Does cutting all those appliqué pieces get you down? How about curves? Or complex shapes like Mariner’s Compass blocks or Dresden Plates? Laser cutting fabric is the perfect solution for quilt shops, designers, teachers and more!
The Sewing Fools is a full service laser cutting service and specializes in cutting quilting quality fabric with or without fusible attached. From concept to delivery we handle the digitizing, fusing (when needed) cutting and packaging. If you have a pattern you’d like to have digitized that isn’t your own, you must require the purchase of that pattern with each kit you sell to the consumer so that the pattern designers don’t lose out!
Why laser cut fabric?
Simply put, precision, simplicity and cost. Laser cut shapes are perfectly precise with every single cut. For pieced projects the quilter will enjoy excellent results due to the precision cutting offered by the laser. For appliqué pieces the fusible is already in place for the quilter which means all they have to do is peel, press and stitch. It makes the process fun and easy with precut, pre-fused appliqué. Finally, as a retailer you might think that laser cutting fabrics will be a large expense. In most cases we have found that the fabric savings due to the high utilization of space due to the precision of the laser will end up to be less or equal to what you would have provided to the customer. Plus, they will finish more projects because laser cut fabrics are so fun and easy!
What is the fabric cutting process?
Step 1: Digitizing. In order to laser cut fabric we need all pattern pieces created in vector format. We will happily accept files in vector format if you have the ability to do so. If not, we can digitize the pattern for you and send a proof for your approval prior to cutting.
Step 2: Layout. Next we layout all the pattern pieces to maximize the fabric utilization. The pattern pieces will be separated by fabric selection. For example, if you have 5 pattern pieces and have 3 fabric selections we will layout the maximum number of parts on each of the appropriate fabrics to maximize the number of kits you can get per set of fat quarters. We will calculate the total linear inches that will be cut per piece so that we can provide you with a solid estimate of what each item will cost.
Step 3: Approval. You will receive a visual of the pattern pieces for approval as well as the estimate for cutting, fusing and packaging your items.
Step 4: Shipping. If you approve the project you will ship the appropriate fabric to complete the job. We are happy to source the fabric for you if needed. For fused fabrics you can choose to send us fusible or we can provide it. The requirements will be shared with you when needed.
Step 5: Fusing. If your fabric will be fused we will press and fuse each piece of fabric using a professional heat press machine. This ensures we can offer consistent, quality results for your customers.
Step 6: Cutting. This is the fun part! We laser cut your fabrics using one of our precision lasers.
We specialize in cutting quilter’s quality cotton with or without fusible on the back. The bed of our lasers are 18″ x 24″ and 17″ x 29″ giving us flexibility to cut large items. Our preference is to cut fat quarters, especially when cutting fusible.
We can also cut:
- Polyester batting … cotton batting catches of fire… ask us how we know 😉
- Natural Fabrics including cotton, wool and silk
- Leather can be etched and cut
- Synthetic fibers including spandex and lycra
- Paper pattern pieces – especially useful for pieced patterns that need to be marked
How long will it take?
How long your job takes depends on several factors including the size and complexity of your job. Contact us for an estimate.
Will the laser harm the fabric?
Laser cutting works by applying laser focused heat to the fabric, burning the fibers in a very controlled manner. The lasers are equipped with excellent ventilation and fans to pull away the smoke created during the lasing process. However, sometimes a small amount of discoloration will appear along the outside edges of the fabric. This is from the smoke and will disappear the first time you wash your quilt.