How to sew nylon fabric

How to Sew Nylon Fabric?

Sewing is an old craft that is still popular around the world today. For some people it’s a profession, and for others it’s a hobby. Nowadays there are modern sewing machines, online tutorials, and a variety of fabrics available that makes sewing fun, enjoyable, and more accessible. Even with all the advancements, sewing can still be a challenging task. It takes a different approach to sew a variety of fabrics; each one comes with its unique features.

Nylon fabric is one of them. This fabric is a great choice for its unique features: long lasting, durability, resistance, etc. yet, it can also make it difficult to sew. The stretching nature of nylon fabric can make it hard to control, resulting in uneven seams and a less-than-professional finish. With proper guidelines, tips, attention to detail, and practice it can be learned. The use of the right tools and techniques also matters in this case to achieve a professional result out of sewing your nylon fabric.

Key Takeaways

  • Nylon fabric is made out of plastic and it is completely processed and comes with amazing features.
  • Before you sew your nylon fabric there are pre-workouts to do for your fabric.
  • There are effective and proven ways to sew nylon fabric both manual and automated.
  • It is a must to take care of your nylon fabric and avoid some mistakes to get the best results out of it.

What is Nylon Fabric?

Now let’s take a quick look to know what Nylon fabric is! It is a popular, durable, versatile fabric. This fabric is created from melted petroleum polymers which are transformed into strong and sturdy fibers. These fibers can be woven or knit into a variety of nylon fabrics. Nylon is essentially made from plastic, which gives it a smooth texture and incredible resilience to wear and tear. Unlike fabrics made from natural fibers, Nylon doesn’t absorb liquids and dries fast. Plus, its vibrant colors and patterns have a long-lasting, eye-catching look.

But that’s not all! Nylon fabrics have some other amazing features too. It is waterproof, UV-resistant, and mold-resistant. For this reason, nylon is ideal for both indoor and outdoor projects. You can create shirts, pants, and dresses. You’ll get added stretchiness if combined with spandex. Nylon fabric is suitable for decorative materials like curtains, backdrops, etc. And for your entire outdoors, the waterproof quality of nylon fabric creates a plus. You can create anything from tents, kites, and more. Due to its strength and durability nylon is used for climbing ropes as well. Since you know about the fundamentals of nylon fabrics let’s get prepared for a sewing project.

Preparing Nylon Fabric for Sewing

Before you get too excited and start sewing away, there are a few important preparations you need to make first. This preparation will consume a great amount of time. Still, the time to prepare your nylon fabric for sewing will ensure there would be no disruption during the sewing project.

Preparing Nylon Fabric for Sewing
Preparing Nylon Fabric for Sewing
  • Wash: The first thing to prepare your nylon fabric is to wash it in cold water with regular detergent. Both machine wash and hand wash are suitable for nylon. It’ll stretch to an extent after the wash. You’ll get an idea of your pattern length from that stretch whether it is accurate or not. 
  • Dry: After the wash, dry your fabric properly by using a lower temperature. You’ll notice it’ll shrink back to its actual state from the stretching.
  • Iron: After washing and drying the nylon fabric might get wrinkles. Read the fabric label to know the iron temperature for it. Ironing the fabric makes it easy to cut and sew accurately.
  • Cut the bobbins: Most likely you’d not find bobbin nylon because it has smooth textures but for some nylon fabric you might find it. So, carefully scan through and find pills, extra grains, or bobbins, then cut them.

Since your nylon fabric is cleaned up, unwrinkled, and has a smooth surface, now it’s prepared to dive into the sewing process.

How to Sew a Nylon Fabric?

It can be tricky to sew nylon fabric because of its slippery and elastic nature. Usually, they shift around while sewing which makes uneven lines when you try to sew. When you try to two pieces of nylon fabric together it becomes daunting. To make things a little easier, there are 2 methods you can apply to sew a nylon fabric easily without any issues.

Sew With Machine

Step 1: Prepare Your Machine

Make sure your sewing machine is cleaned and oiled. This little step is important to keep your machine’s parts in a properly working state. It reduces wear and tear and shields against rust and unnecessary friction. As a result, you’ll be able to sew with ease and zero interruptions in your work.

Prepare Your Machine
Prepare Your Machine

Step 2: Get the Right Needle

The first condition for selecting a needle is to make sure it’s sharp and new. Use a 90/14 to 100/16 needle, regardless of the fabric or thread. For Nylon, experts recommend using a size 22 needle to sew ¼″ thick material for a straight stitch or zigzag.

Get the right needle
Get the right needle

Step 3: Use Strong Thread

It is a vital part of the sewing process. When you are sewing heavy-duty fabric like nylon, you are going to need stronger thread. For example, you use nylon bonded #69 thread. It is suitable for sewing lightweight furniture, leather, outdoor gear, garments, etc. 69 thread is ideal for most sewing machines.

Use strong thread
Use strong thread

Step 4: Check The Pedal

Make sure your foot pedal works fine. It is the powerhouse of your sewing machine. From this pedal, you can increase and decrease your sewing speed. For sewing, a fabric like nylon, speed control, and smooth workflow matter the most. It’ll help you to seem perfect.

Check the pedal
Check the pedal

Step 5: Practice for A While

Now that you have done all the setups and checkups make sure you start off slow. Take an extra piece of nylon cloth and practice sewing on it. You can also use some old scraps of material to get warmed up for your project. This practice will ensure everything is well-tuned to pull out the final task of sewing your nylon fabric project.

Practice for a while
Practice for a while

Sew By Hand

Sew by hand
Sew by hand

If you don’t have a sewing machine or you prefer not to use it, you can sew your nylon fabric by hand. Just make sure of the thread and needle mentioned in the earlier method.

  • Pull the thread through about halfway to make sure you have a double thread going through the fabric. The size 18 needle should be big enough to insert itself into the fabric
  • Use a strong thimble to push it almost all the way through.
  • Use a moderate length of thread. Using about 2 feet of thread is good.
  • When you have the needle threaded, you can start your sewing following your fabric pattern and continue that way until you are done.
  • When it is complete, tie an overhand knot in the thread to secure it in place. Then continue to sew other areas following the same pattern.
  • Cut off the extra threads.

Note: Instead of using your fingers to pull the needle through, use a good pair of needle-nose pliers to do that part of the job.

Sewing Nylon Fabric: Additional Tips

Additional tips

Learning how to sew nylon fabric comes with challenges, but you can easily overcome them with a few bonus tips:

  • Use sharp scissors or a rotary fabric cutter to reduce the fraying of the nylon. Nylon tends to fray when cut to size for your project.
  • Keep the fabric tight by pulling the fabric on both sides of the needle instead of trying to pull the fabric through. Don’t fix it with a pin or anything.
  • Don’t be afraid to burn your edges or seams for a clear surface to seam. Beware with extreme caution when attempting this technique.
  • Do some zigzag stitches to help keep your sewing lines from breaking when a stretch to the nylon fabric occurs.
  • If it’s hard for you to hold the slides of your nylon fabric, then use double-sided tape to keep your fabric from slipping as you sew.

Sewing nylon will only become complex as you allow it to be. Once you’ve practiced different sewing techniques, you’ll be sewing quickly.

Sewing Nylon Fabric: Common mistakes

Common mistakes
Common mistakes

We already know how daunting and tricky nylon fabric is. This slippery and lightweight material requires some special attention.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when sewing with nylon:

Wrong needle: Nylon is a smooth fabric, so using a large needle is going to damage the fabric. Another thing is over the use the needles get blunt so keep working with the blunt needle also harms the professional outcome of the sewing.

Not using the right thread: Nylon requires a thread that can handle its slippery texture without distorting it. It has to handle the pressure of the needle to

Inappropriate scissors: If you cut nylon fabric with normal scissors you’ll notice it is frying. So, while cutting nylon fabric, use sharp scissors or a rotary fabric cutter to reduce the frying. It helps avoid any jagged edges that cause damage while cutting the fabric.

Ignore Checking: Make sure you double-check the length of each seam before sewing them together so there are no surprises later on in the project.

Not keeping the fabric fixed: Nylon fabrics tend to move around or slip away which makes it difficult to keep them in one place. If you don’t keep it in the same posture it’ll cause you rough seams. That’s why It’s better to use clips to keep the fabric firm.

By avoiding these common mistakes and taking your time, you can successfully sew with nylon and create beautiful, lightweight garments and accessories.

Care and Maintenance of Nylon Fabric

Nylon fabrics are easy and simple to take care of. The use of this fabric is growing every day. it is in our regular garments and other home decors. They are very long-lasting as long as you are not washing them in the machine. It hampers their overall lifetime. Likewise, without proper care and maintenance, your nylon fabric would start to fade out. To make sure your nylon fabrics last longer it is important to know how to take care of them properly.

  • It is better to wash your nylon clothes individually than just putting them along with the other items in the washing machine. It will increase their longevity and won’t damage them.
  • When you wash your nylon clothes be sure that you are using cold water. It doesn’t shrink or fade the fabric and is suitable for both hand wash and machine washing.
  • After you wash your nylon fabric proper drying is necessary otherwise it might cause damage to the fabric. Air dry it first then you can put it in the drier or dry it with any low-temperature iron.
  • Bleach is not suitable for nylon clothing. It does nothing to the fabric except damage and harm.
  • Wash when it is necessary because each time you wash your nylon fabric it reduces its usability.


Is It Hard To Sew Nylon Fabric?

Generally, sewing nylon is tough for beginners but following proper instructions can ease the procedure.

What things are made from nylon?

There are various kinds of things made out of nylon fabric around the world. For instance, sleeping bags, rope, seat belts in cars, parachuting material, etc.

What is nylon used for in clothing?

Apart from household items, umbrellas, and luggage, nylon is used to create material for socks, swimwear, shorts, tracksuits, sportswear, etc.

Final Thoughts

While nylon might seem like an intimidating material to work on, that is totally not the case! All it takes is a little practice and an understanding of the basics of working with nylon. Achieving your desired outcome from sewing nylon fabric depends on your practice and attention to detail. At some points, it might be irritating but if you follow through with the key points and make sure not to skip any bits of it then you can achieve beautiful results. The focal point is to choose the appropriate needle and thread, use the correct sewing machine, and apply the appropriate sewing method for your project.


Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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