When you have a large amount of fabric that needs to be cut down to size, just any old cutter will not do. There is just too much fabric to get to the right size and that cutting can take a lot of work before you start sewing.
Cutting fabric may be the easiest part of sewing but it takes time and precision to get the fabric just right. One of the ways to cut fleece is to use a rotary cutter. This cutter comes in several sizes so it can be used for more than just fleece.
To learn all about cutting fleece just continue to read our article. A rotary cutter is not the only way to cut the fabric and you need sharp cutting tools to get through the thick fabric accurately.
This is one of the recommended tools to use when you want to cut fleece. There are two important elements you need when you use the rotary cutter. The first element is that it has to be very sharp.
Fleece is a very thick fabric and to get accurate precision cuts you need a very sharp cutting tool to handle the job. The second element you need is a blade that is large enough. Some sewers recommend a 45mm blade and that size should be able to produce the type of cuts you want when you are working with fleece.
Then as an added precaution, you should clean the tool before and after using it. The leftover fibers can get caught up in the device and ruin your cut if you are not careful.
The rotary cutter may be easier on your wrist as you roll the blade instead of using your wrist and fingers to maneuver the blade.
After you choose the right size of blade, and you can go up to 60 mm if the fleece is really thick, you are going to need a little help if the fabric is very long. As you cut you will have to watch the blade.
If you are making a lot of cuts the blade will go dull on you. When that happens you will have to stop what you are doing and sharpen the blade or replace it with a new one. Then you will need to clean as you work. Those loose fibers have a way of getting stuck in the blade.
When you start cutting, make sure you are not working on a glass surface. The glass will dull your blade faster than you would think. Use a straight edge to make sure you are getting the accurate edge and cut you need.
You can and should use pins, weights, and clips to make sure the fabric holds still during your cutting time. One thing you do not want is to have the fleece continually move on you and ruin your project before you get started.
You can’t use a straight edge rotary cutter to make holes in your fabric. A straight edge rotary cutter is for cutting very straight lines and making sure your fabric has a nice clean edge.
There is another tool that also has a rotary design and is sometimes labeled as a rotary cutter but it is made to cut holes. It is called the Olfa rotary cutter and its blade is smaller and just as sharp as the regular model.
Its small teeth are made to make little holes in the fleece so you can add your yarn or other stitching material without ruining the fabric. It works like a regular rotary cutter so there is no extra training involved.
The good news is that this blade can be bought separately and be interchanged with your regular rotary cutting blade. Or you can have a separate handle for both and keep both tools ready for action when you need them.
You have lots of cutters to choose from when you want the best. The biggest influence on the awarding the title ‘the best’ is going to be the thickness of your fabric. The best rotary cutter for thick fleece may not be the best for thinner fleece fabrics.
For really thick fleece or lots of layers, you would want the Fiskars 60 mm rotary cutter. Its blade is large enough to handle almost any thickness you need to cut through, within reason of course.
For a little thinner materials, the Olfa 45 mm rotary cutter is the best. This works well when you do not need to cut a lot of layers. Then for single layers or very thin fleece fabric, the Olfa 28 mm works well.
On top of those selections if you suffer from arthritis, you should use the Fiskars 45 mm and when you are working on leather the Hercules electric rotary cutter is the best. For comfort the premier Blades 45 mm cutter has the top spot.
If you want to cut vinyl then you will want to switch to the Gingher 45 mm and the Olfa RTY-2G cutter works on cardboard the best. As you can see you have quite a few rotary cutters to choose from when you want to use the best.
Without a doubt, you will want to have a metal blade on your rotary cutter. Not only for durability and clean precise cuts but for the fact that metal blades do not dull as fast as any other blade construction material.
Metal blades will go dull but they are also easy to replace and Joann’s and Amazon both have a large selection of replacement blades you can use when that happens. With fleece, the size of the blade you use will determine the fabric’s thickness and how many layers you want to cut at one time.
Also, it will depend on the objective you are trying to do. For holes, you should not use a straight edge rotary cutter. You need a rotary blade that is designed to create those holes exactly where you want them.
Keep in mind these blades are very sharp and you should keep your fingers away from their edges.
Yes, you can. Sometimes regular scissors will do the trick if the scissors' edges are extremely sharp. The scissors you use can be all-purpose models. This type of scissor will let you cut other materials or items you need without wasting any time looking for a different cutter to do those smaller tasks.
Other scissors you can use are the ones made for cutting fabric. There are two different styles you can use. The bent handled version is more comfortable and the one with the blunt point helps you avoid tearing your fabric.
Finally, you can resort to using pinking shears but these scissors are better used for the edges of the fabric. They leave a nice zig-zag pattern which helps stop any unraveling that might take place when the fabric is worn.
The straight answer to this question is yes fleece does dull scissors. But then fleece dulls a variety of cutters whenever an alternative is used. Part of the reason for this is that fleece can be made from very edge dulling materials like plastic.
Almost any cutting tool you use over a given period will dull the scissors as well as rotary blades. Fleece is a synthetic material and the ingredients used to create that fabric are not cutter friendly.
Fleece also has a reputation for dulling just about anything that is used to cut it. One way to keep the scissors sharp enough till you are finished your cutting task is to wipe the scissor cutting edges with a little alcohol.
That little bit seems to pick the sharpness back up and lets you continue cutting without hassle for a little while longer.
Yes, you can. It seems that a Cricut machine is designed to cut fleece without you adding a stabilizer to the fabric. The different models of Cricut may not all have the rotary blade but some do and that feature makes all the difference.
One of the problems with some of the Cricut machines is that they use a dragging knife to cut fabric. This feature distorts the fabric and may ruin your sewing project or add a little more work to it.
The Cricut machine that uses the rotary cutter can even cut stretchy fleece with ease. The downside to all of this positive news is that the Cricut machine with the rotary cutter retails for about $400.
If you use a lot of fleece in your sewing projects then this might be a wise investment as it should save you a lot of time and a lot of trouble.
This is not really a hard selection to make. The electric rotary cutter or the Cricut machine with a rotary cutter would be the best cutting tools to use when cutting fleece. The power in both will save you a lot of time and energy.
If you do not like power tools then the top manual rotary cutters would be best for you. You can read about 18 of them at this link. Which one is the best for you is up to you to decide.
Your personal preference, the amount of fleece you want to cut and your sewing projects will let you know which one is the top one for your sewing work.
First, you need to make sure your cutting surface is firm, solid and not going to dull your blade. A glass cutting surface is a big no-no even though it is smooth and easy to cut on. The reason for this rejection is that glass will dull your cutting blade very quickly.
Also, cardboard is the same as glass. While it is convenient and light to use, the cardboard will also dull your blade quickly. Formica or vinyl cutting surfaces will get cut up fairly easily and make a mess.
A good cutting mat is what is recommended. The reason behind that recommendation is that the cutting mat while smooth and lightweight, won’t dull your blade.
After you pick your cutting surface and you need to cut one-sided fleece make sure to lay the fleece on the knit back before cutting. Always use a straight edge to keep your cut straight and very precise.
Then when cutting more than one layer, do one layer at a time and make sure the second layer cut is a mirror image of the first one. Finally, have a vacuum cleaner ready as you will see a lot of loose lint after you make your cut.
Working with fleece can be quite a challenge. Its loose and slippery nature can make maneuvering the fabric difficult. It will also make cutting fleece very difficult to do. You can use weights, clips and other items to secure the fleece while you make your cuts.
Then when you are ready a good rotary cutter is the best way to trim your fleece down to size. Scissors are okay but be careful, as the fleece will dull all blades used to cut it.
If you suffer from arthritis check into those rotary cutters made for people like you or go electric. Save time and pain by upgrading your cutting tools.