Neoprene is a synthetic rubber; it’s distinguishing feature is a foam core creating a rubbery, spongy hand. And is most familiar used in wetsuits where the foam core keeps body heat in and moisture out. Great features for wetsuits, not so much for fashion wear. However, there are other properties that make Neoprene very desirable for garments. See Is it Neoprene or Scuba Knit? Should I Care??? for more information.
- light weight
- wrinkle free
- wind resistant
- firm, dense material that holds it shape without under support
- easy care–wipe off spots or gently wash and air dry. Did I say it dries quickly? It does!
- stain and moisture resistant; liquid beads up
- double faced so lining is not needed
- perfect for raw edges–seams and hems
- raw edge lapped or butt seams reduce bulk
The unique, stylish and comfortable neoprene fabric
Watch the following video for expert advice on what designs work best in Neoprene and how to work Neoprene garments into your wardrobe.
A simple design with few pieces will be quick and easy to sew in Neoprene. Seam finishes, interfacing, lining are not needed.
- Neoprene in 2mm-3mm thickness is best for garments and home sewing machines
- Cut with a rotary cutter for perfectly smooth edges that require no further finish
- Seam finishes are not necessary as fabric does not ravel
- Lapped and butted seams reduce bulk–Google for how-tos
- Neoprene should not be pressed; although foam is heat resistant, the outer layers may not be. In any case, a lapped or butt seam doesn’t need pressing.
- Needle–sharp point, size 14-18
- Thread–Polyester, wooly nylon–any thread that stretches
- Stitch Length–3mm+
- Stitch type–straight stitch, zigzag, flatlock–See Serger manual and/or YouTube
- Sew slowly as friction may heat needle and melt the thread
- Presser Feet–roller foot, walking foot
- Sample, Sample, Sample
What should you sew with Neoprene?
My personal recommendation is anything not too close fitting due to it’s thermal properties. On the other hand, not oversized, as it will not drape. Simple design is best.
- Unlined jacket or vest to layer, or not
- Reversible Coat/Raincoat–water resistant; wrinkle free; lapped or butted seams make it reversible; all-purpose travel coat
- Moto-style jacket
- Pencil skirt–won’t wrinkle, form-fit
- customized wetsuit
- beer kozy, wine carrier
- face mask, balaclava
- laptop, tablet cases
Neoprene Garment Options
The neon-hued designs and the shape-holding features of Neoprene offer some tantalizing structural possibilities. The flared skirt, below, will maintain its shape no matter what.
The jacket is also Neoprene and holds it boxy shape while keeping the wearer warm.
This is a Pucci hooded bomber style jacket. Similar Pucci jackets are printed silk laminated to Neoprene. Wouldn’t you like to get your hands on a designer over-run of this!
Here is what I will be sewing with Neoprene. Bought the fabric for a wine kozy so don’t have enough for the vest. Will supplement with a black Ponte.
What will you be sewing with Neoprene?