Whether you are sewing a waterproof duffel bag, outdoor-wear jacket, or a cover to keep outdoor items protected, leak-proof seams are essential. The money spent on waterproof fabric will be wasted if the seams leak. When done the right way, seams stitched on sewing machines like the Juki HZL DX7 can keep the water out.
Try the techniques below when creating a project using waterproof fabric on your Juki sewing machine to ensure it will keep the rain out and stays dry.
Sew A Flat Felled Seam
The main concern when sewing waterproof fabric using sewing machines is the tiny needle holes left behind. As small as they are, these holes can allow water to seep through the seam, reducing the effectiveness of the fabric.
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is by sewing a flat felled seam using UV-protected thread. This special thread stands up to UV light longer than normal thread so an item lasts longer without the seams coming apart. Following is the technique used to create this type of seam:
- Stitch - Start a flat felled seam with the two wrong sides of your fabric facing each other, which is the opposite of what you would do for a regular seam; however, this is essential for a flat felled seam. With a medium length stitch, sew a â -inch seam.
- Trim - Spread the seam allowance open and finger press it flat. Trim one side with scissors, leaving a ¼-inch allowance here.
- Fold - Next fold the longer side of the allowance over the trimmed side so the raw edge is underneath and against the stitch line. Fold the entire thing over again so the folded allowance lies flat on the right side of the fabric. Clip the folded seam in place.
- Stitch - For the final step, stitch again on the right side of the fabric about â -inch from the folded edge of the seam with your Juki HZL DX7. You should now have a flat, folded, multi-layer seam that will not leak. A flat felled seam is the best option for clothing and can be used on any other waterproof fabric as well.
Use Seam Waterproofing Agents
Another way to create leak-proof seams when sewing waterproof fabric on Juki sewing machines is to try one of these other techniques:
- Anti-Wicking Thread - Anti-wicking thread is a wax-coated thread that is UV-resistant and makes leak-proof seams. The wax on the thread fills up any extra space in the needle holes as the fabric is stitched, preventing moisture from passing through.
- Waterproof Seam Sealant - Topically applied seam sealers can fill and seal stitch holes to prevent water from seeping through. These sealants can be applied to finished items or be used to strengthen seams on items already in use. Seam sealant is best for cotton, polyester, and other similar waterproof fabrics. When applied to both sides of the seam, it will last for some time; however, it should be reapplied for items that are regularly used outdoors.
- Vinyl Cement - Vinyl cement is another option for waterproofing seams when working with vinyl fabric such as tarps. When applied to both sides of the seam, it coats the stitch holes and prevents water from passing through. Like standard waterproof seam sealant, the cement should be periodically reapplied to remain waterproof.
Whenever you use waterproof fabric with your sewing machine, take some time before stitching to consider which seam sealing methods will work best for you. You may even want to combine using a flat felled seam sewn on a Juki HZL DX7 with a seam sealant for items that must withstand continuous outdoor exposure.
With a little extra attention, you should have few issues making waterproof clothing and other items with quality Juki sewing machines!