Sailmaker's Supply


I learning how to make sails back in the old days before computer designing software, plotters and CAD cutters. I used a booklet with do-it-yourself instructions. The booklet said to use silicone caulking to join the seams together before sewing, and that's what I did. Imagine crawling around on the floor sticking the whole sail together, waiting for it to dry so it could be moved, then rolling it up and stuffing it through the sewing machine. What a job!

I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I was to discover seamstick.

Seamstick is a double-sided seaming tape with acrylic based adhesive on a Mylar carrier. We prefer "Venture Tape" brand as it sticks to Sunbrella® better than most.

We sell seamstick in 1/4", 3/8", and 3/4" widths. It comes on rolls with about 60 yards per roll. The width we use most in our canvas shop is 3/8".

Seamstick is a great tool for holding any kind of fabric in place while sewing. It sticks exceptionally well to vinyl, such as Weblon Regatta, so when we're sticking vinyl to vinyl, we use 1/4". If you stick it in the wrong place, use "Goo Gone" to remove any excess adhesive residue from the vinyl.

To sew an overlapped seam, apply a line of 3/4" seamstick to the salvage edge of one of the panels. Stick the second panel to the first using the inside edge of the seamstick as a guide for an even 3/4" seam. Sew along the edge of the top panel, flip the panels over and sew on the edge of the other panel.

Seamstick is essential for sewing sails. For seams in sailcloth, apply 3/8" seamstick in the seam allowance of the lower panel and stick the next panel to it. Use it to hold patches, luff tape, webbing, etc., in place for sewing.

Use 1/4" seamstick to hold zippers in place while sewing.

I can't imagine making an enclosure panel or replacing clear vinyl window material in a dodger or enclosure without seamstick. Use it to stick the fabric to the clear vinyl, or the new vinyl to the old panel. (When replacing clear vinyl, stick and sew the new glass on first, then cut the old out so you keep the original shape.)

Use seamstick to stick vinyl laminate cloth to the inside of hatch covers, dodgers, etc., as a reinforcement for fasteners and to finish the edge.

When applying, be careful not to stretch the seamstick. This can cause the fabric to pucker when the seamstick relaxes. It's easier to apply the tape if you first pin the fabric out on the table.

I have noticed in working with Sunbrella®, that seamstick tends to not want to stick to new fabric. It sticks better to Sunbrella® that has been on the shelf for a while. I imagine it has to do with the water repellent treatment.

If the tape isn't holding as well as you'd like, press it down with a hard metal object, such as the handle of a pair of shears. You can use an iron, but note that Sunbrella's® warranty is void if heat is applied. Use only a cool iron on Sunbrella®.

If you have been struggling to hold your fabric together while you're sewing, give our seamstick a try. I'm sure you'll find it as indispensable as I do!

Until next time, happy sewing!

Jean Carroll