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Patternmaking & Sewing Notes
by Don McCunn

Cutting Fabric with a Hot Knife

Synthetic fibers can be cut with either scissors, a rotary cutter, or a hot knife. The advantage of using a hot knife is that while it cuts the fabric it also seals the edge. This can be particularly useful for slinky fabrics like linings which tend to ravel easily. When cut with the hot knife, the fabric simply does not ravel.

The video below will show exactly how to evaluate whether a fabric can be cut with a hot knife and how the cutting may be done.

There are two different types of hot knives, one for cutting foam and the other for cutting fabric. The hot knife shown below is basically a soldering iron with a hot knife tip. It can be used to cut fabric.

Hot Knife at Amazon
Click on the image to see it at Amazon.

Once you start using a hot knife, you will find different situations where it can become quite useful. The other day I was cutting some Rigilene boning which has an irritating way of having loose fibers poke out the end of the boning. When I cut it with a hot knife, the end was sealed. I can tell the poking will not occur.

Copyright © 2015 by Donald H. McCunn