By barbara from Moorpark, CA
I have been given tons of fabric samples too. Removing the paper backing is very easy with a hot (old) iron. Set the iron on very hot and iron on the paper backing. After one or two seconds: peal off the paper. Repeat when required.
I use benzene, pour a little benzene to soak the fabric side and after a few seconds when paper underneath is wet, peel off. Then press the wet fabric against the other fabric side to moisten and peel off that paper. It works like a charm. I also remove price stickers from bottles or gifts that way.
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I have been given a ton of beautiful upholstery fabric sample books, but they have paper backing around the edges of the fabric.