Waterproof quilting fabrics are an excellent material choice
when looking to resist moisture in sewing projects and clothing, such as tents, tarps, raincoats, or raincoats. Waterproof fabrics also work great when creating outdoor pillows, lawn furniture cushions, or other indoor/outdoor home items like pillows. Knowing the difference between waterproof and weatherproof fabrics is crucial when choosing which one will best serve your sewing project needs.
Waterproof fabrics can be defined as materials with sealed seams that meet specific standards for both water resistance and breathability. Waterproof fabric may either be made naturally through tight weaving or treated post-production to achieve this characteristic. Usually thicker than quilting cotton and with shiny surfaces designed to repel moisture, waterproof fabrics have an aroma to discourage mold growth making them attractive choices for many users.
Fabric labels typically provide all of the information you need to determine if a fabric is waterproof or not. Water resistance values indicate how much rainwater the fabric can withstand before beginning to leak through; breathability measures how much moisture per day passes through; this measurement can be completed either before or after fabric creation using standard laboratory testing protocols.
Many fabrics naturally resist water or can be coated with waxes to increase their water-repellent qualities. Wool is one of the more water-resistant natural fibers and may benefit from being coated with lanolin to boost this resistance further. Waxed cottons also boast natural water resistance but need periodic reaxing for full effect.
Other fabrics can be treated to be waterproof, and come in various colors and finishes. Popular choices are polyurethane (PU) or PUL vinyl (PUL), which offers waterproofing while having soft yet flexible characteristics; often laminated onto woven fabrics such as twill or canvas to produce durable yet breathable finished products.
Other fabrics can be treated to be both waterproof and breathable, including nappy wallets and oilcloth. While oil cloth may contain phthalates that could be of concern for some consumers, it makes an excellent material choice for changing mats, tablecloths and protectors, peg bags, pencil cases, tote bags, coin purses, and much more.
When working with waterproof fabrics, it's essential to follow the instructions that come with your quilt pattern. Avoid quilting directly through the backing as this could allow moisture to seep into the quilt's top layer and cause swelling and puckering. Bind your quilt using fabric from its backing instead or choose water-resistant binding; prewash all materials before starting any projects to ensure proper shrinkage and stretching; wash finished products using cold water only, since hot water could damage fabric fibers. Finally, invest in waterproof quilting fabrics that stand up over repeated washings without becoming worn out over time and without losing their properties deteriorating, or degrading over time!