How to construct DCF Seams

DCF is best joined using tape or a combination of sewing and tape, depending on how the seam is stressed.

The Tapes

  • Transfer tape leaves behind a film of adhesive when the backing is removed. (It is often confused with double sided tape which leaves behind both adhesive and a carrier material.)
  • DCF backed tape is a one sided tape which uses DCF as the backing material. It's basically a sticky strip of DCF.
  • Source: The tapes above are available in the DIY Supplies section of the website.

The Process

  • Secure the first piece of material to your work surface.
    - You might clamp the two ends or tape them down using a little transfer tape (you can rub it off later).
    - If working with a curved edge, pull the edge taut so that the curve straightens out.
  • Take your transfer tape and start peeling off the backing from the dull, papery side. Tack it down at one end of the seam.
  • As you work toward the other end of the seam, continue to peel off the backing while aligning and pressing down the tape along the edge of the material.
  • Run your fingernail over the tape to really press it down (a pressure roller works well if you have one).
  • At one end of the tape, begin peeling off the remaining backing (shiny). Tack down the end of the second piece of material.
    - Note that the two pieces should be laying in their final position. If you're used to sewing, you might be inclined to have one piece on top on the other with the right sides facing together - this is not what you want here. The pieces should overlap only over the tape, and the right sides (outside facing) of the material should be facing up.
  • As you work toward the other end of the seam, continue to peel off the backing while adhering the upper material to the lower. Pull the upper material taut as you go and keep it aligned with the lower material.
  • If your seam, or a portion of it, is subject to significant side-to-side force, you may benefit from running a stitch through the center of the overlap.
    - For example, this might be the case in locations where a trekking pole handle is pressed into the seam.
    - You don't need to run the stitch along the entire seam, just in the area subject to the stress.
  • Run a piece of the DCF backed tape down the length of the seam.
    - You may be inclined to center the tape over the center of the overlap, however, it is better to center the tape over the edge of the upper material.