I'd like to buy a neoprene case for my new laptop. I'd like to sew on some sequins or patches. Would doing so harm the fabric's ability to keep water off of its precious cargo?

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    @Catija I haven't picked a specific case yet and I'm not sure how common waterproof cases are so for now assume either.
    – jackwise
    Jun 20 '16 at 23:32
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    The neoprene wetsuit I use when I go scuba diving certainly isn't waterproof... According to the neoprene Wiki page, there are two types of neoprene, one is waterproof and the other is not. "Neoprene foam can be produced in either closed-cell or open-cell form. The closed-cell form is waterproof, less compressible and more expensive. The open-cell form can be breathable."
    – Catija
    Jun 20 '16 at 23:33
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    @Matt Not well. If I remember correctly, if I wanted to iron on a patch, the neoprene would not survive temps that high.
    – jackwise
    Jun 20 '16 at 23:43
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    Most neoprene for electronics cases are not waterproof. The neoprene is used for its cushioning and protective properties, like a big foam shock absorber on all corners. I would NOT expect it to keep your items dry in a light drizzle or otherwise, unless it specifically is marketed as such. Many are somewhat breathable if not completely permeable. The cases are more meant to protect from wear and tear, light bumps and whatnot incurred from travel. Jun 21 '16 at 12:33
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    So apparently I've been mislead about neoprene cases! Maybe I won't end up getting a neoprene case after all since it doesn't seem to make much of a difference :p
    – jackwise
    Jun 21 '16 at 13:18

If you're starting with waterproof neoprene (which may be closed cell or coated on one side), thread holes will breach this and it will leak. It would be unlikely to let light rain in but putting it down in a puddle would allow it to leak.

I have a neoprene laptop case, and it's not the waterproof type of neoprene, but if any water (rain, or from wet things in the same bag) gets in it's around the stitching. You're also likely to have to look hard and pay more to get a waterproof case, whether or not it's neoprene.

You should be able to seal up the holes though, with neoprene repair glue (wetsuit glue, "neoprene queen" is the brand I use). This may be worth it even on a non-waterproof neoprene case. This is discussed in a question (mine) on outdoors.se How can I adjust a neoprene wrist/neck seal on a drysuit, by cutting and joining?. My own answer after trying it has some ideas, including blind stitching.

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    If you can't find something labelled as neoprene repair glue or wetsuit glue, there are several generally-available adhesives that are neoprene-based, like E-6000 and some of the "shoe repair" glues. Many of these are not colorless, though, so they would be visible if used as a coating unless it was done on the inside. However, neoprene glues are extremely strong and could be used to just glue on the decorations and avoid stitching.
    – fixer1234
    May 11 at 20:23
  • @fixer1234 good point, though it's easily available on ebay. On black neoprene, black glue looks better than clear anyway
    – Chris H
    May 12 at 8:43

You would have to seal the stitches, just like you do on a tent, to keep it water proof. I'm unfamiliar with neoprene, but a substance like it, may have a "patch kit" much like for a bike tire.

I would imagine, you'd do both, use the patch kit, plus seal the seam stitches in the inside of the patch.

  • Questions such as "What is the product used for?" should go in comments on the question.
    – user24
    Sep 10 '16 at 0:09

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