Marine vinyls are probably one of the strongest upholstery materials currently available in the market. They can not only withstand moisture and prevent mildew growth, but also resist colour fading from harsh sunlight. They are ideal for use in boat cushions and can be purchased easily from any marine specialty shop or fabric store. They come in a wide variety of colour options to choose from.
Marine grade vinyl generally has a smooth and shiny surface with a backing of knitted fabric. The material is fairly dense and sleek, which necessitates special sewing methods. If someone is handling marine vinyl for the first time, it is imperative that they exercise suitable precautionary measures for preventing damage and wastage of the material. Given below are some effective tips that can help:
Practising Before Sewing
Because puncture and even pin marks on vinyl are practically permanent, most experts dealing with marine upholstery recommend some amount of practice on a spare piece of vinyl before sewing the actual thing. One can experiment with different sewing techniques in order to master them.
Using Heavier-Gauge Materials
Since marine vinyl is a relatively heavy material, it generally requires the usage of heavy needles and pins. Some upholsterers advise employing quilting pins, in case the material needs to be pinned. In order to prevent the permanent holes from appearing on the right side, pinning must be done inside the seam allowance. Needles suited for working with leather might just do the trick.
Preparing for Heavy Material
Due to being dense, marine vinyl often tends to stick with presser feet and throat plates. This can be quite of a challenge when it comes to guiding the material swiftly through a sewing machine. Using industrial sewing machine can be more prudent than employing one made for domestic use. The equipment must be oiled at least once after every use. Placing a tissue paper or napkin underneath the vinyl can help it to move through the machine quickly and uniformly.
At the time of sewing, stitch length must be set between 2 to 3 stitches for every inch. It would prevent the denser fabric from bunching. The top needle and bobbin has to be threaded with heavy-duty nylon string. It is stronger than cotton and less prone to breaking. It is also important to back stitch the seams in order to prevent them from separating.