View Full Version : Pretreating cotton before project?

04-29-2014, 06:35 PM
Hello ladies. I'm considering buying a large amount of cotton to make totes as gifts. I'm worried that being cotton, however, the totes will pick up a lot of scuffs and stains. Being washable is great but is there a way to increase cotton's stain resistance before you begin your project? How about water resistance? Does iron on vinyl hold up over time when bonded to 100% cotton? Thank you very much!

04-29-2014, 08:36 PM
You could go with a heavier cotton or a denim.

In my experience, anything iron on will eventually crack and peel. Especially if the totes are used a lot. You could consider painting a design on them - it may not add to the durability, but it would help to "decorate" them.

As for the stain resistance, you could look at product like Scotch Guard. I've not ever worried about using something like that, but I understand it works fairly well.

04-29-2014, 09:58 PM
Thanks, gremlin!

04-30-2014, 01:17 AM
You're welcome. Don't forget to show us pictures of what you make!

05-01-2014, 08:21 AM
I wish I had answers for you. One suggestion I can give is to wash your fabric before starting. If the fabric is going to shrink, it will do it then and your totes should be washable without fear of them becoming oddly misshapen in the wash.
I have never heard of iron on vinyl. Would that be your lining?

05-01-2014, 04:55 PM
Iron on vinyl is basically a "transfer" type material. It comes in all sorts of colors, patterns, designs, sparkles, etc. You can get pre-cut pieces, or sheets that you can cut your own designs, or letters or numbers or . . . . . . . . . . You iron it on to your material to make designs, labels, patterns, etc.

Our family used to be real big on extended family reunions. Every year, we would all gather at a camp ground around Panguitch Lake. One year, we had a "theme" for our family reunion - each family picked a cartoon character to be their mascot. Ours was the Pink Panther. So, we had vinyl iron-on Pink Panther on the front of our t-shirts, and our names on the back. Just normal wear and tear on clothing - running through the washer and dryer, for example - wears down the vinyl and it ends up crackling. Once it starts cracking, it doesn't take long for it to peel off from all those little edges.

05-01-2014, 06:35 PM
what type of cotton are you thinking of, there are so many and there are thicker canvas type fabrics that work good for bags,
When I do totes I use a heavy canvas and prewash for shrinkage prior to cutting.

05-02-2014, 08:37 AM
Sounds like the vinyl may not be a good choice for a bag. Neither is decorating with an iron on transfer. My daughter covered a really ugly logo on a bag with a great iron on (printed from the computer) decal and it looked AWFUL after a short while (and a TON of use). It got filthy as well as partially rubbing off.

05-02-2014, 03:08 PM
Painting with a fabric paint - or fabric markers - usually works fairly well. I've used the acrylic craft paints to paint on material and it held up quite well.