How to Make Your Own Rubber Clothing

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Create a variety of sleek and sexy styles with latex rubber sheeting.
Create a variety of sleek and sexy styles with latex rubber sheeting. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Stretch your fashion imagination and create latex rubber clothing. Although textile mills are creating many materials from recycled rubber, non-latex rubbers can cause rashes to sensitive skin, making it impractical for construction. Implement lightweight latex rubber sheeting sold by the yard, such as to 0.20 mm to 0.65 mm, to cut patterns for sleek and sexy tops. Choose medium- to heavier-weight latex rubber, like 1.00 mm to 1.20 mm, to make contoured dresses and leggings. Pattern-making enthusiasts can create form-fitting designs. Certain latex rubber textiles, often sold by the roll, are specifically made for rubber gloves or tubing.

Things You'll Need

  • Latex rubber sheeting (minimum two to three yards)
  • Cutting board
  • Patterns
  • Silver paint marker
  • Rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • French-curve ruler
  • Terry cloth
  • Latex milk glue
  • Rubber cement
  • Flat thin brush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Flexible sealing tape

Place the latex rubber sheeting on a cutting board. Position your selected patterns on the sheeting and mark the outline with a silver paint marker. This drawing tool shows up on white as well as dark latex. Don't smudge the pattern outline.

Cut out with a rotary cutter. Although you can cut lightweight sheeting with fabric scissors to save time, this can cause rough and jagged edges. Use a ruler to steady the cutter for straight, defined lines. Use a French-curve ruler to steady the cutter for making shaped and curved edges.

Wipe away the silver paintmarkers with a soft terry cloth after cutting out the pattern.

Lay out one to two cut-out latex patterns, with the seam allowance facing you. For example, if you want to close the sleeve seams for a long-sleeve top, place the sleeve on your table vertically or horizontally according to your preference,. Apply the adhesive in the following step.

Apply two to three thin coatings of latex milk glue or rubber cement along the seam allowance. Use a flat, thin brush. For fabric thickness of .3 mm or less, use latex milk glue. It does not crinkle as the latex turns from white to transparent during the drying process. If the thickness is above .3 mm, use rubber cement. Do not apply the cement to all of the seams at once because most brands dry quickly.

Align the opposite pattern seam allowance along the first seam allowance with the adhesive. Overlap the two patterns. Let the seam dry your brand’s recommended time. If the adhesive seeps out of the seams, remove the excess with a cottton swab. Work at a quickened pace for Steps 5 and 6. The latex has a tendency to curl when you apply the adhesive and becomes challenging to overlap the seams.

Apply a few drops of the adhesive on flexible sealing tape. It comes most often on a roll. If the roll is hard to uncurl, place a fabric weight on one end as you place the sealing tape on top of the seam. You also can cut 5/8 inch latex sheeting strips, using your pattern for the length. Apply the latex strip over the seam. This step is optional, but seams with extra wear and tear remain intact, avoiding repair.

Repeat Steps 5, 6 and 7 for the remaining latex patterns.

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