How to cut neoprene

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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Cut neoprene to a precise size for any pattern or project. Neoprene is a spongy plastic polymer that is often backed with thin nylon fabric. The watersports community has utilised neoprene for its waterproof and durability qualities. Neoprene is commonly known for its use in wet suits and kayak spray skirts but is also used to make laptop cases, wine bags and lunch sacks, shoes components and adhesives. Slice neoprene cleanly to reduce waste and give it a straight edge.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • For straight cut:
  • Work bench or plywood sheet
  • Yard stick
  • White chalk
  • Retractable razor blade knife
  • For curve cut:
  • Work bench or plywood sheet
  • Pattern
  • Chalk
  • Sharp scissors

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Instructions

    Straight Cut

  1. 1

    Lay the neoprene sheet, with the nylon fabric facing up, on a large flat cutting surface like a work bench or piece of plywood.

  2. 2

    Trace the desired length of the cut along the edge of a yard stick with a piece of white chalk.

  3. 3

    Remove the yard stick and press the edge of the razor blade through the neoprene at the inside of the chalk line at the end furthest from you.

  4. 4

    Slowly pull the blade toward you as you stay on the inside of the chalk guideline.

  5. 5

    Pull the cut pieces apart and dust off the chalk marks by tapping on them with your hands.

    Curve Cut

  1. 1

    Lay the neoprene sheet, with the nylon fabric facing up, on a large flat cutting surface like a work bench or piece of plywood.

  2. 2

    Place your pattern on the neoprene and trace its outline with a piece of white chalk.

  3. 3

    Remove the pattern and steadily cut along the inside of the line with a sharp pair of scissors.

  4. 4

    Pull the cut pieces apart and dust off the chalk marks by tapping on them with your hands.

Tips and warnings

  • Large-scale commercial neoprene cutting operations use high-intensity laser to cut multiple layers at the same time. Consider outsourcing your neoprene cutting if you have more work than you can handle.

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