Working with PUL

PUL, which stands for polyurethane laminate, is a waterproof fabric most often used for cloth diapers and wet bags. I started my PUL journey about 2 years ago, when I made some side-mirror covers for my father-in-law for Christmas. They were gray terry-cloth inside, PUL outside, and he uses them for every storm. They were a wild project, and they didn’t leave me in love with PUL so I stashed it away, until last summer.

I was part of the Leominster Marketplace (farmer’s market) last summer and one of the shoppers asked if I could make her a smaller version of a dinosaur bag I had with me, nothing that she wanted to use it as a snack bag. The PUL I had is food grade, so I said “Yeah, absolutely! I’ll make it and bring it with me next week!” Obviously, she never came back for it. But I got my first taste of lining a bag with it!

I don’t love working with PUL because it’s kind of slippery and I never know if I should pin it in place or just hold it so it can slip around more. But since making the dino bag, quite a few people have expressed interest in makeup bags that are not cotton lined. Makeup explodes or seeps out, gets all over the cotton, leaks through. But if I was going to make a waterproof makeup bag, I needed to stand by it’s waterproof-ness. So I made a tester and did some tests.

Test 1: Pour 4 cuts of water into the bag.

Delayed leaking but still massive leaking. The fabric is waterproof but the seams are not at all.

Test 2: Pour a cup of shampoo into the bag.

Minor seeping from seams after 2 hours. I had it set on a paper towel, propped up so the shampoo pool would sit on a side-seam interception, and you could see the small seep spot. I moved the bag after an hour and ended up with a second small spot next to the first.

Conclusion: The bag is not waterproof. But it is leak-resistant. A little water isn’t going to leak out and get everywhere. A cup of shampoo isn’t going to ooze out and sticky-up the rest of your luggage. It will stay in the bag! That’s what I was after.

After the rigorous testing, I made a few bags for the shop. I put my labels on the outside of the bags so that 1) there was one less seam for liquid to seep through and 2) I can visually differentiate between these and cotton-lined bags without having to unzip them. I’m going to start them off in their own section, called PUL-Lined Bags, and see how they do.

 

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3 Responses to “Working with PUL”


  1. 1 thehealingcenterbeverly January 31, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Those look so great!! I made a diaper pail liner using PUL years back and yeah, what a weird fabric to work with. That’s a really awesome idea to have some makeup bags lined with them, I’ll bet they’ll sell really well!


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Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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