Sewing with RFID Blocking Fabric

Sewing with RFID Blocking Fabric
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) blocking fabric is a kind of thin polyester material embedded with small filaments of copper and nickel that can be used as a passive protective measure to produce signal blocking. It prevents the unknowing scanning of an individual’s credit cards, driver’s license, state ID cards, library cards or machine-readable passport that contain RFID chips.

RFID blocking fabric is used most often as a fabric lining along with traditional fabric and is designed to be nearly 100% effective in obstructing the radio signals seeking personal information through a process called skimming.

RFID chips (essentially tiny encrypted integrated circuits) are today ubiquitous and implanted in many modern everyday objects. Besides credit cards, some states driver’s licenses or state ID cards, library cards, and newer passports, RFID chips are used most commonly to identify lost pets. There are many commercial uses for RFID chips as they are used in tracking inventory and equipment, casino chips that identify purchases, some clothing and jewelry, widely used in health care facilities, on gun safety products, rental cars, RFID clothing fitting rooms, resort wrist bands, tracking hotel guests bar and restaurant tabs, for luxury and high-end products and so much more.

Admittedly it would take a nefarious individual or group with RFID decryption knowledge and with criminal fraud as their goal to attempt to skim personal information. Considering the ever-increasing proliferation of RFID chips, it may be sensible to consider at least a few preventive measures.

Find a pattern for a simple-to-sew wallet, purse or tote and line with RFID blocking fabric. Many free fabric wallet, purse or tote patterns can be found online.

Sew a simple square or rectangular clutch or backpacking pocket of any size needed, lined with RFID blocking fabric, that can be hold multiple items known to have the RFID chip. These make great gift or stocking stuffer ideas (include some printed info on the RFID lined pocket). Great for when a wallet or purse is too cumbersome for the beach, boating, bicycling or hiking. Add a zipper closure and a lanyard, wrist strap or carabiner clip.

Note: RFID fabric can be found online at Amazon, JOANN’s Fabric and Craft, and Nancy’s Notions to name just a few. RFID fabric or items made from this non-bulky fabric can be washable (no bleach or fabric softener) hang to dry, and no direct pressing (do not use fusible web to back RFID fabric) to preserve the effectiveness of the material. Comes in a few colors like antique gold, light bronze, silver or black. Regular sewing machine needle, regular thread and normal stitch lengths are effective for sewing procedures.

Sewers - consider lining everything that you carry with RFID fabric to protect your personal identification. Take that identification thieves.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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