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Working with seams for outdoor applications

Graphics | November 1, 2007 | By:

How do you work with seams when applying graphics to an outdoor fabric?

On vinyl

We either paint or apply vinyl decal on vinyl fabric. We are careful to make sure we get over the stitches or against the bar seal as tight as possible with either process, using the applied vinyl as a decal or a stencil.

On nylon

On nylon fabrics, we apply insignia cloth and just go over the double needle seam. This application is fine because nylon is usually used for short term periods.

On Sunbrella

With a double needle seam, we apply graphics for SGS (Sunbrella Graphics System) on top of the seam. After the first cook, we cut the decal along the edge of the fabric so rain cannot get under the decal where the fabric overlaps. With the double needle seam there is a loose flap next to the stitch line; this is where we are preventing water from getting under the decal. With top stitch and wedge weld seams, we just cook right over the top without cutting the applied vinyl decal. The top stitch is sewn close to the edge so that it does not create a flap like the double needle seam.

—Jerry Grimaud, Lawrence Fabric Structures, St. Louis, Mo.

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