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One of the most common questions we receive at MJTrends is "What is the difference between latex, pvc, stretch pvc, and patent vinyl."

Latex Sheeting

Latex is not a fabric - it is 100% natural rubber which originates from the Helvetica Brasilius tree. Sap is collected and then through a manufacturing process pigements are added to create the different colors. There is no fabric backing to latex, and therefore most users glue it instead of sewing it.

The tiny holes that a sewing needle create could cause the latex to rip. If you are creating something that will not receive a lot of stress on the seam, then sewing may be appropriate. Another alternative would be to glue a strip of latex onto the latex of a traditionally sewn seam to prevent tearing from occurring.

A needle will also heat up and can cause the thread to break when sewing latex. A specialized setup would be necessary - employing some sort of silicone bath for the thread to pass through before passing through the latex. Lastly - a walking foot sewing machine would be required as latex will stick to the presser foot of your machine and does not glide.

We offer two types of latex adhesive, Solvent Based and Ammonia based The differences between the two are that the solvent based ahesive will cause the latex to curl upon initial application. The thinner the latex the greater amount of curling you may encounter. If you are just starting out, we recommend using a .40mm guage thickness or thicker, as it can be difficult to deal with the curling for someone new to latex.

The Ammonia based adhesive will not cause the latex to curl, but it may deterioate if submerged in water for a length of time. Also, you can unpeel your latex seam and re-adhere with the solvent based adhesive without having to apply an additional coat of adhesive, but with the ammonia based you must reapply glue whenever you want to unpeel a seam and re-adhere.


Our PVC fabric, also known as vinyl fabric, is a 2-way stretch material with a high gloss shine. Two-way stretch means that it will stretch horizontally but not vertically - please see the video if you need clarification. PVC is waterproof and has a polyester backing. The color of the backing is typically white, but on the darker colors it may be black. The backing is black on our black pvc and navy pvc.

Typical uses for our PVC fabric include skirts, gowns, fetish wear, dog beds, theatre, costumes, cosplay, and a variety of others.

Stretch PVC

Stretch pvc, again also referred to as vinyl fabric, is a 4-way stretch material with high gloss sheen. Four-way stretch means that it will stretch both vertically and horizontally. Please refer to the video if you need clarification. In comparison to our 2-way stretch pvc, the 4-way is a little bit thinner, more expensive, has greater stretch in all directions, and does not come in as great a range of colors as the 2-way, although if you need a quantity of 200 yards or more of a unique color we can custom manufacture it for you.

Stretch pvc is used for many of the same purposes as the pvc - skirts, cosplay, halloween costumes, fetish wear, etc. It offers a better fit due to the 4-way stretch and is more suitable for garmets where a more stretchy fabric or fit is required.

Patent Vinyl

Patent Vinyl is what most people think of when they refer to "vinyl fabric". It is quite similar to our PVC except that the vinyl coating and backing is thicker. Due to the added thickness it only has a small amount of 2-way stretch: approximately 1 inch per 12 inches of fabric. It is also stiffer and has less drape than our PVC fabric.

Patent vinyl can be used in fashion for rain coats, chaps, vests, overalls, pants, etc. Many of our customers use it for corsets. It can also be used as a "light" upholstery fabric. Please note that the actual thickness is close to .7mm - about 3/4 the thickness of a U.S. dime.

If you have any questions or comments please email them to: sales@mjtrends.com

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