Fake fur is a delightful discovery – a synthetic material that imitates the real fur of animals and gives you all its advantages without doing anything to endanger any living being. And so cozy and warm on top of being top notch attractive. But it comes with a number of challenges when you try to cut and sew it.
But that is not to say it is different – you can sew fake fur fur fabric on your regular sewing machine with a regular 14 number needle; Without bothering about finishing the edges because the fabric does not fray. Just some precautions and you can make your own wonderful faux fur creations.
Which needle to use to sew faux fur?
You can use standard needle of 12 needle size.
Which thread can be used to sew faux fur?
Use polyester thread or cotton-polyester thread.
How to mark faux fur?
Mark on the backing of the fur with any marker tool of your choice. The backing is smooth.
What are the Precautions to take?
You cannot iron the seam open. If you iron, you might damage or melt the fur. Instead, use your fingers to press the seam open.
Use glass head pins – they are better visible than normal pins. Or Use binder clips or clothespin to keep the edges together as you sew (better than pins).
Use face mask to cover nose as you cut fur. And keep vaccum cleaner closeby.
You cannot use Fusible interfacing with faux fur.
Which stitch can be used to sew fake fur?
Use a zigzag stitch of 2.0 width, and 2.0 to 2.5 length
Problems in sewing fake fur and their solutions
In this article I will cover:
- Which needle to use to sew faux fur?
- Which thread can be used to sew faux fur?
- How to mark faux fur?
- What are the Precautions to take?
- Which stitch can be used to sew fake fur?
- Problem: Fur has a direction
- Problem: Getting the Grainline wrong
- Problem: Losing the fibers when you cut
- Problem: Sewing machine damage/ Dealing with the cut fur
- Problem: Not able to use pins
- Problem: Messy fur
- Problem: Not low maintainance
- Problem: Dealing with thick layers of fake fur in sewing
- Fibers getting caught in the seam
- Problem: Visible seam lines
Problem: Fur has a direction
This is not a problem but if you do not notice this when you cut the fabric it can be a problem. This is the case with all napped fabrics; you should look at the direction of the nap and use it appropriately when you cut.
Fur fibers have a direction naturally. And you should always cut all pattern pieces of a single garment in that direction. This is very important for the garment to look good
Related post : What is nap?.
Problem: Getting the Grainline wrong
As with any fabric the fake fur also needs to be aligned. You can follow the selvage to find the correct grainline.
Problem: Losing the fibers when you cut
Use scissors with a very sharp tip. With fake fur, you cannot mark on the front of the fabric. And you will be cutting from the back as well. There is a great probability of cutting out the fur fibers more than they should be when pattern pieces are being cut- this is for fake fur with long fibers. This results in a shaved look which is obviously what you do not want.
Using your hands remove the fur fibers out of your cutting line, and then cut only the backing. That too, making small snips.
Another important thing is not to cut more than one layer of fabric at once
Problem: Sewing machine damage/ Dealing with the cut fur
What you get after cutting fake fur are two dangers – one is that the small remnant fibers will settle inside your sewing machine and clog it till it is damaged/not working.
Another is a messy room with fibers getting into everywhere they could, even your nose and mouth. If you have long fur this is not as much of a problem as if you have short fur. Short fur invades your sewing space and takes over. Keep a broom or even better, a vacuum cleaner nearby.
Problem: Not able to use pins
Pins can be buried inside the fur so you may have to keep the pieces together using basting stitches. Or use clothing clips.
Related post: Basting stitch.
Problem: Messy fur
The fur usually looks alright and using a soft brush (a wide-tooth hair comb will do) you can bring the fur to its former glory however messy it looks. But if it is really looking horrible and matty, use a steam iron to bring the spring back.
Place the faux fur face down on a thick terry towel (cotton towel). Use the steam function in your iron (without touching the fabric) on the back of the faux fur. Now it will be pliable. You can use a comb to softly brush the fur.
I recommend wearing a face mask in the room where you cut fake fur.
Problem: Not low maintainance
When you wash and dry fake fur it loses its fluffiness – it does not go back to the same effect. You can choose to make garments and accessories which are not daily wear or that which are not in contact with body sweat.
Problem: Dealing with thick layers of fake fur in sewing
If you have many layers to sew together, sewing on your sewing machine may be a problem. Choose to sew with simple patterns which do not need too many layers being stitched together or even excessive seam lines like darts, tucks etc.
A steam iron can make the fabric soft – after steaming the fabric edges, you can finger press the seam allowances open to avoid bulk in cross seams.
Related post : Sewing many layers of fabric together.
Fibers getting caught in the seam
This is solved by just being mindful as you sew ; ie do not forgetting to remove the fibers that will be caught in the seam line. Comb them to the middle before making the fabric layers/basting them together.
Problem: Visible seam lines
This is the least of your problem when sewing with fake fur – after sewing simply comb the fur over the seam line; you will find that the seamlines get covered by the fur and becomes invisible
You can read more about sewing with fake fur in this post : Faux fur fabric