Cutting sewing patterns

There is one application for which I am most eager to use the Glowforge, and that is cutting fabric for sewing projects. I have been sewing since I was a child and the bain of my existence is transferring the pattern to the fabric and then cutting the fabric. That whole process can take several hours and is unbearably tedious. There are two things I would like to know more about. First, I want to know about the trace feature; would I be able to scan my paper patterns in and then make edits before cutting? Second, it’s been said a bajillion times that the Glowforge can be used to cut fabric but I haven’t been able to find out specifically which types of fabric it can cut; are there fabrics that I shouldn’t be putting in my Glowforge? Also, relating to my second question, I may be making cloth diapers which use PUL material (typically polyester with polyurethane laminate) and I want to know if that would be laser safe. -L


There have been lots of discussions about materials.
With fabric, it seems reasonable that the laser CAN cut most of them; but results will vary by fabric and some experimentation is probably warranted…
There are materials that you certainly should not put in your laser due to the exhaust. You don’t want to kill yourself or your family, you don’t want to destroy your laser, and you don’t really want to burn anything down.

This thread seems to indicate that polyurethane is safe, and you can find references to polyester, as well.

I’m not an expert; but I expect you may be fine to cut your diapers on the glowforge. And, added bonus, the burned/melted edges should naturally resist unraveling.

Then, to scan patterns, edit, and cut… yes. I haven’t seen it done; but it should be lovely, provided it fits on the bed. This is a serious use case for the pass through, and probably one of the points over which I’ll wish I had sprung for a pro.


Thanks! I knew from the start that I would love the passthrough feature, but more than the price is the issue of safety. We’ll be using it at home and likely in the same space where my three-year-old plays, so the pro just wasn’t an option for us :frowning: -L


Yes. There is that, too. I’ve got littles, as well. If I had bought a pro, we would’ve had some serious discussion about downgrading for safety.
Still, there are plenty of patterns that will fit quite nicely on the GF bed.

Making fussy cuts for applique will be a killer app. You are right. Having a list of fabrics that are cut and tested will be helpful as a demonstration of possibilities. I’d say most of the common fabrics for sewing will be fine, but specialized fabrics such as you are discussing are definitely worth investigating further.

The autotrace feature is interesting in terms of being able to edit it as desired. How are the designs or images stored for recall? It’s not totally clear to me yet.

In the interest of cross indexing, here are some topics.

Here is one of several topics that have discussed fabric. It includes actual product of Glowforge use on fabric by @Kusmeroglu of staff.

Wool felt will be a good a good material to use, although there are some interesting discussions as to contents of the smoke from felt.

@smcgathyfay has a good post with endorsements of fabric in one of the better topics regarding fabric.

There are several other topics that treat etching/engraving fabric too, like canvas or denim.


I would think that it should be possible to get the image from the GF camera out to another piece of software like AI or something… but can’t say that for sure yet.


Cutting synthetics on a laser is awesome, as it melts the edges for you and helps prevent fraying.


Great use for the Glowforge. My mom is always quilting and this would make cutting a breeze.

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