So, this weekend, I finally completed a work project and had a little down time to sew. I knew I wanted to make the Little Bike Messenger Bag by SewCanShe, a free pattern, using less than 1 yard of fabric, not requiring too many notions and I really wanted to do a head to head test of the two Velcros I bought recently, Fabric Fusion Velcro and Soft & Flexible Sew-On Velcro
I went with the iron-on Velcro first. The instructions are clear, you activate heat steam on your iron and turn it up to the highest setting. Remove the backing from your first Velcro piece and place it on your fabric. Put the fabric on the ironing board fastener side down and applying the iron for 90-seconds, moving it around a bit.
This terrified me. I though my fabric would scorch for sure, so I used a pressing cloth and tentatively went to work. After a cooling period, I lifted the fabric and lo, the loops were set firmly to the fabric. Amazing.
The Velcro seems to be held quite strongly in place and I ripped and zipped and ripped and zipped roughly quite a few times with nothing seeming to give and the Velcro seems as strong as “regular” Velcro.
Next I tried the sew-Velcro. This Velcro has no glue, and the loops and hooks seem softer, less rigid, where the tape itself snakes and curls easily.
I started by pinning just one end in place so that the pins don’t warp the tape and fabric. Sewing down one long side, half way through my needle broke. I wasn’t sure if the tape with the problem until I changed the needle and I felt a pull from the needle as I sewed. However, slowing down my sewing eliminated the problem entirely.
This Velcro is completely secured to the fabric. As I would expect. The Velcro, however, seems less strong. I found ripping apart the hooks and loops much easier than I did with the iron-on version.
The sew-on Velcro is comfortable, and that really is their selling point; that it can be used in garment making and other items that might cause irritation on the skin. The Fabric Fusion one is really convenient, especially for items where you might not want the sewing to show on the other side or on difficult to sew areas.
I, personally, prefer the fusible Velcro. I thought the Velcro was stronger, it left a cleaner look and it was very easy to place and line up. That said, it is also quite a bit more expensive than other Velcro choices.