Christina Lu

Christina Lu

Overseas Sales Director and Co-Founder of KASU Laser, 12+ Years Textile and Fabric Laser Cutting Machine Expert.

Contents

Main Types Of Fabric And Textiles Cut By Co2 Laser

The uses of lasers have transcended beyond what many people had imagined. Now, lasers are used in different factors for different purposes, and it has become very versatile compared to past years when the functions were limited to certain sectors alone.

Laser cutting, as you know, is one of the primary uses of lasers in this era, and it has, indeed, provided lots of great results when used for this purpose.

But like most other equipment, there is only so much that you can cut perfectly with lasers without causing damage.

KASU Packaging Fabric Client Factory

However, laser cutters like the Co2 laser have proven to be very efficient for cutting materials with seemingly soft textures like fabric and textiles.

The effectiveness of this cutter is made obvious by the fact that many fabric producers and developers have already started implementing the use of these Co2 laser cutters. 

KASU Plush Toy Client Factory

But while it is popular for cutting fabrics perfectly, there are still some materials that it cannot cut so well.

This article centers on the several main types of fabric and textiles that can be cut perfectly using the Co2 laser cutter while also highlighting materials that are likely to develop yellow edges when operated on.

Brief Description of The Co2 Laser

Co2 simply refers to carbon dioxide, and the Co2 laser is a gas laser developed in the 1960s. And although it was among the earliest lasers introduced, it is still arguably the most used laser today because of its high power and efficiency.

The Co2 laser is also a favorite because it is designed to be easily controlled by the user. Co2 lasers are often utilized for tasks that demand precision and a high level of accuracy, and they are also used to produce personalized designs in large quantities.

Versatility is also a key factor that Co2 lasers offer, and they can function on a large variety of materials, including wood, fabrics, paper, plastics, and other non-metals.

To fully understand how Co2 lasers can be used to cut fabric and textile materials, here’s an outline of how the Co2 laser cutting machine works.

To the uninformed observer, the working principles of a Co2 laser may seem way too complicated, but this laser works on simple scientific laws.

In simple terms, laser light is produced when electricity passes through the tube filled with Co2 gas. The tube is made to have a fully refractive mirror at one end and another mirror that allows little passage of light at the other end.

The mirrors are not just placed for design, but they help guide the light towards the object or material to be cut. The light produced by the process is made powerful by the presence of the mirrors positioned at each end and the gas mixture as well.

The light produced is often invisible to the natural eye because it is infrared light, but it has an unbelievably long wavelength.

KASU LASER DETAIL MATTERS Density added design of laser tube support structure

Co2 Lasers And Fabrics

Co2 lasers are used in the production of several fabric materials, including natural and synthetic materials. This is because of the qualities that these lasers have, which allows fabric makers to create designs and modifications easily.

Co2 lasers can be used to cut or engrave designs on almost any fabric, regardless of whether the fabric is a finished product or it is still in sheets.

Lasers are also used in textile industries to manufacture non-textile materials like buttons, shoes, bags, etc. And the processes involved are quite similar, which supports the fact that Co2 lasers are relatively easy to operate.

Fabric And Textile Materials That Can Be Cut With Co2 Lasers

Fabrics are flexible materials that are processed by weaving fiber materials together. Hence, it is safe to say that fabrics are made out of fiber, and they can either be natural ( cotton, silk) or artificial (nylon, polyester).

Fabrics are one of the favorite materials that Co2 lasers are used in cutting, and they can be found in almost any textile industry today. This can be attributed to these lasers being the most accurate and can be used for large-scale production.

Here’s a list of the textile materials that can be cut with co2 lasers, along with the unique characteristics that make them ideal for laser cutting.

✮ Polyester

Polyester is an extremely lightweight silk-like material that is used in fabric making. It is very slim, and it is 100% industrially made with synthetic materials and a beautiful flow of drape.

This fabric is very smooth, and its versatility feature makes it usable for multiple purposes. The polyester material is also famous because it can also be used to produce other fabric materials.  

Co2 laser is used for cutting polyester materials too, and the result is often nothing less than clean edges.

When a laser is used to cut polyester, you can be assured that no unwanted coloring will be found along the edges.

Also, Co2 lasers can be used to engrave designs on polyester materials without causing any damages to the fabric. It also produces depth, high contrast, and minimum melt-back at the point of ablation.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser-polyester

✮ Fleece

The fleece material is a fabric material that is used for making thicker textiles like sweaters and blankets. Fleece is a very warm material that is often used for thicker clothes that are often worn during winter periods.

Fleece materials are unnatural, and they are made of synthetic materials such as polyethylene terephthalate and other synthetic-fiber materials.

Despite the thick nature of fleece materials, they are known to be very light, which makes it even more difficult to cut using the local knife cutting methods.

For this reason, Co2 lasers are now in use across various fleece-producing textile industries.

And the fleece material often demands accurate operation not to damage the edges of the fabric, which is why Co2 laser cutters are the favorite cutting devices. 

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Brown Fleece

✮ Plush

The plush material is a soft fabric material with a cut nap similar to fustian and velvet. This material is a high-quality material, and the soft texture is the highlight.

The plush material is very much utilized for making luxury apparel, but it is mainly employed in the construction of upholstery, furniture and toys.

While punching machines and hot iron template cutting machines or even scissors can be used for cutting this material, the Co2 laser cutter is ideal because the accuracy, hot sealed edge and zero waste of materials are precisely what this delicate material needs.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Plush

✮ Silk

Silk is one of the oldest tradable fabric materials that is still used today. And despite the antique nature of silk, it has always maintained a top spot among fabric materials.

The silk material is a fine natural fiber material, and its shine, strength, and durability qualities make it a favorite among fabric experts. Silk is generally a symbol of luxury and class, and the high cost of production makes it very expensive to acquire.

The production process of silk materials is often advanced, and Co2 laser cutters are used for cutting it because of the intricate nature of the material. 

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Wrinkled Red Silk

✮ Satin

Satin is more associated with the weave rather than the fabric. A satin fabric often comes in a weave of materials.

And although it is often characterized by a shiny, soft, attractive textile, there is always more than meets the eye.

Satin is one of the primary weaves and twill textile weaves and is popular because of the magnificent finish when used for dresses and bags.

The fact that it is a weave of materials makes the cutting process more complicated, but Co2 laser cutters fare significantly well when operating on this material.

A Co2 laser cutter leaves straight, precise cuts on satin materials with no yellowish edges.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser- Satin Fabric

✮ Felt

The felt fabric is a fabric material that is produced by a process called matting. The matting process involves condensing or pressing fibers together.

Felt can be made from a variety of natural materials, including wool and animal furs. In contrast, synthetic materials like petroleum-based acrylic and wood pulp-based rayon can be used as well.

The felt fabric has several outstanding qualities that enable it to be used for different purposes.

When mass-producing felt fabrics, the Co2 laser cutter is often the go-to cutting material used because of the degree of accuracy and precision.

It is also selected for the sublime finish touch it offers. The co2 laser becomes the perfect cutting tool for shaping and sharpening the edges.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Red Non Woven Felt

✮ Lace

The lace material is a patterned fabric that is produced using certain machines and hand skills. Making lace involves looping, braiding, and twisting the thread through the material to achieve the desired pattern.

The patterns are often made on either silk, rayon, or cotton materials, with an open weaving that allows visible spaces between the weaves.

Before the introduction of laser cutters to the fabric industry, manufacturers often employed lots of skilled individuals to help produce sufficient lace materials to meet up the high demands.

Nevertheless, it still took a lot of time to complete the production of the material, and it is sometimes not as perfect as was expected.

However, the introduction of laser cutters saw an increase in both precision, accuracy, and speed, while the production of laces with sophisticated designs and patterns was also made possible.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Pink Lace

✮ Denim

While it may not be the most popular fabric material, there is absolutely no doubt that denim is a very special piece of fabric.

So much so that once you mention the denim jeans, everybody around automatically figures out what you are talking about.

The denim was first produced in France, where it got its name from the city of Nimes, and the popularity of the fabric quickly spread across countries in a little time.

Lasers are a very important tool that plays an integral part in the denim industry today.

They are used for getting accurate cuts on the denim materials, while they are also used to apply patterns and designs to the materials.

The use of Co2 lasers also helps to eliminate the need for chemicals in the production process and reduces water usage at the same time.

The use of these Co2 lasers in denim-producing industries also helps to boost production rate significantly due to the speed and precision with which it operates.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Blue Denim Jeans

✮ Cotton

Cotton is a material used for making fabrics, and cotton fabric is undoubtedly the most commonly used fabric type today.

The material is completely natural and has no trace of any synthetic material. The cotton fabric is gotten from the cotton plant, and it is always in the form of round fluffy fibers surrounding the cotton fruit.

Cotton fabrics were first used in India several years ago, and it has gained prominence around the world ever since.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Yellow Cotton

✮ Linen

Linen is one of the oldest textile fibers. Linen, the commonly used term for flax, comes from the stem of the flax plant.

Together with cotton and silk, they are all categorized into the natural fiber.

Co2 lasers are not utilized in making linen materials as much as they are used to manufacture other textiles like polyester, cotton, and lace materials.

However, there is every indication that the use of lasers also helps to hasten the linen-making process while also providing perfect cuts around the edges of the material.

The uses of linen materials have become even more pronounced now than in previous years, and this feat can be attributed to the accurate designs and cut that laser cutters provide.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Linen

Materials That May Have Yellow Edges After Cutting With Co2 Lasers

While I have made a list of the fabric materials Co2 lasers can cut perfectly, it is also important to note that not all materials are advisable to be operated on by laser cutters.

Here is a list of materials that are likely to develop yellow edges if you cut them with a Co2 laser.

✮ PU leather

PU Leather, commonly referred to as artificial leather, is a material used to substitute leather in textile industries.

It is used in making clothes and footwear, while you can also use it for any project that requires a leather-like finish.

When a Co2 laser is used to cut this material, it always ends up with yellow edges. Hence, a Co2 laser or any other laser cutting tool is not advised when operating on this material.

KASU LASER K SERIES LASER CUTTING MACHINE CUTTING EDGES PU LEATHER

✮ Genuine leather

Genuine leather refers to any material that comprises a very significant amount of leather.

For a material to be classified as genuine leather, it must be made up of 51% leather at the least.

Materials like this should not be cut with a Co2 laser, as it is very liable to develop yellow edges after the operation. 

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Genuine Leather

✮ Wool

Wool is a type of fabric that is gotten from the hairs of certain animals.

And while it is a general assumption that wool only has to do with sheep, there are a variety of wool types that can be gotten from other animals.

But one thing that they all have in common is that they are not very suitable for laser cutting, and any laser operation on them can leave a yellowish color around the area of operation.

Fabric And Textiles Cut By KASU Co2 laser - Wool

How To Reduce Yellow Edges Degree?

Yellow edge is mostly caused by the smokes generated by the laser vaporizing the materials.

For some materials, you can reducing the yellow degree and see if can meet clients’ quality requirement as many sewn products will sew the edges inside.

Or you can only choose other knife cutting machine or die punching machine.

Here are a few tips.

✮ Tip 1

Make sure the laser cutter you are using is compatible with the thickness of the material to be cut. If the material is light, then the laser cutter to be used should not have high power.

And of course, choosing a good quality Co2 laser cutting machine is one of the most important factors.

KASU LASER QUALITY SPARE PARTS CO2 LASER GLASS TUBE

✮ Tip 2

Read and understand the instructions on the manual before cutting, and be sure to follow each process.  Especially make sure the optical path is perfectly right.

CO2 GLASS TUBE LASER CUTTER WORKING PRINCIPLE-Optical Path

✮ Tip 3

Use the right cutting speed with the right laser power, not too small or too big electricity.

KASU LASER SAFE STICKER 8

✮ Tip 4

Adjust the air flow to a proper degree. For thicker materials, exchanging the air pump into air compressor is a necessity. And if so, please don’t forget to prepare an air drying filter for the air compressor.

✮ Tip 5

Choose the right cutting platform. Generally honeycomb working platform is more recommended than the conveyor platform due to its better smoke exhausting structure.

KASU LASER K Series LASER CUTTING MACHINE HONEYCOMB TABLE

Conclusion

The introduction of the laser cutting technique can go down as one of the most significant additions to the textile industry.

The benefits are so much that you can hardly find an established textile industry today that does not utilize this amazing innovation.

It has helped to significantly increase speed and accuracy while cutting fabrics, and it is also broadening the possibilities of new designs on fabrics, among others.

However, the real highlight of the Co2 laser is in how well you use it to operate on the right materials.

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