop nylon is best sewn with sharp, pointed needles because round, ballpoint needles don’t work well with this thin fabric. Use a universal, size 70/10 needle when sewing ripstop nylon.
What Kind of Thread Do You Use to Sew Nylon?
Bonded nylon sewing thread, of which SGT KNOTS offers two varieties—Mil-Spec Bonded Nylon Sewing Thread and Bonded Nylon Sewing Thread #69—is the most resilient type of nylon sewing thread.