How to Sew Mesh Fabric: Best Ways

Was there an attempt to stitch the mesh cloth to a different fabric, and it puckered? The first time this happened to me, I was devastated, believing the whole clothing was in ruins.

How to Sew Mesh Fabric

I had to undo every thread from the seam to repeat the process. Such a tedious job deserves a warm pat on the back. The problem was my lack of knowledge regarding how to sew mesh fabric.

You can overcome this intimidating step by marking or cutting it based on the shape or pattern you want. Next, pin the fabric in places for better stitching convenience. A polyester thread is the best option with a ballpoint needle. Machine sew the item without stretching at a steady pace.

I overlooked treating the fabric carefully, but you can avoid such a perilous journey. Follow my lead to learn more.

What Is Mesh Fabric?

You cannot move forward unless a little about the mesh is known. You see, I simply bought the fabric, cut it on my own accord, and decided to stitch without any prior knowledge.

Do you notice how most parts of our lives have mesh fabric attached in one way or other? For instance, that ball gown, bridal dress or veil, that external pocket in a backpack, mesh window in a camping tent, netted design on a baby stroller, vests, sportswear, etc.

The examples are multitudes without ever diminishing its use.

Mesh is a woven fabric consisting of systematic holes all over the place for a breathable and transparent outlook. These holes are either closely knitted or larger – depending on the garment type.

It is like a barrier formed by joining the strands with the yarns. While the common material is nylon, other elements are included as well (polyester, plastic, metals, etc.).

It is all about the intention of utilizing that determines the material assortments to choose from. With that being said, mesh uses extend beyond textiles.

Is Mesh Fabric Hard to Sew?

I thought it would be a piece of cake to work with the net-like fibers. Who knew this many holes in a fabric would be my downfall to misery?

The fabric does not look all that different on the surface, no matter what kind. However, there is a durability level on the reliance on the fabric or elements used.

Since nylon and polyester are the most preferred options for garments, I will discuss those. Polyester mesh offers a fibrous texture to the touch, whereas nylon reminds me of silk. This is why nylon is more long-lasting.

Therefore, the complex level of sewing mesh can vary if you apply the manual hand method. In a way, you might find it pretty complicated the first time, as the fabric does not remain in place when the needle pushes through.

Can You Sew Mesh Fabric?

Is it wise to sew mesh fabric, though? I am 100% on board with creating a fashion statement out of mesh to wear over a top. Old trends die hard. If the textile industries can connect the fabric with other materials, you can do it too.

Yes, it will test your patience, as it did mine. However, you will get the hang of handling it after familiarizing yourself with some basic tips.

Also, it is better to understand that mesh comes in multiple varieties. It will help you prepare the material accordingly for sewing.

Here are the well-known properties of the said fabric:

  • Nylon Mesh: it is lightweight, breathable, and highly durable. Mostly used for dresses, tent screens, bags, etc.
  • Polyester Mesh: this is great for sportswear for repelling moisture; porous.
  • Power Mesh: it is stretchy and applied in female undergarments. Power mesh is very comfortable and breathable.
  • Tulle: this type has fine mesh (minuscule holes, fine netting) for versatile uses like evening gowns or bridal veils.
  • Mesh Netting: it is a breathable material to protect the skin against insect bites. The netting is incorporated in most camping gear or equipment.

Can You Sew Mesh on a Sewing Machine?

With time, the mesh becomes pretty easy to sew, especially with the machine. You can obtain better coverage and maneuvering skills since the machine does most of the needlework.

All you have to do is learn the tricks for a flawless glide under your watch.

Sewing machines tend to catch on jamming a lot; you must ensure that this does not occur during mesh stitching.

While you can whip up pretty much anything with the material, it is essential to know some rudimentary sewing techniques.

How Can You Cut Mesh Fabric for Sewing?

Your initial thought to pop up is probably the scissors. Yes, you are right. Every sewing machine or sewing kit owner has a pair of small or big scissors in their stash.

However, if you want a professional’s opinion, mesh cuts better without bunching if you use a rotary cutter. In that case, keeping a self-healing mat on the work table should be a wiser choice.

Since I do not know what you will make out of the mesh you got. I can only tell you this – mark before the royal cut.

Perhaps retain a fraction of the fabric extra when cutting (the edge that will transform as a seam). It is to mend any error you make. Also, never cut two layers in unison if you wish to prevent mismatched patterns.

What Is the Best Stitch to Sew Mesh?

Whether a polyester or a satin thread, the point is to keep the stitch work resilient against any tear and wear.

Now mesh is used in versatile materials, so the stitching technique may have to change alongside. For example, sewing the seams of two mesh pieces or a mesh piece with a different fabric might require the overlocking stitch.

It traps the mesh holes tightly with no opportunity to undo or come off at the seams. Of course, you sew everything on the wrong side of the fabric, so nothing is visible after it is inverted.

Another stitching method is the medium and straight zigzag. It works great for a horizontal section of the mesh. You can also apply it anywhere if it deems suitable for the style you seek.

Nevertheless, I advise riding with the overlocking sewing technique on the machine if you are new at this.

How to Sew Mesh Fabric: 2 Ways

It is time for that huge disclosure to bring a smile to your face. You can attain slightly different outcomes if applying the hand stitch method.

Frankly, it all relies on your adeptness in tackling all the challenges tossed at you. You can win over anything if you can untangle the problem while keeping a calm mind.

Just make sure to maintain a shorter stitch length for the mesh to stay put.

Method 1: Sewing Mesh Fabric by Hand

I admit that sewing mesh fabric by hand seems like an impossible task. If you wish to astound everyone who suggested otherwise, now is the time to create magic.

You have to be observant the whole time, which urges me to recommend this method only for smaller projects.

Suppose a mesh vest or a bag pocket has a large tear by the seam. Some storage carriers also contain a mesh layer inside; its commercial stitch can undo due to regular use.

This is when I encourage you to apply the magical hand technique. Your first job is to turn the item inside out so the wrong side of the garment or item reveals the bulk edges.

Things You’ll Need

I find embroidery hoops or rings an incredibly valuable object in hand sewing. You can use the hoops when the mesh fabric moves or slides too much despite placing it on a flat mat.

It straightens the stitching by tightening around the circular frame.

So, here are the things you should gather:

  • Ruler
  • Marker/chalk for fabric
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter
  • Self-healing mat
  • A bunch of fine pins
  • Needle (preferably with a sharp point)
  • Polyester thread

Sew Step by Step

Hand sewing is difficult even for an expert if the fabric is mesh. Joining it with a different fabric is somewhat acceptable, but try to opt for the machine sewing method when stitching mesh-to-mesh.

The holes, no matter their dimension, make the work extremely complex when tried manually. Shall we get to the steps now?

  • Try prewashing the mesh fabric if possible. It allows more flexibility and good means for ironing the lines.
  • Cut up the item after marking the patterns to your preference.
  • Be sure to avoid dual-layer cuts, as they will slip and slide a lot.
  • It is better to pin the edges with the section of the fabric you wish to join. Mesh is naturally slippery, so hand-sewing it will cause slight movements along the way.
  • Keep a precise gap when pinning them, so you do not stitch incorrect outlines.
  • Once you follow the instructions above, it is time for the real challenge.
  • If you go for the overlocking pattern, I suggest marking the lines for beginners.
  • Personally, I find overlocking stitch more adaptable than zigzag when doing it manually.
  • Choose an appropriate needle for the task – one that offers a fine point and glides through gently instead of a rough pierce.
  • Now get on with the sewing a little at a time. Pause and inspect the work after a few stitches. But avert basting the fabric for fear of excessive stretching.
  • The overlocking length should be small to grasp the mesh holes correctly.
  • You can use a bias binding, fold-over elastic, or ribbons to give a neat and enclosed edge. It depends on the project.
  • Or you can leave the edge as it is; mesh does not fray, unlike other fibers with time.

Method 2: Sew Mesh Fabric with a Sewing Machine

There are some factors you should consider before sitting before the sewing machine. For example, what needle should you choose, what thread will match the fabric, or should the needle be fine or big?

A 70/10 ballpoint needle is the best option for the machine. However, a universal needle of 70/10 to 80/12 will deliver a nimble result as well.

Once again, go for the polyester thread for a strong bond, though the thread type relies on the mesh type.

Things You’ll Need

By now, you have a vague idea about what you will require when preparing for a sewing project. Here are the things you may need:

  • Ruler
  • Erasable marker/chalk for fabric
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter
  • Self-healing mat
  • A bunch of fine pins
  • Ball point needle (70/10) or universal needle (70/10 – 80/12)
  • Polyester thread
  • Tissue paper/fabric stabilizer
  • Do not forget the sewing machine

Sew Step by Step

Follow the first six steps mentioned in the previous method. Then proceed to the following instructions:

  • Place the mesh under the pressure foot. You can attach a fabric stabilizer below the fabric to prevent traps over the feed dogs.
  • If the mesh is to join another fabric type, maintain the mesh layer on the top.
  • Do not pull the mesh when it is being stitched through the machine. Otherwise, there will be unnecessary puckers/gathers in the seam.
  • Ensure the stitch technique you apply contains a short length. If you use zigzag, it should be narrow. Pursue a similar suit for the overlocking pattern.
  • Maintain a steady course as you power the machine.
  • Continue to guide the mesh through this process without any intervals. However, you can pause in between to inspect the work but not move it or pull it!

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Final Words

At last, mastering sewing mesh fabric is no longer a perplexing task, folks. You have to get to the basics before tackling the complicated stuff. This is what I always tell my sewing club members.

Still, we should acquire a little know-how on little patch-ups or mending issues at home. What if that mesh pocket pouch needs a bit of caring from its owner?

You can count on this article for emergencies on camping gear too!

Hi, I'm Robert Jameson. I'm a textile engineer. As a textile engineer, I design & create fabric. When I'm not busy with my family members, I research, write, and edit content for Fabric Fits.

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