Layout and Cutting
©copyright 2002 by wetseal_rubber
From: Rubber The Right Way - A Condensed Primer on Making Your Own Latex Clothing
- Unprinted latex has no 'grain'.
- There is also no unusable 'selvage' at the edge of the material.
- Lay out pattern pieces to most efficiently use the latex.
- Although latex sheeting is narrow, a carefully laid out catsuit in an average size will consume no more than 3.5 yards (3.1 m).
- Lay out an entire garment on the same roll, or color match two rolls (latex color varies slightly between rolls).
- Avoid laying out opposing pattern pieces on folded over material as many patterns suggest. It's quick, but wastes expensive latex.
- Lay out pieces individually and trace them with a marker as you go (test first for bleed through and removability).
- Remember to cut the second piece for legs, sleeves, and bust panels with the pattern piece flipped over.
- Lay out and trace your large pieces first.
- Add small pattern pieces between the large ones where possible.
- If you plan to use reinforcing strips of latex on the seam interior, leave a continuous edge on one side of the latex sheeting to get long strips from that selvage.
- When all pattern pieces are traced out, begin cutting slowly and carefully. Ensure you leave no 'jagged' edge when cutting. This occurs when the scissors bite the latex wrong. If this happens, trim the jagged portion to prevent the stress point on the inside corner of the jagged edge from splitting. Have your scissors sharpened if this occurs frequently. Neatness counts because on lap seams your edges show.
- Consider cutting sleeves, ankles, skirt hems, dress hems, and other hems about 1" (2.5cm) too long. This gives you room to adjust for imperfect matching when seams are joined by allowing you trim the extra material to produce a clean edge for hemming.
- On semi-transparent or pale colored latex, remove all markings after cutting is completed. Rubbing alcohol gently applied with a soft rag will remove most metallic markers.
- Rubber cement thinner or Coleman camp fuel removes most other inks. Some inks respond better to the thinner used for rubber cement (or the Coleman camp fuel). Use the solvent sparingly on a very small piece of rag under good ventilation. Rub gently. Solvents are flammable, toxic in still air, and soften the surface of the latex (making it very easy to scratch up).
- Avoid leaving a smear.
- Save larger scraps from cuttings for latex strips and to reinforce crotches, armpits, and zipper bases.
- Use scraps to test new polishes and practice seams.
- Recycle larger scraps for small parts of other garments. Use them for belt loops, pockets, collars, and small articles of clothing. Ensure they color match the intended garment prior to use.
- If you are artistic, use scraps in other colors to laminate designs or underlay cutouts in latex. Select thin scraps for laminating because they cannot be 'picked away' easily.
- Use scraps as trims, bound hems, and as ruffled accents.
- Piece scraps together to produce larger 'leather like' garments or bags.
- Store scraps by color in large ziplock bags.