Reported by Erika Martin
I’m one of those crafters that loves working with all different kinds of mediums and surfaces. I enjoy sewing, painting, stamping, stenciling, etc. I’m always on the lookout to try new crafts and new products. I enjoy finding ways to incorporate what I already do on new surfaces and in new ways. I’ve discovered a whole new love with Roc-Lon’s Mutli-Purpose Cloth.
Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth, according to Roc-Lon’s product book, “is the optimum foundation cloth for custom design, from the most complex interior fine art project to a simple ‘do it yourself’ craft” and is available in 13 colors. The white cloth is available in 54″, 72″ and 84″. The other 12 colors are available only in 84″.
- Cut with standard household scissors
- Does not fray/no hemming
- Can be sewn
- Can be hole punched & folded
- Accepts fabric glue, tape, paint
- 13.0-13.5 oz. per square yard
- 70% Polyester / 30% Cotton Fabric
- Does not require gesso or primer
- Does not curl, holds its shape
The uses for this multi-purpose cloth are unlimited! Here are just some of the suggested uses:
Floor cloths, table runners, place mats, cloth bags and purses, fabric frames, drawer liners, playing cards, scrapbooking, window shades, window panels and Roman shades, signs & banners, wall murals, board games & cloth toys, machine embroidery, book covers, memory quilts, fine art canvas, interior stiffener and insulator and so much more!
Roc-Lon suggests mediums to use with your multi-purpose cloth:
- Artist paints
- Fabric paints
- Transfer paints
- Stencil paints
- Iron-On and Rub-On decals
- Embroidery (hand and machine)
- Ink Jet Printable
Benefits when used at the window:
- Light is eliminated
- Insulation against heat & cold
- Noise is reduced
- Privacy is provided
- Prevents sun fading of carpet, drapery, furniture and art work
Roc-Lon sent me their white Multi-Purpose Cloth to work with and I created three projects with it so far. There’s so many ideas that I have written on a list of things I still want to create as I really enjoyed working with it there’s so many possibilities.
The first project that I created was a pennant banner to stretch across the front of our deck.
I cut a piece of cardboard to create my pennant template and traced around it onto the multi-purpose cloth. I cut them out using regular shears. One of the things that I noticed right away was that the cloth was so easy to cut. Some fabrics require you to open and close the shears over and over to cut all the way across. The multi-purpose cloth was so easy to cut that my shears just glided across it without having to open and close them.
After I cut the pennants out, I ironed the top edge of each so that I could create a sleeve to run a piece of rope through. I ran each pennant through my sewing machine to stitch the sleeves in place. The multi-purpose cloth is very sturdy and has a canvas-like feel. It’s definitely thicker than a cotton fabric as it has a black layer in between the outer fabric that gives it its sturdiness and light-blocking qualities. I use a Janome Sew Mini machine and even a small, basic machine like that went through the fabric without any problem.
Next, I painted the pennants with acrylic paints. The fabric took the paint incredibly well. It felt like painting on a stretched canvas which is one of my most favorite feelings. I like having my paintbrush glide over a surface so easily.
I added some detail to my pennants once the base coat of color was dry.
I threaded a large carpet needle with some twine and ran it through the sleeves on the pennants to create my banner.
Everyone that drives into our driveway has glowing comments on our new banner over the garden!
Next, I had thought about doing a floor cloth, but then I started thinking about going bigger and better and making something that the whole family could use. The idea of a Twister mat came into my mind so I tweaked it a bit to make it work for the colors I had and something that my daughter could help make.
I measured and cut a large piece of multi-purpose cloth to create the mat. My dog, Tovah, felt that she needed to help by holding the cloth down. *wink*
I measured out a grid that created rows to make room for 4 colors and 6 circles for each color. Once I got the measuring down, I folded the cloth to set slight creases in it to work with, rather than drawing the grids out. This way, I didn’t have to erase anything.
Next, I used a bowl from my cupboard to trace around lightly with a pencil, and then I painted each of the circles with acrylic paint. My daughter and I wanted to make our mat a little different from the traditional Twister mat, so I used my hand to create the footprints with some gray paint sponged onto my hand. My daughter painted her hand and made hand prints on some of the circles. She really enjoyed getting her hands messy, especially with paint!
We came up with our own name for the game (“Hands and Feet, Arms and Legs”) and I used a sponge brush to sponge gray paint onto some alphabet stamps.
I put a hard surface under the cloth and stamped directly onto the cloth.
We’re still working on making the spinner for the game, but that didn’t stop my daughter and our neighbor’s grandson from trying the mat out.
Who needs a spinner? They found it just as much fun without the spinner!
My third project was to make a grocery tote bag. I found the instructions and dimensions for the bag in the One Yard Wonders book (<---click on that link to see the review I did for Craft Critique on this book). I cut out the pieces I needed for the bag and tweaked the pattern a bit; I didn't need a lining because the multi-purpose cloth is so sturdy and thick. As I sewed the top edge down for a nice finish, I found that when I used pins in the multi-purpose cloth, it left holes in the cloth when I took them out. A quick ironing made most of those holes disappear. If you need to iron the multi-purpose cloth, it holds its shape really well and takes the iron without a problem. I usually have my iron set all the way to high heat and didn’t have any issues using it at this heat with the cloth. While you do need to use pins here and there, depending on what your project is, most times the cloth will do just fine with an ironing and a run through the sewing machine. When I did the Twister mat, I didn’t pin the edges at all. I simply ironed the edges over and it held its shape fine to put it through the sewing machine without pins.
One thing that I did find while sewing was that the cloth slipped a bit. I love the fairly smooth texture of the cloth, especially for painting, but when sewing hems and close to the edge of seams, it did slip around just a tad which made for some slightly curved seams here and there.
Even going through multiple layers with folds and stitching the handles to the bag were no issue at all with my sewing machine. The needle went right through the cloth effortlessly. I did find, however, that some of the black layer in the middle of cloth did poke through while sewing. While this doesn’t really matter if you’re painting over the cloth, it can make a difference if you are going to leave your cloth white and you don’t like seeing the black peek through.
Now that I’ve been creating with this cloth, I’ve got a huge list of things I’ll be making next. I’d love to make a puppet show booth for my kids to play with. With a little carpentry help from my husband, he’ll make the frame and I’ll use the cloth and some paints to decorate it. I’ve also got an artist’s smock on my list, along with a roll-up case for my brushes. I’d like to make a dog leash, too, as this cloth is pretty much indestructible! A quilted art journal is something I’ve always wanted to try, and this cloth seems like the perfect substrate to work on. Oh, the possibilities!
- Sturdy, heavy-weight cloth great for multiple purposes
- Comes in 13 colors
- Can be used in art projects, home decor and more
- Can be used to insulate against heat, cold and noise
- Eliminates light if used in a window
- Accepts many type of artist’s mediums
- Can be sewn, punched, folded
- Doesn’t fray and no hemming required
- Cuts easily with standard household shears
- Works well with fabric glue or tape
- Cloth can slip around a bit when sewing, so make sure to go really slow when doing hems and seams
- Inner black lining of white cloth shows through a bit when sewn
- Straight pins used to hold fabric pieces together can leave pin holes, but ironing over the top of the fabric can take most of them out
Roc-Lon is generously giving away a 24″x36″ piece of their Multi-Purpose Cloth to FIVE of our readers. Leave us a comment on either Vendor Spotlight: Roc-Lon article (this is 1 of 2) and tell us what you’d do with it if you win! One comment per person, per article, please. Winners will be randomly selected over the weekend, or therebouts.