How to Sew Neoprene Fabric
TuffSew here, your heavy duty sewing machine manufacturer! So you want to learn how to sew neoprene fabric?
Or maybe you just want to learn a little more about the spongy material. Whatever your reason, you’ve found the right article.
Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber material which is normally sandwiched between polyester fabric. It’s incredibly difficult to sew with any sewing machine.
But we find when a monster wheel is equipped on a walking foot machine, it improves your chances of sewing neoprene. The reason why is because it slows the sewing speed down by 50% – and at a slower speed the needle doesn’t heat up as quickly.
It holds it’s shape very well under high and low temperatures. It’s also a flexible material, which is why many garment manufacturers are starting to use it.
Some of the neoprene sewing applications we see include laptop or tablet sleeves, mouse pads, wetsuits & other garments, beverage insulators, and more.
The most common question we hear at TuffSew is “Can my standard household sewing machine sew my neoprene fabric?” and/or “How many mm of fabric will my standard household sewing machine be able to sew?” All good questions.
Your standard home sewing machine will be able to sew up to 2-3mm of total neoprene thickness. For example, if you are making a neoprene swimsuit that is only 2mm thick…your home sewing machine should be able to handle the job.
If you are sewing neoprene materials which are more than 3mm thick, you’ll need a portable walking foot sewing machine.
This type of sewing machine has a motorized built in walking foot mechanism. Using a sewing machine with this type of mechanism is best because it pulls the fabric through the sewing process from the top.
In conjunction, the gripped style feed dogs in a walking foot sewing machine pull the fabric from the bottom of the material. This top/bottom pull action gives you an ultimate feeding capability when you are sewing neoprene or other heavier type materials.