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Quick Tips for Sewing With Minky

February 13, 2008

Minky Dimple Dots.jpgMany people are hesitant to sew with minky because they are afraid it is difficult to work with.  While minky projects can offer a new challenge to sewers, a few simple tips can make take the fear and difficulty out of the experience.

  • Minky is stable parallel to the selvage and stretches perpendicular to the selvage (along the width).  
  • Before you start a project, make sure to note the nap on the minky and cut pieces accordingly if you want the nap to lay a particular way.
  • Minky, like fleece, will not shrink with washing.  However, make sure to pre-wash all other fabrics you may be using in your project since they may.
  • When cutting minky, be prepared for a cloud of fuzz!  Try cutting pieces with a rotary cutter then taking them outside to shake them off, putting them in the dryer on the air dry cycle (NO heat), or keep a vacuum handy to cut back on some of the mess.  
  • Test, test, and test your stitch length, width and tension on a scrap piece before you start your project.  Did we mention that you should test?
  • Pins are your friends.  Pin every 1” to 1.5” to ensure the minky stays in place.  It may be time consuming, but you’ll thank yourself.
  • Use a walking foot to help with slipping.
  • To further prevent slipping, you can hand baste the layers before machine stitching.
  • If you are working with one layer of minky and one layer of another fabric, stitch with the minky layer down and let the feed dogs guide the fabric.
  • Give a generous seam allowance (about 1/2”) as minky tends to curl.
  • DO NOT iron minky directly.  Instead, place minky face down on a towel and press gently on low heat or steam it.  Ironing and high heat will ruin the nap and any embossing in the fabric.
  • Don’t forget to clean your machine’s throat plate, feed dogs and bobbin case often.  All that fuzz can get messy and clog the works.
  • If you are making a quilt, use only a low-loft polyester or pre-washed cotton batting.  Even better – skip the batting altogether and save yourself the extra work.  The minky is fluffy and offers a great deal of warmth.

Those are just a few tips.  If you are an experienced Minky Master and have anything else to add, please feel free to leave your own tips and tricks in the comments section.  Don’t forget to post pictures of your minky masterpieces on the gallery, too!

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30 Comments

Hello. My ? is - after you sew a minky & cotton fabric togetehr to make a baby blanket - since minky can not be ironed what is the best way to get all the wrinkles out of the cotton fabric?

Thnaks for your help!

MAYBE STEAM IT? OR SOME COTTONS BECOME SOFTER AND SOFTLY WRINKLED. YOU KNOW, LIKE YOUR COTTON SHEETS AND DON'T REALLY NEED AN IRON. JUST DON'T ALLOW IT TO SET A DEEP WRINKLE IN THE DRYER.

Always one for caution. Everyone loves Minky for baby blankets and clothes and I am no different but always remember it is not fire retardant and it does not breathe.

I made some jackets out of Minky and to avoid inhaling the loose fibers I did my sewing outside and wore a dust mask. I don't think I will ever use this fabric again.

I just finished making bumper pads for a nursery set and used some Minkee. I backed each piece with quilt batting. The batting helped to stabilize the Minkee and with pins it didn't slide around so much!

Not to be a Debbie Downer but bumper pads are no longer recommended in cribs. The thought is that babies can migrate across the mattress and get wedged with their faces into the pads. Pam W. RN

I have made several pillow covers out of minky with invisible zippers, and have had no trouble with the slipping except for the thicker pile. I am making pillows for grandchildren and they are very popular!! So soft and plushy...they all have loved them. Your hint about taking them outside for a good shaking after cutting is right on, as I soon discovered after making a mess with the first one. I've made 12, and am going to make at least 6 more. They are absolutely beautiful!

I still make bumper pads...but my reasoning is (and this is what I tell my customers that want them) you really only want it on when they can't crawl around & that they are really just for show and part of the nesting process. For me, all my babies slept with me for a good long while and they only slept in their crib with bumpers when it was daytime. So I never had any issue...but we were always very close (crib was in our bedroom) and we never let them sleep without a monitor.

Although bumper pads are a really pretty addition to a baby's crib, I must agree with Pam W. You never know when an infant is going to roll over for the first time and it only takes a moment of time for their little faces to get wedged into the bumper; for any parents who still want to use them, check out the baby monitors that also have breathing sensors (they go under the crib mattress). In the event the baby's breathing ceases for more than 30 seconds, the monitor will sound to alert the parents.

I made a lap quilt for an elderly lady with terminal cancer. I backed the quilt with minky because it is so soft and I knew it would give her a lot of comfort. I never use synthetic fabric in my quilts so they can be washed and dried many times, so I warned the family to only wash in cold water and dry low. The woman and the family love the quilt, but unfortunately, one of the care givers decided to microwave the quilt to warm it a bit for my friend. Well, the minky melted and burned the cotton! It can be repaired, but keep in mind, it can and does melt!

I made "snuggies" for my grandchildren for Christmas '09 and used minky for 3 of them. I did the shaking outside trick and just waited until I was completely done to vacuum my sewing room afterward. It was very worth the mess as they LOVE their minky snuggies. It wasn't much harder to work with than regular fleece except for the mess.

Hi, Anyone here knows how to sew or iron aplique on minky fabrics?

I made 3 vests for my 3 granddaughters for Christmas. I put zippers in all 3. I cut the material, vacuumed the edges as I cut and then shook them outside. I finished the edges with my serger and they turned out gorgeous. Minky is more work to sew with, but the results have been great. I also made a couple of throws for gifts.

to "applique" with minkee, I draw the pattern on the reverse side and then pin where I want it and sew the edges all around; depending on the length of the nap, I then use a straight pin to "pull out" the nap that was sewn down...then the nap on the edges covers the sewing.
YES, not easy, but soooo wonderful!

Thank you for great tips!

Just a comment on crib bumpers. I realize they are not recommended and what not, but if they are made of breathable fabric (maybe cotton, not minky), they are pretty harmless. My son has always slept with his on, face wedged in them often. He breathes fine. Have you never slept with your face in a pillow? If they were not safe, they would not be allowed to be sold, and there would be health/safety warnings against them. Babies have not died for the years and years before people decided they were not a good idea. My son actually got himself painfully tangled in his crib bars without bumper pads and he doesn't sleep well without them. So please moms, don't feel guilty because some paediatrician needed to come up with a some new wonky advice for parents to make them more afraid so he could keep his job. Let's all reflect on how accurate "scientific mothering" was.
Sorry, I know this does not belong here, but if these things get brought up, both sides deserve fair representation.

On the crib bumper issue. I am a neonate nurse (RN) and we have been taught all this same education. So when my first grandchild was born, I had to do some soul searching as to whether or not to recommend bumpers to my daughter. We decided to bumper. And like someone mentioned above, we use an Angel Care Monitor. That thing is amazing. And you know it works because if you forget to turn it off, sure enough, about 20-30 seconds after it doesn't "feel" the baby breathing, the alarm starts beeping at you.

I know at work, in the baby's isolettes (incubators), we roll up blankets to serve as a boundary for baby.... yes, our babies are on monitors... but so is my grandchild now too.

I would never use bumpers without this monitor though. You have to weigh the risk against the amount of guilt you would feel if something were to happen. We're confident we've taken ample precaution.

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

Sewing with Minky is not for beginners. It is best if you understand your sewing machine, your stitches, your threads, your sewing feed characterstics...etc.

I've never heard of this before. I'll make sure to check this out.

Great article and very interesting blog. That's one thing I'm really looking for. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Votre site Quick Tips for Sewing With Minky - Fabric.com Blog est clairement un travail d'amour. Certains de vos messages pendant des heures voire des jours ŕ compiler. (Salut | Bienvenue | Salut HI) (sauté la premičre fois | borné | houblonné |) sauté ici sur votre site, Founde sur (Google | Yahoo | Bing | ASK). Merci beaucoup pour avoir répondu si rapidement. Il m'a vraiment aidé. enkeltje Envoyez-moi des nouvelles de rodfiles@hotmail.com Envoyez-moi des nouvelles de rodfiles@hotmail.com

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I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post.

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nice and good tip for sewing with minky. thank's for share :-)

To person who commented that people have been using bumpers for years and years and not dying is very WRONG. Babies have been dying and thats why the American academy of pediatrics recommends NOT to use them. Just because you and those you know haven't had the tragedy of loosing a baby this way doesn't negate this danger. They are not safe and should not be used due to suffocation, entanglement, etc. Educate yourselves before you stick something in your baby's crib just because its pretty!

I was searching for information on sewing with Minky fabric and came across this website. I was pleased with the tips that were provided. However, I began reading the comments and instead find a discussion on topic (crib bumpers, smoking)that do not relate to this blog. If you have something else to discuss besides what the blog is suppose to be about then please find an appropriate blog to continue those discussions! Very disappointed in this blog!!

All great tips for sewing with Minky, and fabric.com has some of the cheapest and BEST. I would also like to add that I use a seperate self-healing mat when rotary cutting Minky. I think once you cut minky on your mat, it's no good. Better yet you could use a NON self-healing mat to cut Minky.
AND, when piecing Minky or fleece, I use freezer paper ironed (with low heat) to the back of the fleece to hold its shape.
Here's how I piece minky: http://katiesquiltsandcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/11/minky-is-devil.html
and also how I do mitered self-binding: http://katiesquiltsandcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/11/mitered-self-binding-with-fleece.html

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This page contains a single entry by published on February 13, 2008 1:01 PM.

The Fabric Mavericks Says... Curiosity did not kill the cat was the previous entry in this blog.

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