Hey Bag Makers! Today we are answering one of the top questions we get in the Andrie Designs Patterns Facebook Group: “How do I waterproof my fabric?” In this post, you will find 3 products we recommend for making your fabric waterproof or resistant PLUS we’re sharing 3 fabric options as well! We broke them down into pros and cons so you can decide for yourself what will work best for you. Read on to find your new favourite option!
This gel glue turns your fabric into a coated, waterproof, machine washable fabric. Tap the image below to be taken to our review on YouTube!
- It can be applied to almost any cotton, canvas or twill fabric
- Doesn’t delaminate over time (stays waterproof)
- Can be applied to precut pieces or to whole pieces of fabric at a time
- Little to no smell and is water-based
- Easy to apply if you take your time.
- Can be costly depending on where purchased
- Time-consuming as you have to wait between each coat and then 24 hours for the final cure.
Scotchgard™ Fabric Water Shield helps repel water-based spills without changing the feel of the fabric.
- Easy to apply
- Applied to the finished project
- Dirt stays on the surface and not into the fabric fibres after using Scotchgard
- Always test a scrap because it may cause the colour to run or discolour
- Needs to be sprayed in a well-ventilated area due to the odour
- It repels liquid but doesn’t make it waterproof
- Needs to be reapplied if you are frequently washing the item
Pellon Vinyl Fuse
Vinyl Fuse is a stabilizer that goes on the right side of the fabric and adds a clear protective gloss finish.
- Gives a clear waterproof protective finish
- Sewing machine safe – doesn’t gum up the needle
- External stabilizer so you won’t need interfacing as well
- Water Repellent and UV Rated
- Usually only found prepackaged
- Has to be hand-washed and cannot go into the dryer
- Can loosen from the fabric over time
- Stick layer can attack fluff and hair before fusing and will be stuck forever
Vinyl is often the first thing people reach for when making a waterproof project but today we want to share 3 alternatives that are a little easier to work with!
Oilcloth is cotton with a clear vinyl (or linseed oil) coating on top. This fabric comes in an array of colours some even from your favourite designers! It is easy to clean. I will say it can be hard to store because you should roll it and not fold it. Because it is cotton, you can press on the backside though you won’t need interfacing!
Ripstop fabrics are woven fabrics, often made of nylon, using a reinforcing technique that makes them more resistant to tearing and ripping. One side often has a waterproof coating on it. It is often waterproof, can be fire resistant and has zero porosity meaning no liquid will penetrate it. You cannot fuse interfacing with it. Always use a pressing cloth to remove wrinkles and press BEFORE you cut out your pieces as shrinking. It will wrinkly after washing but I have found it does not affect the quality of the waterproofing! It’s excellent for lining lunch bags and toiletry bags!
PUL is a laminate fabric comprised of 2 layers: a polyester fabric (typically 1mm thick) with a very thin layer of polyurethane film bonded to the reverse. It is generally used for cloth diapers so you will often find it in baby prints. It is stretchy so you will want to use sew-in interfacing to help with that. Machine washable and dryable. You do need to use a pressing cloth if you need to iron but I find it does not wrinkle much!
We hope that this breakdown with help you decide which to use for your next project! If you have any questions or other waterproof options that you like to use, leave them in the comments below so we can check them out too!