When working on sewing projects here at Sailrite, one of our favorite tools of the trade is a simple one—basting tape. Sometimes called Seamstick or seam tape, basting tape is a handy little tool that can make help make your sewing look professional. Today, we’re going to answer some common questions about basting tape.
What are the Benefits of Basting Tape?
Basting tape is a really helpful tool for sewers because it’s easier than pinning fabric pieces together, especially when working on large assemblies. Since it’s just peel and stick, it’s really easy to adjust if you make a mistake, too. Basting your fabric in place also helps to ensure that your fabric feeds evenly into the sewing machine. Basting tape also helps reduce puckering when sewing and helps make seams water resistant.
What’s the Difference Between the Types of Tape?
There are different kinds of basting tapes that are formulated to stick best to certain kinds of fabric. Here are some examples of different kinds and the materials you can use them with:
- • Seamstick Tape: The least sticky of the four tapes listed, this tape works well with smooth Dacron sailcloth, nylon, vinyl or cotton.
- • Seamstick Basting Tape for Canvas: This tape is sticker than the plain Seamstick so it sticks better on coarse, canvas fabrics like Sunbrella or Top Gun. This is our most popular basting tape.
- • 3M Super Seamstick: This tape was developed especially for sewing laminate sailcloth and is incredibly sticky. It also works well when you want a strong bond for sailcloth, spinnaker cloth, or canvas.
- • Mylar/Kevlar Basting Tape: As the name implies, this tape was made specifically for Mylar or Kevlar laminate sailcloth.
Does the Width Matter?
The width of the tape does matter in certain applications. A general rule of thumb is to select a width similar to the width of the seam you will be sewing. That way you’ll get the best hold, but won’t have any excess tape sticking out from behind your seam. We recommend using a thinner tape, like 1/4” for use in cushions because the seams are generally so small in those applications.
Will It Make my Needle Sticky?
It could. The stickier the tape, the more likely it is to cause your needle to gum up. To prevent build up on your needle, run it through a bar of Ivory soap or swab it with rubbing alcohol.
Why not give basting tape a try and see if it makes a difference in your sewing? Find a great selection of basting tapes at www.sailrite.com.
Do you have any other questions about using basting tape? Is it your favorite tool, too? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments.