How to identify two different varieties of waterproof PUL fabrics and how to sew with them
Have you been looking for a waterproof, wipe clean, product that will hold up when repeatedly laundered? Have you been stymied to find a decent lunch bag liner, bib liner, diaper bag liner or change pad fabric? Then I’d like to encourage you to try PUL (Polyurethane laminate). This family of fabrics feature a poly knit on one side laminated to waterproof polyurethane.
There are two types of PUL on the market and they are very different from one another.
There’s Prym’s Babyville® brand and P.U.L. film manufactured for Fabri-Quilt Inc. To avoid confusion, I’ll go over the properties of each product so you are able to pick the P.U.L. that suits your sewing requirements. The table at the end will help you choose.
Babyville by Prym Dritz includes an entire line of baby-oriented product designed to work together. There are coordinated juvenille prints and solids, matching snaps, mesh, labels, fold-over elastic and hook and loop tape. Prym supports the line with video and books to help sewists create projects like bibs, children’s aprons and diaper covers. Projects made using Babyville should be restricted to very simple items due to fabric bulk.
I have created one pattern suitable for Babyville P.U.L., the Quick Change Diaper Bag.
Fabri-Quilt P.U.L. (also called P.U.L. film)
Fabri-Quilt P.U.L. is available in a selection of eight solid colors. It was developed for hospital use so that it could be sterilized at high heat in a hospital autoclave. Use it to create anything that needs a waterproof lining like bags, picnic totes, change pads, bibs, lightweight diaper covers, casserole cover liners, even the back of a picnic quilt.
Because it is lightweight, it does not impede sewing as no extra thickness is added by using this product in place of fabric. Unlike earlier plastic liner products it has a very soft buttery feel.
I have created several patterns using this product:
- Dining Out Party and Picnic Bag
- Bevy Bag Soft Cooler Bag,
- Quick Change Diaper Bag
- Me & My Baby Diaper Bag and Change Pad
We carry P.U.L. by Fabri-Quilt in our online store.
Because these waterproofing products feel and handle so differently I’ve put together this table to help you decide which product you need.
|Right side of fabric||Knit side||Polyurethane side
|Waterproof side appears||Opaque||Clear|
|Uses||Simple projects due to bulk. Think bibs, diaper covers, wet-dry sacks, children's apron front.||Multi-purpose. For anything that requires a wipe-clean, waterproof lining. Lunch bags, picnic bags, beverage bags, wet-dry bags, diaper bags, change pads, back of picnic blanket.|
|Absorbency||No. Not suitable for diapers but makes good diaper covers.||No, not suitable for diapers, but makes good diaper covers.|
|Colors||Juvenile prints and solids||8 solid colors|
|Pre-wash?||No, but if using in combination with fabric, pre-wash the fabric.||No, but if using in combination with fabric, pre-wash the fabric.|
|Needle for sewing||11 Ballpoint or size 10/12||11 Ballpoint or size 10/12|
|How many layers can I sew?||No more than 2 – 3||4|
|Thread||Polyester – it does not wick.||Polyester – it does not wick.|
|Pinning||Avoid pinning within project. Use clips.||Holes and stitching errors picked out can be carefully resealed with the tip of an iron. Use clips if desired.|
|Special sewing foot||If sewing from the wrong side, use a Teflon foot. The polyurethane can stick to a regular sewing foot in humid conditions.||If sewing from the right side use a Teflon Foot. The polyurethane can stick to a regular sewing foot in humid conditions.|
|Pressing||Low setting on fabric side only. The waterproof side will melt.||Low setting is desirable. Iron can be touched to waterproof side.|
|Waterproofing Instructions||After construction, place articles in a hot dryer for 20 minutes to seal holes. This may or may not work depending on the size of the holes.||Running an iron carefully over seams will seal the needle holes or place in a hot dryer for 20 min.|
|Washing||Machine wash in warm water, mild detergent. No fabric softeners, no vinegar or oxy type products. Bleach only on occasion for sanitation purposes as the bleach will break down the waterproof side.||Machine wash in hot water, no chlorine bleach.|
|Drying||Hang to dry or tumble dry low. Remove promptly.||Tumble dry warm, remove promptly.|
|Patterns available through Among Brenda's Quilts & Bags||Quick Change Bag||Quick Change Bag, Dining Out Bag, Me & My Baby Bag, Bevy Bag|