Exploring Lutradur and Evolon – what are they?

7 11 2011

I love melting and heating stuff. Heat distressing fabrics create fabulous, textural surfaces that you can then include in your projects.  All man made fabrics can be distressed and texturised with heat.  A heat gun and soldering iron are the best tools to use to do this.

Before I go any further, I need to remind you of some basic safety when heating meltables.  First always do this in a well ventilated space.  Man made fabrics create fumes when they are heated so be careful and stop if the smell is causing distress.  Secondly when you are heating man made fabrics, they may scald, smolder and eventually burn.  Ideally don’t get to this point, but if the charred look is part of what you are after (and it often is) then be prepared with some water nearby.  I bowl or bucket is fine.  When heating or distressing the fabrics, I place them on an old baking tray and use a bamboo skewer to hold them in place so I don’t burn my fingers.

Scared you off??  I hope not.

Lutradur and Evolon….  These are some of my favourite fabrics and I am currently incorporating them into lots of different projects. So what are they and how do you use them?

Lutradur is spunbound polyester fibres.  The fabric is not woven or knitted – it is spun like fairy floss.  It comes in a number of different weights, colours and even textures.  I have taken a photo of each of the different weights in white on a cutting mat so that you can see the difference.  Here they are:




the light weight lutradur also comes in “Crash”.  Personally I think this is some sort of translation error and it should be called “Crush” as it is the light weight lutradur with a scrunched up textured surface.  I really like using this because it keeps the texture, even after it has been ironed a few times.  These next two images are Crash.

one layer of crash

four layers of crash

Evolon is similar in some ways, but very different in others.  Evolon is a mix of polyester and polyamide polymers.  It is also spun.  I carry the Evolon Soft, which has been washed making it soft, drapable and suede like finish.
Evolon can be dyed with Acid dyes.  This photo shows some dyed:

dyed evolon - you can see the texture better when coloured.

 So what can you do with it????  Well anything you would use a fabric for.
Both Lutradur and Evolon melt at high heat (200+ celsius for Lutradur and 230 + celsius for Evolon).  This means that the heat of an iron is not hot enough to melt it allowing you to use double sided webs, iron on hot fix angelina and of course, foils with double sided web.
Both fabrics can be coloured with paints, inks, spritzers, shiva stiks, transfer dyes and printing through your printer.  So you can add colour or many layers of colour.
Then, with a heat gun or a soldering iron, you can heat distress, solder, sculpt and create cut outs or lace work.
I have blogged a number of different processes with Lutradur, so if you go to the category cloud on my blog home page and click on Lutradur, it will pull up 12 entries.  If you want to have a big play with these fabrics, there are two books I recommend (both on my website of course)

Lutradur and the New Fibers by Wendy Cotterill

Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur by Lesley Riley

I will load pictures of some of the projects I have used the Lutradur in later.  I have only just brought in the Evolon, so you can expect to see more done with this from here on.




One response

7 11 2011

Hi Cecile
first up i really enjoy your blog posts, there always so informative and interesting, I’m interested now in distorting material for textile bead making and i’ve only tried the Tyvek so far, the link (cloud) on your blog doesnt seem to be working as i cant access it. Is there something i’m going wrong ??
thanks so much
Karen xo

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