Monday, August 30, 2010

More on cutting cloth

Silly me.  Being a male with a country background I always thought freezer paper was for freezing next year's dinner after the hog count was down by one!  But, now I find out that it is the crafter's and quilter's friend.  It even says so on the box!

And, if you have an eCraft and you want to cut fabric without adding an adhesive backing, then that freezer paper is going to be your friend, too.  Sara, of Craftwell, filled us in on their preferred method for cutting fabric and it involves applying freezer paper to both side of the fabric before cutting and then, obviously, removing it after the cut.

Now, I told you that Denise, over at Purple Paper Paradise was running her eCraft at full throttle, so she's already tested Sara's method.  Check it out!


In a few minutes I'm going to also try it.  But, I think I'll include felt and faux leather.  More later.  Expect this article to grow.


I don't even have a sample to show you.  I sandwiched felt between to sheets of freezer paper and it was a complete and utter failure.


Same story,  but I WILL keep trying.  I got farther along with it this time.  So, we might be getting closer.  But, for now, it's a no go here.  In this case, I think my problem was attempting to cut with too high a pressure in a single pass.  I think the secret might be a lower cutting pressure and more passes.


Like Denise, the cut with the adhesive applied to the back of the fabric was a bit cleaner than the freezer paper technique.  However, subsequent freezer paper attempts yielded unexpected results and I believe it was due to the iron being too hot.  So, I am going to say that it works.  But, until I can get it to work with no tabs, the cleanup is not as easy as I would like to see.   So, for me, the jury is still out on finding THE definitive settings.

PLEASE NOTE I'm posting this image of the cut with freezer paper.  ALL problems you see (including the nick at the top of one leaf)  have to do with my clumsy attempts to cut the tabs with a pair of scissors. 

All of my attempts to cut without tabs ended in failure.  But, as I said, I think this had to do with the temperature of the iron.  In the first cut, above, a Pressure Setting of 8 went clear through in one pass.  In subsequent tries, it did NOT cut clear through.  That tells me that something happened to the freezer paper's properties that made it tougher to cut.  So, for now, I think my failures are operator issues rather than eCraft issues.  Even though I do NOT think the image above paints a true long-term picture, it was what I ended up with on this particular test and you deserve to see it and make up your own mind.

Personally, I honestly don't see this as an eCraft issue.


Denise O'Connor said...

Tom, thanks for trying this. When I am using freezer paper, have your iron set for the fabric that you are ironing, such as cotton. I ironed on one side of the freezer paper at a time. I ironed it slowly, always keeping the iron moving. Once that layer is on, go to the other side and do the same thing. The sample on my blog was cut with no tabs and in one pass. I also have tried this with felt, and so far have not found the right "formula" for it. I have asked Sara at Craftwell to help me out with it, so hopefully we will have an answer soon.

Tom Meeks said...

I'll be looking forward to your future tests.

In the meantime, I tried some light and special papers that were fun.