Can a Home Sewing Machine Sew Sling Chair Fabric?

SKU: X-HT-300639



“I don’t have a heavy duty or industrial sewing machine. Can my home machine sew sling fabric?” We get this question a lot from customers who want to redo the torn or outdated fabric on their patio sling chairs. In today’s blog, we’re going to help you determine if your home sewing machine can handle thick vinyl mesh sling fabric. We have a sewing trick to share with you so you can test your machine to find out if it can sew this dense material. Let’s get started.

Photo courtesy of customer Denise C.

First, let’s talk about sling chair fabric and why it can be difficult for a home sewing machine to sew through. Patio sling chair fabric is a vinyl mesh fabric with a very dense weave. The vinyl fibers are tightly woven in order to support human weight. The heavy and thick fabric might be too much for a standard home machine to sew.

Luckily, there’s a simple test you can perform to see if your home machine can handle sling chair fabric. Find an old pair of jeans that you don’t wear anymore — or get a cheap pair at a thrift store — and fold the jeans over until the material is six layers thick. Using the largest size needle and thread compatible with your home machine, try sewing through the layers of denim. If your home machine sews through the denim without issue, then it can more than likely sew sling chair fabric.

If you’ve determined that your home machine can handle the layers of denim, we have one last piece of advice before you order fabric and get started. Sling chair fabric comes in a range of thicknesses and weights per ounce. Choose one of the lighter-weight sling fabrics we offer. It will be easier for a home machine to sew through. Look for a fabric in the 13-16 oz. range. On any Sailrite® fabric product page, scroll down to the “Specifications” chart and look for the “Weight” listing.

Look for the "Weight" listing in the Specifications chart on every sling fabric product page. And make sure the fabric lists "Sling Chairs" as a recommended use.

If you’re looking for sling chair replacement fabric, you’ve come to the right place. Sailrite stocks dozens of colors and patterns of sling fabric for your patio. Solids, stripes, geometrics, abstract patterns — we’ve got it all in stock and ready to ship. Search for “sling chair fabric” on the Sailrite website to find the perfect fabric for your patio.

Tips for Sewing Sling Fabric on a Home Machine:

  • Choose a lightweight vinyl mesh fabric that’s rated for sling chairs. Not all vinyl mesh fabric supports human weight.
  • Use the Sailrite Fabric Calculator to help you determine how much sling fabric you will need per chair.
  • Use the largest needle size compatible with your home machine (we recommend a #18 Sharp/Round Point needle).
  • Use Tex 90 UV Bonded Polyester Outdoor Thread. Nylon thread is not UV resistant enough for extended outdoor use.
  • We recommend a 6mm stitch length or the longest stitch length your home machine offers.

If you're looking to upgrade from your home machine to something top-of-the-line, nothing beats the Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Sewing Machine. The Ultrafeed is robust enough to tackle even the heaviest fabrics and thickest assemblies. And its convenient portability means you can sew on your patio or take it with you. Visit our Ultrafeed landing page to learn more about this portable powerhouse and everything it can do.

We hope you found this sewing trick helpful in determining whether your home machine can sew sling fabric. Let us know if you have any other questions about sling fabric. Sailrite is your one-stop DIY shop for sewing supplies and how-to knowledge. We’re happy to help you tackle all of your DIY adventures. Happy sewing!

Sling chair fabric selection is easy with Sailrite help and resources.