Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cloth Yes! But, Method matters!

I did a quick test of cutting cloth this evening.

First, the good news.  Using a piece of paper and some repositionable adhesive, it IS possible to cut cloth.  We actually knew that from the CHA show.  But, it's not enough to know that it cuts cloth.  We need to know how various fabrics react in the eCraft cutter.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what this cloth is that I have cut.  My maleness shows in the way I purchased this piece of cloth.  "Gimme the cheapest light cloth ya got!"  Uh... NOT the most scientifically useful purchasing method.  Hey!!! I WARNED you I was clueless when you began reading this blog!!!

Click on cloth to see the actual fabric Properties

Here is a close up of the lower left petal of the flower.  You can see that I got exactly what I'd asked for... pretty cheap fabric.

Click on cloth to see the actual fabric Properties

Obviously, the cut was well done.  But, the fabric, itself, failed.  Even though the image shows a pretty ragged cut, a close look reveals that this was NOT the fault of the eCraft.  I used no tabs.  The next time I do this I will set the pressure a little lower to see it that helps.  For this cut, I had it at 8 and I think it would have cut through this particular fabric at a 4 or 5.

The fabric stayed down flat.  And, the cut IS the right shape.  The fabric simply unraveled itself.  I hope that I get a LOT of comments and suggestions for this article to guide me to a better purchase to test.  Denise, for instance, got a much cleaner final cut.  And, the cut in my backing was perfect.

So, as far as I'm concerned this was eCraft 1, Fabric 0.

NOTE:  I did the opposite stabilizing test from the one Denise used.  She put the adhesive on the cloth.  I put the repositionable adhesive on the cardstock.  The method that Denise used might have reduced the unraveling of the cloth.


Actually , I should have said "Breaking News" because I just tried Denise's method with MUCH better success.  Instead of putting the Xyron repositionable adhesive on the cardstock, I applied it directly to the cloth and then put the cloth on a cardstock backing.  The results were starkly different.  Take at look at how much better this method works than the method I first used.

Click on cloth to see the actual fabric Properties

 I'm VERY impressed!  Thanks, Denise!


Denise O'Connor said...

Hi Tom!

I believe that you probably would have much better results by using the Heat and Bond UltraHold on the cloth. I think that the key is to stiffen the fabric itself. I did try basically the same method that you used on my Cricut by sticking it to the Cricut mat and that was an utter failure (even worse than what you have here!). The cloth is probably not the problem actually as the cloth that I used was pretty cheap too. The fabric that I used is sold in what they call Fabric or Quilting Quarters which are 1/4 yard already pre-cut, and sold for somewhere around $1 each. I applaud you for trying it though, I always have so much fun trying new things which is why I am doing so much testing!

Tom Meeks said...

I'll give your method a try with that same cloth.

Tom Meeks said...

I just tried your method using Xyron repositionable adhesive and updated this article to show the result.

Wow!!! You were absolutely right!

Nice find!

Denise O'Connor said...

Great job Tom! I am so glad that this worked out for you!