It is well-known that sewing machines can sew various types of clothes.
However, have you ever thought about sewing something different with the sewing machine, such as plastic? People often ask us, can sewing machines sew plastic?
This article will explain if it is okay to sew plastic with a sewing machine and other important related things.
Can you sew plastic on a sewing machine?
Yes, you can sew plastic on a sewing machine. However, you may need to change your sewing techniques and also get the right tools for sewing plastic.
A sewing machine can easily sew thinner plastic, such as plastic bags or sheets. But, it may struggle against hard plastic.
The polyester fabric you have probably sewed before is also plastic.
Can a sewing machine sew hard plastic?
A sewing machine cannot sew very hard plastic like the one that comes with the toys.
However, it can sew slightly hard plastic fabrics like tablecloths, raincoats, and rubber.
The problem you may face while sewing tough plastic fabric is that the needle and foot of the machine stick to the plastic you are sewing. To fix this, we recommend you use a Teflon foot, walking foot, or a roller foot because it does not stick to the fabric.
Moreover, the motor of your sewing machine must also have enough power to sew through the plastic.
Can a sewing machine sew soft plastic?
Yes, a sewing machine can easily sew soft plastic.
The soft plastic material includes stuff like plastic bags, shower curtains, and tablecloths.
If your sewing machine sticks to the plastic while sewing or it creates a big hole in the material, we recommend you use a Teflon foot, roller foot, or walking foot. Increase the stitch length to avoid getting very close holes.
Which needle size to use for sewing plastic?
Using the correct needle size is very important when you want to sew plastic with a sewing machine. If you use a weaker needle, it might break during sewing.
Experts recommend that if you are sewing a plastic sheet or bag, you can use a 70/10 size needle.
But if you are sewing other plastic fabrics including the hard ones, it is okay to use a 90/14 and 100/16 size needle.
Plastic is quite tough as compared to fabrics. Therefore, your needle must be sharp and strong enough to move through the plastic without getting stuck or broken.
Which sewing thread to use for sewing plastic?
We highly recommend using heavy-duty and industrial-type threads for sewing plastic.
You should make sure the thread you use for sewing plastic is strong enough to hold the plastic material together. Moreover, it should not break too frequently while you are sewing.
Which sewing machine is best for sewing plastic?
A sewing machine that has good power is recommended for sewing plastic. The reason is that plastic is hard as compared to fabric and you will need high power to sew through it.
You will be able to easily sew soft plastic (like plastic bags & sheets) and also some types of hard plastic (like raincoats & tablecloths) with the regular sewing machine you got at home.
But for sewing very tough plastic, you might need a more powerful sewing machine.
What are the drawbacks of sewing plastic with a sewing machine?
Here are the problems you are likely to face while sewing plastic with a sewing machine:
1- Intense pressure on the sewing machine
If you will try to sew very hard plastic material on an ordinary sewing machine, it will put intense pressure on the machine parts, cause wear & tear, and breakage of various machine parts.
2- Plastic doesn’t move easily
When you put plastic in a sewing machine, you will note that it does not move as smoothly in the machine as compared to the clothes.
3- The needle sticks to the surface of the plastic
Since plastic is quite hard, the needle of the sewing machine gets stuck in plastic material while sewing.
It slows down the sewing process and makes it very irritating.
4- The needle makes big holes
Plastic is very brittle. Sewing it with the wrong size needle can create big holes in the plastic material.
Read the tips we have dropped below to avoid facing these problems.
Tips for sewing plastic with a sewing machine
If you want to sew plastic with a sewing machine, here are some very helpful tips for you:
1- Use better sewing feet
The disadvantage of a regular sewing foot is that it sticks to the plastic material while you are sewing.
We recommend using a Teflon sewing foot because it will never stick to the plastic while sewing.
If you don’t have Teflon feet, you can use walking or roller feet instead.
2- Use a strong thread
Plastic is hard. A weak thread won’t be able to sew through it or hold it together.
This is why you should prefer a heavy-duty and industrial standard of thread for sewing plastic.
3- Use the right needle
Always use a sharp needle for sewing plastic because it will not get stuck while moving through the plastic material.
The needle’s eye should be big enough so the thread can easily pass through it.
If you are sewing plastic sheeting, the needle size should be 70/10.
90/14 size is good for a leather needle.
100/16 is a universal size that is good for sewing even thicker plastic fabric.
If you are confused about the needle size, it is better to have a needle chart where you can find which size needle to use for which plastic material.
4- Avoid sewing very hard plastic
Do not sew very hard plastic on your sewing machine. It can make your machine struggle very bad and result in technical problems.
For example, the plastic on toys is not meant to be sewed in a sewing machine.
Can you sew plastic with your hand?
Yes, you can sew plastic with your hands. However, it is not a very easy job to do.
The reason is that plastic has a rigid structure and you will need to exert a lot of energy to sew through it. Your hands and fingers will face immense pressure.
Normally, you can easily sew soft plastic fabrics by hand because it does not require much time & energy.
But if the plastic is too hard, you should not sew it by hand because it will take too much of your energy and time.