[Sewing] what fabrics can be cut with laser cutters?

Rachel McConnell rachel at xtreme.com
Sun Dec 12 23:00:37 UTC 2010

The laser cutter works by basically making a controlled burn.  For
things that will burn or melt, the laser can cut them.  All, or nearly
all, fabrics fall into this category.  You do need to be careful about
setting fires, or releasing toxic fumes.  I don't know of any fabrics
that will release toxic fumes when heated and I'd only expect this as a
side effect of fabrics intended for very specific industrial
applications.  Most fabrics, intended for clothing, upholstery,
curtains, etc, are NOT going to be toxic when heated/burnt.

Fabrics are usually flammable though, and this is a slightly bigger
concern.  In general, the laser creates a tiny enough heat source that
if any flame does get started, it won't be able to maintain itself and
will go out immediately.  Obviously the operator has to keep a close eye
on it just in case this isn't true, but it's not a big risk
realistically.  You should do experiments with the laser settings for
any kind of material to be cut or etched to find the minimum energy and
speed required to make the cut without being wasteful or damage the
material.  There have been lots of experiments with various materials
and you should be able to find starting point settings online without


meredith scheff wrote:
> also, what cannot be cut?
> Im looking mainly at fleeces and wools, but I'm also curious abut other
> fabrics.
> Meredith
> -- 
> doing stuff and making things
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