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Basic Tools and Supplies

©copyright 2002 by wetseal_rubber

From: Rubber The Right Way - A Condensed Primer on Making Your Own Latex Clothing


Required Tools

  1. SHARP full-size tailoring shears for piece cutting. Buy quality scissors!
    1. Hand 'wheel cutters' are unsuitable. They compress and bunch up the latex.
    2. Quality electric wheel cutters and electric scissors work, but you must be used to them.
  2. SHARP small trimming scissors for small holes, slitting buttons, etc.
  3. Measuring tape (at least 60" - 1.5 m).
  4. Ruler (at least 12" - 30 cm with an edge that resists bleed under by markers).
  5. 2" (5 cm) wide brayer or wooden dowel.
  6. 4 oz - 8 oz wide mouthed glass bottle with sealable lid (large baby food jars work well) for storing thinned solvent based adhesive.
  7. Fan (for ventilation and drying latex seams).

Optional Tools

  1. Several sewing sites provide inexpensive ways to make personal Dress Forms. Dress forms provide a good basis for fitting, with the understanding that finished forms are slightly (1/2" to 3/4" or 2.5 to 3.8 cm) larger than your own measurements. The technique focuses on dresses, but can be adapted for other garments as well.

Required Supplies

  1. Solvent based adhesive.
  2. Rubber cement thinner (or heptane, or Coleman naptha based camp fuel).
  3. Rubbing alcohol (cleans off many markers).
  4. Plain yellow dish soap (no hand conditioners and not anti-bacterial) or Johnson's Baby Shampoo (to remove talc, sewing lubricant, etc.).
  5. 'Acid brushes' or other stiff, disposable 1/2" (1.3 cm) brush (small bottles of 'rubber cement' often contain these).
  6. Soft, lint free rags (tee-shirt material, cotton sheeting).
  7. 1/2" (1.3 cm) low-tack masking tape.
  8. Metallic 'paint' type fine tip (1/16" - 0.2 cm) markers. Black markers are a substitute for most colors except black, semi-transparent, and very pale colors. Test markers first on scrap latex for bleed through and removability.

Optional Supplies For Reinforcing Seams

  1. 2" (5 cm) or wider low-tack masking tape

Optional Supplies For Garment Closures

  1. Liquid latex or water base latex adhesive.
  2. Nylon interfacing (white, red, and black).

Optional Patterning Education and References

  1. Pattern fitting course (takes a standard home use pattern and teaches you how to fit it to your own measurements).
  2. Pattern drafting courses (teaches you how to create your own patterns. Usually each course focuses on a specific type of garment).
  3. Tailoring and Pattern Drafting books.


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