Here at TuffSew we get many questions about “How do I sew Marine Canvas?” First of all, what is marine canvas? It’s really a phrase that encompasses dozens of materials such as acrylics, polyesters, and many coated meshes used in the outdoors. These materials are usually resistant to water and also resistant to harmful UV rays. You’ll see marine canvas applications used in awnings, tarps, boating materials, tenting materials and many more. Now let’s go over some tips and important things to remember when sewing marine canvas.
Let’s start with the tools you’ll need to have. First off is a heavy duty walking foot sewing machine. We recommend our Tuffsew Straight Stitch Sewing Machine: http://www.tuffsew.com/straight-stitch-industrial-walking-foot-sewing-machine. You are going to need size 18, 20, and 22 needle, type 135×17. You’ll also need polyester thread sizes ranging from #69, #92, or #138.
One of the sticking points to sewing marine canvas materials is your stitch length. Make sure you use a long stitch length, somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-6mm. We’ve redesigned our TuffSew Straight Stitch Machine to have a longer stitch length than any other walking foot sewing machine in the market today. This helps our customers sew through the heaviest fabrics.
Make sure you are using a foot-pedal that has speeds that are slow. You want to make sure you are in control of your project at all times. You also want to check your tension. If your material is puckering, than you have set the tension dial too high. If you are seeing loops in the seam, than you aren’t using enough tension. Make sure and use a test piece of material before you sew your actual project.
Thread color? Well that depends on your level of sewing ability. If you choose a thread color that highly contrasts your material, and you are a sewing beginner, then expect to see your errors. We’ve seen some beautiful projects with highly contrasted thread/material, but make sure you can handle the added pressure of nailing those seams.
As long as you are using the correct type of sewing machine, needle, and thread to handle your thick marine canvas materials you can sew like you would on a normal household sewing machine. The key is, use a walking foot sewing machine….and with our longer stitch length we feel like the TuffSew Straight Stitch Sewing Machine is your best choice. For more information, please click here: http://www.tuffsew.com/straight-stitch-industrial-walking-foot-sewing-machine