Screen material is made of meshed fiberglass or aluminum fibers loosely woven together and used to create a barrier for insects or objects too large to filter through it. Though stiffer in composition than most fabrics, the construction of screen material makes it easy to sew. Simply spacing the needle stitch to skip over the screen fibers is all you have to do to sew screen material.
Match the Seams
You might want to sew screen material to repair a tear or cover a hole, or even to use the screen for something unconventional, such as home decor room accents and wall hangings. Sewing screen material is also a good idea for teenage arts and crafts projects.
One way to sew screen material is to match the seams in the same way seams are sewed for clothing. Line up the edges, pin or clip together and sew leaving at least ½ inch of seam allowance. This is the bulkiest method of sewing screen material, as it will not lay flat. This may however be necessary for a project that requires all the rough edges of the screen be hidden from what would be the right side of the screen project.
Overlap the Seams
Overlapping the seams will leave you with a flat finished product. Overlapping does leave the unfinished edges of the screen exposed, but it may not matter for your project.
If you're making a repair in an existing screen, measure the width and length of the repair area. Cut a piece of new screen at least one inch wider and longer than the measurements. Superimpose the screen patch over the rest of the screen and use pins to secure it in place. After adjusting the needle to sew through the screen mesh, sew the screen close to the edge with straight and even stitches, turning at each corner.
Overlapping the seams is the easier option, especially for window and screen door repairs. Without the annoyance of a bulging seam sticking out, the overlapping method will lay flat against the rest of the screen.
Sew Borders Around
This is a fun arts and crafts project for both children and adults, and it is a way to add interest to your decor with unique home accents. Think about how and where a bordered screen will work in your home–possibly a wall hanging, over an opened doorway or even a see-through room divider to section off one area from another.
Cut a piece of screen to size and measure its perimeter. Make your border at least one inch or wider all around. Cut a strip of fabric three inches wide and a little longer than your screen's perimeter measurement to make a one-inch border. The extra inches allow for folding the border in half and hemming it on both sides, lengthwise. For wider borders, double the desired width of your border and add one to two inches to allow for folding in the lengthwise hem.
Small pieces of fabric-bordered screen make excellent tools for children's screen art projects. The borders protect their hands from being pricked by the screen's rough edges. Place a piece of paper over the screen and then color or draw on it and watch as the screen pattern is transferred to the artwork.
Naima Manal's articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on various websites. Manal received her Bachelor of Science in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.