The Silhouette is designed to cut a variety of materials including vinyl, paper, specialty patterned papers, cardstock, vellum, iron-on heat transfer material, fabric (when using our Interfacing products) and sticker paper among other materials. It will also cut a variety of other specialty materials, some of which may be found offered from our company.
The Silhouette has a cutting force of 210gf and includes a blade that can extend to approximately 1 mm in depth when using the standard blade, or up to 2 mm in depth when using the Deep Cut Blade to accommodate thicker material types.
However, there is still a limitation depending on the material type's density and make up. Certain materials that are overly dense (such as thin metals or acetate, for example) may not be able to be cut well or at all and can impair the blade. Certain materials that have abrasive natures (such as thicker chipboard or sandpaper) may also impair the blade or dull it very quickly. On the other side of the spectrum, certain fibrous materials (such as select felt materials or handmade papers) may not be held together densely enough for successful cutting.
Testing can be performed on special material types to find whether or not they can be cut sucessfully by using the Test Cut feature.
Some specific materials frequently asked about are listed below for further reference.
You may cut select fabrics (depending on their thickness of course) with Silhouette brand fabric stabilizer, https://www.silhouetteamerica.com/shop/fabric-stabilizer or a generic brand fabric stabilizer. All Silhouette models can cut fabric when using the fabric interfacing product.
This product is ironed on to your fabric and then the fabric with the interfacing is placed onto a cutting mat with the interfacing side down (fabric side facing up). You would then use the blade at a level of 3, a speed of 3 - 5, and cut at a thickness of 25 - 30. Depending on the fabric, you may want to double-cut your design. Once you have cut your design in the Silhouette, you would then take scissors or a craft knife to quickly trim any threads which may be connecting your cutout design to the rest of the fabric.
Our fabric interfacing is offered in three varieties: Clean Cut, Sewable, and Wash Away. Silhouette Clean Cut Interfacing has a thicker adhesive that irons on to fabric allowing you to cut designs with cleaner edges. Silhouette Sewable Interfacing has a thinner adhesive that irons on to fabric allowing you to sew your cut-out design.
Wash Away Fabric Stabilizer is pressed onto fabric backing by hand. Then, after the cutting process has been completed, the fabric can be washed in order to dissolve the fabric stabilizer backing, thus leaving you with just the cut-out fabric project. This fabric stabilizer is perfect for appliqués where a permanent backing on your fabric is not desired.
Select felt materials can be cut with the Silhouette. Please note, however, that not all felt materials can be cut well with the Silhouette. The ability to successfully cut felt will depend on the thickness, density, and flexibility of the felt material, as well as the level of stickiness of the cutting mat in use. We can relay that one brand of felt we have found to yield successful cutting results is Camelot brand hard felt. Again, not all felt materials can be cut well with the Silhouette and results will vary.
Silhouette America® does not officially lay claim to be able to cut this specialty material type. We do not currently have plans to create another cutting unit specifically for the purpose of cutting fondant or gum paste materials. We are aware that some users have claimed to have made modifications to use the Silhouette machine to cut such specialty materials. However, Silhouette America® does not presently offer any support in this regard. We do not have special blades or mats to offer for the cutting of such materials specifically.
The Silhouette can successfully cut wax paper and freezer paper on the Print Paper default setting. In testing, we have found that depending how new your blade is, you can even lower the blade depth to a 1 if it is still quite sharp.