How to Laminate Cotton Fabric

Updated March 23, 2017

It can be hard to find laminated fabrics in patterns that suit your style or your project. By laminating your own choice of cotton you can create strong, durable, waterproof and wipe-clean fabrics for tablecloths and mats, rain coats, hats or baby's bibs. Use an iron-on vinyl transfer to create functional and funky laminated cotton.

Cut fabric to the desired shape and size.

Iron the fabric to remove any creases and ensure it is completely flat. It is easiest to leave it on the ironing board at this stage.

Cut a piece of iron-on vinyl to exactly the same shape and size as the fabric.

Peel the protective backing from the vinyl sheet. Keep the backing paper.

Line up the vinyl with the fabric, and gently place it on top.

Press the vinyl onto the fabric with your hand. Start from one side and smooth the vinyl out, taking care to remove any air bubbles and not get any frayed threads of fabric at the edges of the material trapped between the vinyl and the fabric. The vinyl is only tacky so it is not too hard to lift up and replace if need be.

Check the edges of the fabric to make sure no vinyl is overhanging. Cut any extra bits of vinyl off with the craft knife to save bonding them to your ironing board.

Place the backing over the vinyl and fabric, and iron over it until bonded. Use a medium heat and no steam.


The laminated fabric can be washed by hand. If you use a large sheet of iron-on vinyl, save the piece of backing for later, smaller projects.


Do not let the iron-on vinyl come into contact with the hot iron.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Iron-on vinyl
  • Craft knife
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About the Author

Louise Jones has been a technical writer since 2006 and is the director of a technical writing company, providing literature for U.K. construction firms such as MITIE and Balfour Beatty. Her work also appears on various websites, focusing on business and technical articles. Jones has a postgraduate certificate in education and has been trained in information technology. She studied English at Cambridge University.