The FabricGrip mat is made of a stronger, denser material to withstand the intense cutting pressures associated with using the Rotary Blade, making it possible for your Cricut Maker to cut fabric without a fabric stabilizer!
Preparing your fabric
Cutting fabric down to size
Before placing the fabric on your mat, be sure to cut it down to a size that will fit on the mat, but does not extend outside of the adhesive area. 12 x 12 and 12 x 24 are the standard sizes for the adhesive area on the FabricGrip mat.
Fabric that extends outside of the adhesive area may pass under the wide rubber rollers on either side of the roller bar, which will grip the fabric, pulling it askew or causing it to get caught in the machine.
If your fabric is fairly wrinkled, it is a good idea to iron it to remove any stubborn wrinkles. Bumps or bubbles in the fabric may result in imprecise cuts. The fabric should lay very flat on the mat.
Placing your fabric on the mat
All fabrics have what is called a grain. This refers to the direction of the woven threads, which run parallel to the selvedge edge of the fabric.
Design Space helps you know how to place your fabrics on the mat so that the grain is going in the right direction. On the mat preview, if the number on the piece is upright, place the fabric on your mat so that the grain runs up and down on the mat.
If the numbers are on their side, place the fabric on your mat so that the grain runs right and left on the mat.
Pretty side down
Place your fabric on the mat so that the printed or "pretty" side of the fabric is down on the mat. This way, it will be much easier to see the fabric pen markings that will later help you to assemble your pieces. If your fabric doesn't have a printed side, just place the "right" side, meaning the side of the fabric that will show when your item is finished, down on the mat.
Getting it to stick
Lightly position your fabric over the adhesive area of the mat, then smooth it into the adhesive with your hands. If your fabric mat has some threads on it from previous projects, or if you notice that it isn't sticking well, use a brayer, or kitchen rolling pin, or even the cardboard roll from some paper towels, to securely adhere the fabric to the mat.
Final checks and cautions
If you can see that your fabric extends outside of the adhesive square, simply use a ruler and a hand-held rotary cutter to trim it.
Watch out for stretchy fabrics! Do not stretch your fabric as you stick it to the mat. It will wrinkle and may also retract during cutting, both of which may ruin your cut results. If you notice that your fabric is stretched or wrinkled, simply pull the fabric up and reposition it.
Which blades can I use?
Design Space will tell you which blade to use based on the material setting you choose, but the FabricGrip mat was designed for use with the Rotary Blade. The FabricGrip mat can also be used with the Bonded-Fabric blade.
Removing the fabric after cutting
Once the cutting is done, we recommend removing the excess fabric first.
Avoid touching the adhesive when removing your cuts; oils from hands can make the adhesive less sticky. The Broad Tip Tweezers are a great tool for removing your cuts from the mat.
For fabrics that have a loose weave or fray easily, use the spatula to remove the cuts from the mat. They may bunch up as you remove them, but a quick pass with the iron will straighten them out.