I’ve been getting a lot of questions about vinyl as the Silhouette for Fabric Art course gets underway. What works? What doesn’t? To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the new Silhouette Glossy Vinyl and answer the all important question, “Will it work for fabric art?”
When I started my Silhouette journey, I got some expert advice from Terri Johnson (TerriJohnsonCreates.com). She told me to skip everything else and order some Oracal 651 (permanent) vinyl for working on fabric. I have used it for several years, and it works great. But… What about the Silhouette brand products?
Initially, the Silhouette company only had “Premium” vinyl under the Silhouette brand. This was the equivalent of the Indoor/Removable vinyl sold by other companies.
In the past couple of months, Silhouette has greatly expanded the number of products under the Silhouette brand, and they now have Matte (removable) and Glossy (permanent) vinyl as well as loads of other choices. I put the new Silhouette Glossy Vinyl through a side-by-side test with Oracal 651 and the Silhouette Matte vinyl to see how they stack up for fabric applications.
I cut my Dancer design from each type of vinyl and removed the vinyl from the sections I would paint on fabric. Then I transferred each vinyl stencil to fabric with transfer tape.
Now, here’s the key. Does the vinyl stick firmly enough to the fabric to pass the “stretch on the bias” test?
Silhouette Glossy Vinyl: YES
Oracal 651: YES (I knew that already… I’ve been using this vinyl for several years.)
Silhouette Matte Vinyl: NO
As I expected, the Silhouette Matte vinyl lifted off the fabric quite easily. I tested this several years ago, but it was good to do this test again and verify that the matte (removable) vinyl is just not sticky enough to adhere well to fabric.
The Bottom Line
Both Oracal 651 and the new Silhouette Glossy Vinyl are great choices for fabric art.
The Silhouette Matte vinyl (and other “removable” vinyl products) are more likely to lift from the fabric as you work.
Silhouette Glossy Vinyl comes in a variety of colors. I like to work with grey because it’s easier for me to see colors as I’m painting. (The neon yellow I purchased the first time was a bit hard on the eyes!)
For links to specific products that I use and recommend, click over to Products I Use and scroll down to the bottom of the page. I have added the Silhouette Glossy Vinyl to that list.
About My Dancer
In case you’re wondering, I have made a quilt from that lovely dancer image. (It’s a version of an image I purchased from an online image source.) I created this quilt for challenge among the members of my small quilt group.
Our challenge quilts are on display this week at the Minnesota Quilt Show and Conference. Look for the D.I.V.A.S. Movement display and enjoy the quilts. You will see them right as you enter one of the halls, so you won’t have to look too hard!
Have you used vinyl for making fabric art stencils? What brand did you use? Did it work? Leave a comment below. I love to hear what’s on your mind.