View Full Version : Cutting/engraving fabric

Jacqui Marlin
08-15-2007, 12:17 AM
I know CO2 lasers are often used to etch denim and I know it can be used with other fabrics - I am looking for anyone who has tried it and how it works. One possible thing I would love to try is laser burnout on rayon velvet. Is it doable? I found one site with a chemical for burnout, but I see fabrics advertised as laser burnout fabric and want to know more about it. Hope someone out there has tried it.

Rodne Gold
08-15-2007, 1:43 AM
Iv'e tested a lot of fabrics for cutting and engraving , like netting , rayon , polar fleece , jersey material , denims , calico , canvas, velvet, felt , neoprene wetsuit material etc and all work quite well , however we have yet to have a customer ask for us to do anything with fabrics. Probably cos I don't promote it,
I just went to an oddments shop and bought a few bags of scraps to try on.

Jacqui Marlin
08-15-2007, 3:07 AM
Do you just use a low power and play around till you get a good result? I am just wanting to see what this new toy can do and I will then figure out projects that can be done and maybe even design something for sale. Which fabrics gave you the best results? Kind of related question - have you done any rubber stamps and do you need to use any special rubber or will any kind work well?

Gosh there is a lot to learn about this great invention!

Jacqui, Goddess of Chaos, GSOLFOT

Rodne Gold
08-15-2007, 3:39 AM
Yeh , it's all trial and error.
I have done like 3 rubber stamps , all for ourselves , i think its a lousy application , slow , smelly , dirty and very little money in it. We used a laser friendly stamp rubber we bought in small sheets - a waste of money as we havent used 95% of it

Jacqui Marlin
08-15-2007, 4:00 AM
Thanks for saving me some money on THAT experiment. Worst thing is having to leave it at home for a month! There are just so many things to learn and to try!

Mike Null
08-15-2007, 7:29 AM

I have done a little engraving of velvet type fabrics, more for my own amusement than anything else. Begin with low power and low resolution until you find a setting that works.

One thing I do fairly often is mark gift boxes. If I'm doing a large order of plaques I'll use my "test" setting and put their names on the boxes. It only takes a few seconds and is more impressive than a label. My gift boxes are brown so they mark well.

Jacqui Marlin
08-15-2007, 1:12 PM
I like the idea of lasered personalized gift boxes! My first job for when I learn the ins and outs of this laser program will be to do some wooden box tops for a tattoo artist - he is working on his logo and I am working on learning how to set this machine! I will be digging through all my scrap fabric now looking for stuff that might work for lasering! This is a whole new world!

Leigh Costello
08-16-2007, 11:13 PM
I can read the glee in your posts. :D Our laser is a year old now and we are still having a great time with it. I have only lasered denim - I etched my name into the back pockets of an old pair of jeans. Worked so well, I tried to add a picture to the lower leg (the only other place not patched). No luck, I forgot to change setting and turned them to dust. Now I have an old pair of capris!:eek: Have fun!

George Elston
08-17-2007, 6:35 PM
I have spent most of the last week cutting fabrics. We started showing at a local arts and crafts show that is at a local marina, and I noticed that a lot of the young ladies wore tee-shirts over their swim wear while on the boats. These were usually cut open at the neck and arms to give more ventilation while still offering some sun protection. Any way I picked up a couple of dozen shirts at Sams and went to town. Cotton Tee-shirts cut very nicely and as long as I leave enough material between the holes the designs work well. Designs mostly geometric but I did do some sailboats, and a few fish. I also discovered that a mix of 95% cotton and 5% rayon, cuts beautifully, the voids hold their shape and very intricate designs are possible. I think there might be some possibilities here as we have a large Tourist crowd and the locals buy beach ware also. Next show is coming Tues. so if we don't get rained out or a hurricane I'll let you know how they sell.

Stephen Beckham
08-17-2007, 9:42 PM

Gives a HOLE new meaning to "looking out for a sale..." :D Sorry couldn't resist...

My daughters are my best models - with the blue jeans and band geek type stuff... I've tried talking my daughter into letting me have a new leather patch sewn in place of the original one on her jeans - then applying a "Amanda's Wear" or something of the sorts to make people look twice at the label and wonder how she got her own label on jeans...

Jacqui Marlin
08-17-2007, 10:25 PM
There are so many great ideas here! And I have a friend who is feeding me more ideas to explore so now I have to find out whether I can safely cut jewelers wax and polycarbonate. Most concerned with fire and maybe mess with the hard wax, and fumes from the polyc. I think I will definitely need a better exhaust system!

Jacqui, Goddess of Chaos, GSOLFOT

Rodne Gold
08-17-2007, 11:08 PM
You cant process Jewellers wax or any meaningful thickness of polycarbonate. We had limited success with jewellers wax after freezing it to stop it melting. Poly will cut with a very discoloured edge.

Jacqui Marlin
08-17-2007, 11:25 PM
Thanks for letting me know Rodne. I kind of thought there would be a problem which is why I asked before plunging in testing it. The acrylic edge is so nice and clean we were hoping poly would work out the same way. Oh well, I guess it isn't magic!