A laminated fabric is essentially multiple layers, usually two layers, consisting of fabric and polymer films, bonded together.The bonding is done using heat, chemical bonding agents, or adhesives,applied between layers of high-strength fabric and flexible laminating material like thermoplastic film. This lamination is done in order to impart to fabrics, properties like fire-proofing, waterproofing, anti-microbial and anti-staining properties, reflection and phosphorescence, etc., that they do not possess naturally. One such fabric is the laminated cotton fabric which is soft and pliable. This fabric is used widely for making upholstery for outdoor furniture’s, fashionable tote bags, classy rain wear, fashionable high shine garments, and much more.
Laminated fabrics have many applications in different industries like fashion, sports, water sports, interior and home improvement, luggage, engineering, construction, aerospace, automobiles and medical. The bonding mechanism used for laminating fabrics is of prime importance as a proper bonding will help the composite fabric to hold together without making it non-functional. The fabric needs to be pre-treated before lamination is applied because some of the coatings penetrate the pores of the fabric. A stabilized fabric limits movement within the fabric during the process of lamination that can affect the quality of lamination.
Laminated cotton fabrics are fast becoming a trend in the fashion industry which is on a constant lookout for innovative and eye-catching fabrics that can combine visually interesting, fashionable as well as practical applications giving the apparel a futuristic, high shine look. Laminated cotton fabrics among all other kinds of laminated fabrics are the softest and most pliable.
The process of making laminated cotton fabrics involve the use of 100% woven cotton, coated with polyurethane, or a Phthalate-free laminate on the right side of the fabric. This fabric is similar to oilcloth and vinyl but does not contain harmful chemicals like phthalate or BPA, making it safe for making kids and baby products. It is not completely water proof and can be used for making a variety of items in the garment and bag industry. Because it is laminated only on one side, it also gives a comfortable feel to the wearer because of the natural feel of cotton fabric on the inner side.
Like most laminated fabrics, laminated cotton fabric also has some pointers that need to be kept in mind while undertaking projects. For example; very tiny cut pieces to assemble may pose a problem with this fabric. However; this fabric is favored when a more natural fiber than polyester is desired. Cutting, this fabric doesn’t fray on the sides. With so many fun and pretty prints, it looks trendy and smart, and the drape is good, making it an ideal material to make apparel and other items like children’s wear, aprons, tote bags, table cloths, upholstery, etc.
How to choose and handle your laminated cotton fabric
- Laminated cotton fabrics come in sizes ranging from 45” to 60” wide. Depending on the selected project, match the width you need with the fabric design pattern you choose.
- Since laminated cotton fabric is less flexible than regular cotton cloth, choose patterns that have simple cutting lines.
- Fabric when bought from the store should be rolled onto a cardboard tube instead of folding it as it can crease and wrinkle the fabric which is difficult to iron out.
- Laminated cotton fabrics can be washed but should never be pressed with a hot iron. Medium or low iron can be applied on the reverse of the fabric over a press cloth.
- Avoid using safety pins or all pins while making a project as it can leave permanent holes in the fabric. Use bobby pins instead.
- Use longer stitch length as smaller stitches will create too many holes in the fabric and weaken it.
- This fabric is not UV resistant and hence should be avoided to be kept under direct sunlight.
While there are many different types of laminated fabrics in the market, the best fabric for fashion and kid friendly projects is the laminated cotton fabric because of the natural feel of cotton on the side touching the body. This fabric being soft and pliable is very comfortable for making any kind of pattern. This fabric does not use harmful chemicals like BPA and is phthalate free making it absolutely safe even for babies.