How To Sew Velcro By Hand
Velcro is one of those incredible, space-age inventions with countless uses. In sewing, velcro is used as a fastener for garments and bags or removable patches. Velcro is easier to add during the process of making a new garment or other projects. But it can also be added to ready-made clothes or bags for temporary or changeable attachments.
Don’t expect sewing velcro by hand to be easy. Depending on the weight of the velcro and the layers of fabric beneath it, it can be challenging. But sewing by hand is an excellent way to ensure the velcro is exactly where you want it to be and looks professional.
To help make sewing velcro by hand a little easier, here are some tips for success:
1. Choose the Right Velcro for the Job
If you are using a pattern, check the notions section on the back of the package for the right weight and size for the garment. If you’re adding a patch or designing your own project, choose a weight that matches the fabric and use parameters.
There are a surprising number of velcro color choices as well. Amazon sells a wide variety of tapes and decorative velcro patches. Try to match the fabric color as closely as possible for fasteners.
Gamers and business conventions often offer advertising, participant, or fan patches. Go prepared with a neutral-colored patch to swap out with your favorite company or event logo.
Look for velcro designed to be sewn. Do not try to sew adhesive-backed velcro unless you’ve no choice. Adhesive will quickly coat your needle, so you’ll have to stop and clean it frequently. Adhesive also makes velcro harder to pierce.
2. Choose the Right Needle and Thread
Velcro is pretty tough stuff. Even if your fabric is lightweight, you’ll still need a needle strong enough to penetrate the nylon backing easily. Use sharps (at least a size 5 for lightweight fabric) like these, to penetrate all layers easily. A dull needle will lead to sore hands, bent or broken needles, and more than necessary time consumed.
A heavy-duty polyester thread, like this thread here, is the strongest, most durable choice for sewing velcro. Use a color that matches the velcro. Dental floss or clear nylon thread is an option for sporting accessories such as backpacks. A cheap thread may shred as it’s pulled through the velcro or break with regular use since fastening and unfastening velcro produces more than usual stress.
3. Use the Right Tools
Besides needle and thread, here are some other considerations when sewing velcro–
4. Preparation and Placement of Velcro
You’ll want to make sure the velcro is correctly placed before beginning to sew. If your pattern is marked for velcro, follow its guidelines carefully. If not, measure carefully and note the following tips:
- Cut square corners diagonally across to prevent curling and poking.
- Cut through one side of the velcro at a time for increased ease and accuracy. Use the cut side as a pattern for the matching piece for larger patches.
- Make sure the rough hook side faces away from direct contact with skin.
- Leave a space between velcro and the edge of the fabric wherever there’s a chance of rubbing against bare skin.
- If you must trim velcro tape past its side’s narrow seam allowance, keep the patch neat by quickly running a lighter’s flame around it to fuse rough-looking edges. Don’t leave the flame in one place long enough to melt or darken the perimeter.
- Pin velcro in place to prevent shifting.
5. The Best Hand Stitches
The most common stitches for hand sewing velcro are the straight (running) stitch and the backstitch.
A running stitch appears as a stitch-space pattern. A running stitch is most appropriate for light to medium weight fabric or stitching across a patch for reinforcement.
A backstitch is also a standard embroidery stitch. It appears on the front side as a machine-made, solid line around the velcro. A backstitch is more robust for heavier weight velcro as well as a more professional look if the stitches will show at all.
6. Tips for Stitching
For the best results:
- Use doubled thread when sewing velcro, knotting the ends together after threading the needle.
- Hide the thread’s end knot between the velcro and fabric by pulling the first stitch through the velcro only.
- Use small, tight, even stitches to maximize strength and durability.
- Use a thimble to lessen the chance of injury to your fingertips and help push the needle through resistant velcro.
- Use a shorter length of thread to avoid tangles, twists, and knots (18-22 inches total).
- Using wax or a sewing lubricant can make pulling through such a sturdy material easier.
- When sewing on a larger patch, stitching diagonally across in the form of a large “X” will add stability and control while pulling the velcro apart. This reinforcement will also prevent a patch from seeming to sag away from the material. If you prefer, evenly spaced parallel lines of stitches could be used instead.
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