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Conversational Threads

Tips, tricks for sewing with PUL fabric

KRingsrud | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Does anyone have any experience sewing with PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) or Ultrex fabrics? These are laminated waterproof fabrics.

I am planning to make some custom sheets for a baby cradle, so a very easy project, but have never sewn with these types of fabrics before and wondered if anyone had useful tips or tricks that would be useful to know beforehand.


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    There is a special teflon foot or piece that can be put under the foot.  It helps the fabric move more smoothly keeping material from sticking to the foot.  Ask at a sewing machine shop!  I have also heard of using tissue paper but then you may have a problem pulling out all those little pokies of paper.  Sounds like a nice project. Mary

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    Make sure to use very long, loose stitches and very light pressure foot on polyurethanes; otherwise, the seams will slice through the fabric like seam rippers! Use a fairly large scrap to test this out.Also, on waterproof items, lapped seams usually work better than flat seams, although you can get away with topstitching both seam allowances to one side of a flat seam to seal the seam. Either way, you reinforce the seams, which tend to be the weakest part of PUL items.

    1. krichmond | | #3

      Just a suggestion, but would it be feasible, instead of making an actual fitted sheet, to make a sort of a pad out of the Ultrex (a rectangle of fabric the dimension of the mattress) to be placed UNDER a regular sheet?  I'm assuming that flannel or cotton would be preferable next to a baby's skin and would breathe a little better than a waterproof fabric.   

      1. Teaf5 | | #4

        Good idea, but probably you should address this to Kngsrud, who asked the question.

  3. tmorris1 | | #5

    Have you considered using contact cement and lapping the seams instead of sewing? You will not have to worry about waterproofing the seams, getting new presser feet, etc. It is a technique used to make waterproof rain slickers.Just a note, I would use masking tape to mark the border of your "seam" so that the contact cement does not get everywhere when you are trying to apply it.

    Edited 4/16/2007 3:06 am ET by tmorris1

    1. Gloriasews | | #6

      Has anyone thought of the offgasing that might occur with the laminate and/or the contact cement?  That would bother me if a new baby were only maybe a flannelette sheet away from the waterproof one.

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