Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Flatten Vinyl

I haven't even started on Peanut's new sweater.  What an awful pseudo-girlfriend I am.

I have, however, been working on a different project, which has involved an awful lot of sewing and a little bit of gluing.  I can't get into details, though, because it's for a product I'm designing with the intention to eventually try and market it and I wouldn't want you to swipe my patent-less idea.  :-)

In any case, part of the design for this mystery thing involved using clear vinyl, so I headed to the (lame) craft superstore in our town mall to pick some up.  Lucky for me there were several odds-and-ends folds of vinyl sheeting in the half-off section, so I grabbed a medium-weight flat and picked it up for roughly $7.  I didn't need as many yards as I wound up with, but who knows--maybe I'll want to make myself a see-through dress some day.

Having worked with vinyl before (the Happy Hooker has an adorable crocheted ipod case that's an animal face on one side and a clear vinyl panel on the other)

I knew that stored vinyl can get wrinkled, but I've never tried to unwrinkle it before.

Clearly, ironing is out of the question, so how do you make folded vinyl flat again?  I pondered this as I drove home from the store, thinking that microwaving would probably work, but since I'm smart I made sure to Google my options before actually throwing any plasticky sheeting into the oven.

Google had a couple different suggestions but the one that appealed to me the most was flattening via hair dryer.  As someone who still occasionally uses the hair dryer to get wrinkles out of the shirt I'm already wearing, I am familiar with the process.

I'm happy to report that blow drying vinyl works a helluva lot better than blow drying cotton.  I cut a few squares out of my big fold, stored it away, and then put each square on the carpet (maybe not the best placement but it didn't melt or anything).  It took about 30 seconds to a minute to get a nice flat piece of vinyl from what was previously a bumpy lumpy mess and wound up being one of the easiest things I had to do in the process of making the mystery item.

This morning, thankfully, I finished my project (wouldn't want to leave any loose craft ends before The Rapture) which means now I'm theoretically free to start working on a new pattern for Peanut.

I'm sure he will be thrilled to get a new sweater just in time for summer.


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  2. I just came across this post because I needed to flatten some vinyl. And now I'm really curious what the mystery item was that you made. Care to assuage my curiosity???? Pls.