Fabric cutting with lasers is a relatively new technology that has been around since the 1990s. Laser fabric cutting machines are a great way to cut fabric because they can make very straight cuts, and they can do it quickly.
Fabric cutting with lasers is safe compared to other forms of cutting, too. It uses low-powered lasers. Like any form of cutting, there is some risk if you don’t take proper precautions. But you should be able to safely cut fabric with a laser at home or in your studio with just a few tips.
Fabric cutting with lasers works by shining a laser light through a clear piece of material (like glass) or even through the air onto a mirror attached to the moving bed of a machine. A computer controls the mirror’s movement. The pattern is traced on the fabric, which is moved under the laser beam.
The most crucial part of any fabric project is treating the fabric properly before you begin cutting it with a laser. You need to carefully wash and dry the fabric, and then iron it flat. If you skip this step, the fabric could warp as you cut it with a laser, which could damage your machine and even cause injury to yourself or someone else in your studio.
Fabric cutting with lasers is most often done using software designed for quilting and sewing, but some companies have created software specifically for fabric cutting using lasers as well. The first use of this technology was in industrial settings, like screen printing and decorating fabrics on apparel assembly lines in clothing factories.