For the at-home seamstress, using these ten industrial sewing techniques can take your project to the next level in professionalism. These tips are easy to follow when sewing cotton, canvas, and many other fabrics. For your next textile project, contact Commercial Bag and Supply.
Industrial Sewing Techniques Guide
Reduce your seam allowances. Typical home sewing patterns have seam allowances of 5/8″. For collars, cuffs, and waistbands, this larger allowance often results in the garment looking bulky. Reducing the seam allowance on enclosed seams to 1/4″ will save you time on trimming, grading, notching, and clipping.
Mark your notches by using 1/8″ nips. Rather than cutting diamond shapes, nipping will make your seams less susceptible to fraying.
Instead of pinning down your pattern to the fabric, hold it down with weights.
Make sure your piece of fabric is large enough that you can cut and mark all the pieces needed at once.
Sewing continuously will result in a cleaner looking final product. Butt your pieces end to end and stitch from one seam to another. When you get to the pressing station, then you can cut them apart.
Try to sew as many seams as you can before the initial pressing.
Save time by sewing flat. Sew the details first (collar, cuffs, waistband,etc.), then move on to the rest of the garment. Do as much sewing as you can before you sew together the side seams.
Sew buttonholes. When you’re ready to put the actual buttons on, open the holes with a punch rather than a seam ripper.
Avoid using pins as it distorts seams and slows down the process. Match corners at the start and finish of seams. Use both hands to sew and keep raw edges matched while sewing.
During the final pressing, start with the details. Move to the sleeves and the body. Press your buttons from the wrong side. Allow pressed areas to cool down before you begin pressing a new section.
Can’t find the right canvas size for your new painting project?
Follow our guide on how to stretch your own canvas.
Supplies you’ll need:
Frame (built or bought)
Spray bottle filled with water
Utility knife / X-acto knife
Steps to Stretch Your Own Canvas
Build your frame or buy a canvas stretcher. A frame meant for stretching canvas will include pre-cut slats that help you easily snap the frame into place.
Make sure you have enough canvas on hand. Depending on the width of your chosen frame, you’ll want enough canvas so when it lays flat, there’s 6-8 inches on either side extending beyond the frame. Purchasing unprimed canvas will make the stretching easier.
Cut the canvas to your desired size.
Center the frame. Before you begin any stretching, smooth the canvas once more and clean up any stray fibers.
Begin the stretching. Take the longest side of the canvas, fold it in, and staple it down with three staples on that side of the frame. Now repeat this step for the opposite side. *Always staple in the center of the frame.*
Now use your spray bottle to mist the canvas. This will encourage shrinkage as you proceed through the following steps.
Move on to the shorter sides of canvas. Pull on the remaining canvas to ensure tightness, and attach it to the frame using two staples. Repeat for the opposite side.
Now the corners are left. Begin with the side you started with in step five. Start from the center, pull the canvas tightly, fold down, and staple up towards the corner. Follow the same pattern you did for the center stapling.
Staple the corners. Now you should have the entire canvas stapled save for the corner fabric. Fold one side down into a triangle as though wrapping a gift, then pull the other side down tightly on top. Staple 2-3 times.
Double check your work. Inspect all sides of the frame to be sure the canvas is appropriately stretched and all staples are securely in place. If necessary, staple in additional, loose-looking places, or use a hammer to straighten unruly staples.
Almost there. Let the canvas rest and tighten up over 24-48 hours, prime, and you’re ready to paint!
We think it’s safe to say cotton is one of the most versatile textiles. Did you know that one cotton bale alone can produce 250 single bed sheets, 3,000 nappies, 1,200 t-shirts, 2,100 pairs of of boxer shorts, 680,000 cotton balls, or 4,300 pairs of socks?
It can do a lot more than that, too.
Perhaps even more useful than its work in the clothing industry, cotton makes an ideal medical product. The fabric is unbelievably adaptable, holding up to 27 times its own weight in water, and actually becoming stronger as it gets wet. These qualities make cotton perfect for bandages and swabs in a medical environment.
Cotton is most often used in the clothing industry since this fabric doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. Thanks to its adaptability, cotton easily blends with other fibers and synthetics, and can quickly take to dyes.
Other characteristics of cotton include:
Soft, comfortable, and cool
Breathable fabric that absorbs and releases perspiration quickly
This means cotton will stay cool in the summer and warm in winter
Appears in many varieties depending on how it’s woven:
Possibly one of the most usable textiles, Commercial Bag & Supply can create cotton products that work for you like:
medical supplies (as discussed above)
bank/casino money bags
painter’s floor coverings
bags for metal shavings
food bags ideal for storing:
When it comes time to clean your cotton, follow these tips:
You can easily just throw your cotton products in the washing machine. Use chlorine bleach to restore the cotton to its original whiteness, but be careful! If your cotton is chemically treated, the bleach may cause yellowing. If dyed, the bleach may remove the color. Once you’ve finished washing and drying your cotton, using an iron at high temperatures can help to remove any wrinkles that sustained the wash and dry.
An easy way to control weeds without chemicals or sprays is by using landscape fabric. It’s usually made with burlap or woven polypropylene. With two choices, how do you know which material to use?
Woven polypropylene is a synthetic material that does not easily decompose. It’s the perfect material for long-term use under mulch. Its tight weave allows for moisture to penetrate. Unlike burlap, are stronger and rot-resistant over time.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, burlap is the way to go. Burlap is a natural fiber made from Jute. The material is strong and biodegradable, so chemicals do not seep into soil. Burlap is typically more resistant to UV deterioration but less so moisture than the woven polypropylene.
Landscape fabric is also used to prevent erosion, walkways, flowerbeds, paths, planting, and landscaping. It’s great to protect your seeds from pesky animals and birds.
At Commercial Bag & Supply, we are able to cut the fabric to any shape or size to meet your needs. Since we import bulk quantities of both woven polypropylene and burlap, we can supply any commercial or industrial use you might have. Our cutting room can process quantities from 10 – 10,000; just let us know what you need!
How do you control weeds in your garden? If you’re conscientious about using chemicals or sprays around your home, a landscape fabric is an effective alternative to controlling weeds and other unwanted growth. Fabric for landscaping is typically made from two textiles: woven polypropylene and burlap.
In addition to weed control, landscape fabric can also be used to prevent erosion, as well as create walkways, flowerbeds, and paths. Burlap or woven polypropylene landscape fabrics can also protect your seeds from birds and other animals.
Woven Polypropylene Landscape Fabric
Woven polypropylene does not easily decompose so it’s an ideal material to be placed under mulch for long periods of time. Woven polypropylene offers a tight weave design that allows moisture to penetrate. Many gardeners prefer woven polypropylene to burlap for landscape fabric because it’s stronger and rot resistant, though it’s more costly.
Burlap Landscape Fabric
Burlap is another strong fabric that’s biodegradable and more affordable than woven polypropylene. It’s biodegradable quality prevents chemicals from seeping into the soil, and burlap’s material makeup is more resistant to UV deterioration.
Burlap can also be used to protect your gardens during the colder months. Cold temperatures, sun, and wind are all culprits to injured plants during winter months. Contrary to popular belief, though, low temperatures are actually less damaging to your plants than the fluctuating temperatures.
When exposed to direct sunlight, tree bark can crack. In below freezing temperature, root damage is likely to occur. If root damage does occur, the roots might wilt come spring. Instead of letting your trees brave the winter cold on their own, use a burlap landscape fabric and wrap it around the base of your trees, shrubs, and bushes to prevent undue damage.
Burlap is an ideal fabric for winter protection because it allows enough sun and rain to get to the plant while simultaneously preventing frost and excessive sunlight.
Use burlap landscape fabric to minimize winter damages:
Create an outline for the burlap by driving 3 or 4 stakes into the ground around the plant you want to protect
Cut a piece of burlap large enough to wrap the plant at least twice
Use twine to loosely tie the burlap so it stays in place
You can also wrap burlap around your planter boxes, and secure the fabric with rocks or something similar in weight.
Both burlap and woven polypropylene wholesale landscape fabric from Commercial Bag & Supply can be customized to your exact specifications so no matter what season, your garden is protected. Contact a Commercial Bag & Supply specialist today if you have any questions about landscape fabric for your home garden.
On your next trip to the supermarket, keep your eyes peeled for that useful, hole filled material: mesh. What exactly is it? And why is it so common? Have no fear, we’re here to give you the 411 on mesh.
Similar to a web or net, mesh is most often made from connected strands of metal, fiber, and other flexible materials, though depending on its use, the material of the mesh will change. Mesh has three particular materials and applications:
When making plastic mesh, polypropylene, polyethylene, nylon, and PVC are the necessary materials. The most common version of plastic mesh is one you see nearly every day: the bags that hold your apples, lemons, and other fruits and veggies at the supermarket. These supermarket bags are made from polypropylene, which is an environmentally friendly and recyclable material. These mesh bags can be made in many sizes and colors, and will most often include a drawstring to keep items secure. The holes in these bags also allow you to easily rinse the produce without having to unpackage your items.
For metal mesh, steel or other metals are used. Uses for metal mesh include straining applications, like making tea, or draining pasta.
When thinking about mesh clothing, the material is typically loosely woven or knitted fabric that provides a number of closely spaced holes. Mesh clothing is most often used for athletic jerseys and other activities that require breathable materials.
Mesh is best for items that need a breathable enclosure, and also one that allows the items to release excess moisture. Mesh is an incredibly versatile material for a number of applications that you might not think of:
Our Midwestern streets see the destruction of winter weather every year. You’re bound to see a pothole or cracked pavement as you drive down Main Street. What could make those go away, and more importantly, stay away? Commercial Bag & Supply, located right in the heartland of “paving cover country,” has the answer.
A paving cover is essential for the proper curing of concrete in the Midwest. Traditionally, a paving fabric is placed between layers of new pavement as it’s laid. This fabric, commonly made with burlap, functions as a barrier from water infiltration, and effectively reduces cracking of the new surface layer by absorbing stress.
Even the best flooring design plans can produce cracked concrete. When temperatures drop and precipitation occurs, that wetness is absorbed by the concrete or asphalt. When temperatures reach 18 degrees, concrete freezes. At 35 degrees, the concrete will begin to melt, which starts the process of cracking, pitting, crazing, scaling, and our least favorite – potholes.
Though it is an extra step in the repairing of roads, a paving cover saves cost and time when considering the life-longevity of pavement. A typical pavement overlay may last up to 10 years, or twice that long with the use of a paving cover. Installation costs are just 10-20% of the cost to dig out cracked areas where paving fabrics were not previously used.
Our durable 10 ounce burlap jute fabric can be sewn to almost any length or size. Our talented and trained specialists stitch the burlap together using industrial strength sewing machines right here in our warehouse, so your custom paving cover order can be manufactured quickly and shipped out for near-immediate use.
Let us know how we can be of assistance in your next paving cover project.
Perhaps you’ve had a few late nights of tossing and turning. Your imagination is running wild, and you suddenly think of all the custom textile goods you could be creating to give that special added touch to your home or business. Commercial Bag & Supply is proud to have a team capable of helping you reach your design goals, whatever they might be.
If you’re looking for an original, but not entirely custom design, you might be interested in our burlap coffee bags. These bags are great for storage that doesn’t become an eyesore around the house or office. Each bag offers its own unique design from the original coffee bean grower or roaster. If you do want to design your own bag, we purchase wholesale burlap and can design and sew to your specifications. Some uses for custom burlap orders include:
Custom laundry bags
Vinyl record covers
Single bottle wine gift bags
Potato bags (great for Spring gunny sack races! Rep your family name!)
Our cotton is purchased in bulk rolls so we have the opportunity to cut and sew to any design specification you can provide. Perhaps you have the idea to print your company’s logo on any number of products you use around the office or worksite – no problem. Some common uses for our cotton bags include:
Casino money bags
Bank money bags
Seed sample carriers
Custom tote bags
Custom laundry bags
Any of our cotton bags can be made with or without drawstring closures for your ease.
Our large rolls of raw canvas material means endless design opportunities for you. Canvas is a heavy-duty material ideal for outdoor settings including gardening and agricultural work, and even thick, protective clothing so you stay warm and safe when completing your daily tasks in cold weather. Some custom ideas for our canvas material include:
Pencil/art supply bags
Whatever your idea might be, Commercial Bag and Supply can help you reach your design vision with skill. Request a quote or drop us a line with your ideas!
With customizable orders of any material, you have the freedom to create holiday decorations you won’t see anywhere else. Choose from canvas, burlap, or cotton, and let your imagination run wild.
When your children rush down the stairs before the sun has even risen, let them find their goodies (or coal) in a brand new burlap stocking you designed just for them. Our burlap is so durable your children will be able to keep their stockings for years and pass them on to your grandchildren.
Have tiny handprints you want to preserve for years to come? Order strips of canvas, set out crayons, and let your little ones have at it. Stock up on an acrylic paint color of your choice, paint a little hand, and have them stick their imprint right in the center. You’ll have a long-lasting memory of those fun, wintry nights at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and can use them as placemats even when the season is over.
No matter what holiday craft you have in mind, Commercial Bag & Supply can help your wintry dreams come true with a customizable order that will last for years to come.
Moving into the colder months in the Midwest, it’s time to think about how you’ll be storing this year’s harvest. What type of food storage bag is best for your crop? Burlap? Cotton? Woven polypropylene? Whatever material you need, Commercial Bag & Supply is here to provide a customizable option for you. With our bags, food storage is easier and more dependable than ever.
Our woven polypropylene is made from the highest quality, and can even be coated with water resistant gloss to make sure your food stays dry.
If you’re storing coffee, peanuts, dried beans, potatoes, or rice, we suggest our burlap food storage bags. You choose from our 7 ounce or 10 ounce aerial, and we can sew them to any specification you require.
If you’re looking for a lightweight yet strong, breathable fabric, our cotton food bags will work best for storing nuts, cured ham, coffee, and flour.
Commercial Bag & Supply
1244 2nd Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Toll Free: 1-800-383-1269