Monday, February 18, 2008

Fibers and lungs

So I have this ongoing issue with my materials. I often use velvet (or velvety) fabric on my plushies , especially when I use synthetic fabrics. There are always tiny tiny fibers that go flying everywhere . I've tried taping up the edges of the fabrics before I cut them , I've tried keeping a fan going to blow the particles away , I've tried wearing a dust mask (which works, except I get real tired of wearing it when sewing for hours on end) . It's not the biggest problem in the world , I guess, but it bothers me to look down and see my hands and clothes and work area literally covered in tiny cotton or polyester fibers . Does anyone else have this problem ?
What do you do about it?

12 comments:

bisbee stitches said...

so...nobody else has had to deal with this? really? maybe I'm doing something wrong:)

monda-loves said...

I always sneeze when I cut up felt. I don't think you'll ever get away from this though - until someone invents a wonder fabric. Maybe in the meantime, you can get an air purifier for your work space?

Monda
x

Weirdbuglady said...

Oh yeah, the bits of fleece I release into the air get *everywhere* and cause me to sneeze. All the time. Not much I can do except try to wipe down my desk and mop the floor.

Louise said...

maybe those rollers for clothes that collect lint and fluff and stuff would be useful, at least for the clean up afterwards?

pomly said...

I am constantly zipping around my house with the dustbuster. I think I've almost killed the motor on mine and may have to get a new one soon! I've been meaning to get an air purifier too... this is a good reminder.

Beeper Bebe said...

yeah--I work with wool sweaters a lot and constantly have little wool fibers in my studio and I too worry about the impact on my lungs...I think a good air purifier is the way to go...in fact, think I am going to get one imminently because the idea of wearing a mask is very unpleasant to me and would make the whole softie making process a little too industrial feeling.

Caffaknitted said...

I find that with certain fabrics, like velvet, pinking shears can help. It definitely won't eliminate the problem entirely, and you'll need a good pair to cut through something that thick, but it will reduce the fraying and lint.

Claire said...

This problem drives me a little nuts, too. But masks drive me more nuts! I wonder how quickly air purifiers would clog up? Hmmmm...Sorry, I've got nothing useful at all to add!

robyn fabsits said...

There is a product I use on synthetic material that unravels really easy. It is called Fray Check made by Dritz. It can be found at any fabric store. It's a little bottle of liquid that you squeeze onto the edge of your fabric after you cut it and prevents it from fraying. Maybe this would work for you. I also use those sticky lint rollers. : ) Robyn

bisbee stitches said...

cool! A good air purifier is probably worth the investment . thanks for the comments.

Hollywood said...

I have a BIG problem with this. I've only been making furry plushies since the beginning of the year, but I had some serious breathing problems for the first few weeks and developed quite a cough. I felt like my lungs were lined with fur. I've considered a mask as well, but haven't gotten one yet. I usually just try to do all my cutting on one day for lots of different animals and then spend a few days sewing. That way at least I'm not breathing in the fuzz everyday. I also do a lot of shearing on the edges of my fabric to reduce bulk for the sewing machine so there is just a ghastly amount of debris from that. It seems like an air purifier wouldn't help the immediate problem of inhaling the lint while cutting/sewing. Or am I wrong?

Amy said...

I vaccuum as I cut, especially if it's a very hairy fabric like fake fur. I use my full size Kenmore with no attachment on the end--it definitely snorts up any stray fibers, but you have to be careful you don't suck up your fabric too!

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