Top 10 Tips for Sewing with Faux Leather

faux leather

Are you afraid to sew with faux leather? It can definitely be intimidating to sew with a new material at first, but I think you'll be surprised how easy quality faux leather is to sew! 

We recently released our first collection of FAUX LeatherThis vegan material is a great alternative to leather or cork fabric due to its price point. It's a great way to get the look of luxury for less. 

Sallie Tomato Faux Leather is soft, pliable, and comes in three textures: Weave, Pebble, and Legacy. Choose from over rich 20 colors and textures. We think you'll fall in love with how nice it sews, and how great it looks on a finished project!

Today I want to share my Top 10 Tips for Sewing with Faux Leather, plus some BONUS information about this amazing fabric! Many of the tips came from our customers' frequently asked questions. After reading these tips, if you can't find the answer you're looking for, feel free to contact us anytime! 

TIPS FOR HOW TO SEW FAUX LEATHER

  1. There are a variety of weights and textures of faux leather depending on the manufacturing process and the backing fabric. You may notice that some faux leather has more stretch than others. You’ll have to keep that in mind and consider the end results of your fabric.
  2. If you feel the need to iron out any wrinkles, set your iron to a LOW or SYNTHETIC heat setting. Make sure to always iron from WRONG SIDE of the fabric, and use a press cloth. Do not use any steam – it will detach the bond.
  3. Cut one layer at a time. This will help prevent your scissors or rotary cutter from becoming dull. It's also much easier to cut one layer at a time.
  4. If you’re finding that your fabric is sticking to your foot, you have a few options. First, you can change your presser foot to either a Teflon foot or a roller foot. If you don't have a Teflon or roller foot, add a small piece of matte tape to the bottom of your presser foot. Otherwise, you can add a layer of tissue paper between your foot and your fabric while you sew to prevent sticking. The tissue paper can be torn away after sewing.
  5. Use a Denim Needle, size 90/14 or 80/12 to sew through faux leather!
  6. Use Sewing Clips instead of pins! Faux leather does not self heal, so pins will leave permanent holes.
  7. Polyester thread works best with faux leather because it's very strong compared to cotton thread. Some great brands are Sulky Poly Deco and Superior Sew Fine. 
  8. Use a longer stitch length, such as 3mm or 3.5mm. The shorter the stitch length, means here will be more holes in your fabric and it can weaken the seam. 
  9. Best practice is to leave a long thread tail and hand tie the end of each seam, instead of back stitching. You can back stitch faux leather, but hand tying looks much more professional. 
  10. You can leave faux leather raw edge! Faux leather doesn't fray so it's a great option for bag straps, applique, and unique accents on projects. If you don't like the "raw" edge look, use a marker or a leather edge paint to coat the raw edge for a more finished look. 
  11. BONUS TIP! Not all faux leathers are the same. Most importantly, it's helpful to understand the difference between faux leather and vinyl when shopping for fabric. There are two major types of faux leather - vinyl-based and polyurethane-based. Our faux leather is polyurethane-based. Vinyl-based is basically dyed plastic. Examples are marine vinyl and clear vinyl (which are very stiff). Polyurethane-based is made by coating natural fabrics like cotton or polyester, then treating it to look like real leather. This type of faux leather is more soft, flexible, and breathable than vinyl-based leather.

TEN REASONS TO SEW WITH FAUX LEATHER

  1. Easy to Cut & Sew — You don’t need any special tools or equipment to sew with faux leather like you would with genuine leather.
  2. Easy to Maintain & Clean — Simply wipe clean with soap and water periodically. 
  3. Economical — Faux leather has as significantly lower price point than cork fabric or genuine leather. Get the look of luxury for less!
  4. Water Resistant — Keep your items dry in bad weather!
  5. Long Lasting & Durable — Use faux leather in places that will have a lot of use such as handles, straps, and the bottom of bags. By doing so, you will prolong the life of your project!
  6. Doesn't Crack —  It's not prone to crack or peel like genuine leather.
  7. UV Fade Resistant — Genuine leather will fade from the sunlight over time.
  8. Soft & Unique — Sallie Tomato faux leather is amazingly similar to the look and feel of real leather! It’s soft, smooth, and pliable. 
  9. Vegan — Faux leather is also referred to as vegan leather. No animal hide found here!
  10. Use for a Variety of Projects — Make handmade bags, wallets, accents on clothing, craft projects, applique, embroidery, shoes, or upholstery. 

Thanks for reading! Remember, if you have more questions feel free to contact us anytime! 

If you're ready to try Faux Leather, click here!


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