WHAT IS WASHABLE PAPER AND WHY DO WE LOVE IT?
Washable paper is a leather and fabric alternative that is lightweight and washable. It's also vegan friendly, as no animal products are used in its manufacture. As for structure, it is extremely tear-resistant, it does not fray and is water-resistant (in a rain shower the drops roll off). Washable paper can easily be cut, glued, painted, folded and sewn with a sewing machine. The craft possibilities for this material are mind-boggling! Where can you purchase this beautiful and versatile fabric? Here, in the shop!
Pic credit (both images): Jomu Studio. If you don't wash the paper it remains firm and you can make slick-looking wallets like these. Even after wear and tear, you can iron the wallets to revitalise them. Cool!
TWO MATERIALS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!
What is most interesting about washable paper is its versatile nature; it's two materials in one. Off the roll, it resembles firm card, which lends itself perfectly to making wallets, book jackets and boxes etc. BUT for us sewers, the fun begins when you wash the fabric. After washing you get a lovely soft vintage washed-look leather-feel fabric that you can sew to make bags, cosmetic pouches, backpacks, totes and all sorts of home dec projects. The washed fabric is soft (the more you wash it, the softer it gets), yet it remains tough and durable. Even better, if your made items get dirty you can wash them. Yay!
Pic credit (all 3 images): 03AM. After washing the paper you are left with a lovely washed leather-look and feel fabric that is easy to sew through. How delicious is that zipper!?!
HOW DO YOU WASH AND DRY WASHABLE PAPER? It's easy, follow these simple tips and instructions:
1. Shrinkage is not expected, apart from a tiny amount due to the texturing up of the paper, but this will be hardly noticeable.
2. Do not cut out shapes or pattern pieces from the paper before washing.
3. Do not use any detergent or softeners.
4. Unroll the paper before placing it into your washing (it's fine to scrunch it to get it into the machine).
5. Set the washing machine to 40 degree cycle.
6. Remove from machine, open out and leave to air dry at room temperature.
7. If when dry, you are happy with the wrinkled appearance, go off and have some craft fun! If your want more of a vintage look you can wash it again in the same way as described above.
8. The more you wash the fabric, the softer and more wrinkly it will become. The paper will remain strong.
9. The paper can be ironed. Use a pressing cloth and start with low temp, increasing heat if necessary. Ironing is a great way to revitalise the look of your made items - especially wallets and book covers.
10. You can wash made items by hand washing in soapy water and air drying.
Pic credit (2 pics): Uashmama. I love the luxe-look of these wash bags/cosmetic cases and how snazzy does that rose gold shoulder bag look?! You can get the rose gold fabric for that bag here, it's available in 3 colours: Rose Gold, Gold and Silver!
If we haven't told you already, you can get hold of this amazing fabric in the shop NOW!
HOW DO YOU SEW WITH WASHABLE PAPER? Whether you use it in its original (card-like form) or after you've washed it, follow these tips for a perfect project:
* Pinning together - holes made in the material are permanent. If you pin the material, the pin-holes are there for good. Instead of pinning, use sewing clips to hold pattern pieces together.
* Securing your stitches - as too many holes can weaken the fabric we need to be careful when sewing in forward and reverse directions. To secure your stitches, begin by dropping your needle 1/4" in, from the start of the seam, stitch in reverse to the start of the seam and then stitch forward as usual. Repeat at the end of the seam. Pull the thread from front to wrong side.
* Cutting - get cleaner cuts with a rotary cutter and mat.
* Thread - use a quality brand all purpose nylon thread. But for decorative (and plump-looking) topstitching try using a thicker thread.
* Needle - use an 80 - 90 needle.
* Stitch length - as this material is non-woven we need to avoid making our stitches too small as this would perforate and compromise the fabric strength (if the stitches are too small the fabric could be prone to tearing). Use a stitch length of 3mm or higher.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR MY FREE PATTERN AND TUTORIAL FOR WASHABLE PAPER (I'LL FIX ONE UP FOR THE BLOG AFTER THE EASTER HOLIDAYS) HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!