Sewing Faux fur is different from the normal fabrics we sew with. It is great for certain projects like toy making, warm winter clothing and accessories like scarves and hats, bags, cushions, snuggly throws and more.
What is Faux Fur?
- Faux fur is also known as fake fur, synthetic fur or man-made fur.
- It is difficult to tell the difference between fake fur or real fur. Real fur is backed by animal skin, the back of the fur feels and looks leathery. An example would be sheepskin which used to be popular as throws. A faux fur has a synthetic knitted back, it feels nothing like the back of a real fur.
What kind of pattern should I use?
- Pleats, gathers or tucks are impossible to do because faux fur is so thick.
- Make sure your pattern is a fairly simple shape without too many seam lines.
- Use pattern weights to hold the pattern pieces on the back of the fur.
- Trace the pattern onto the back of the fabric, not the front.
How do I lay my pattern out?
- Fur fabric has a right and wrong direction this is a nap or pile.
- The nap of the fur is the direction on which the pile falls giving a distinctive look.
- Make sure the pile is lying the correct way. If correct, the fur pieces will lie smoother and the colour will look uniform, the wrong way and the fibres will stick up and be ‘sticky’.
- Mark the direction of the nap with an arrow on the rear of your fabric. This helps when you have to cut and join pieces together.
- Sew in the direction of the nap. The hairs can catch more light giving the fur a softer texture.
How to cut faux fur?
- Only cut the back of the fabric, not the fur pile itself. This will enable the fur to hide your seam.
- Cut one layer of fabric at a time, with the wrong side facing up.
- Make small snips with the front tip of the scissors.
- A single layout means you need to duplicate any pattern pieces that would normally be placed along the fold. Cut other pieces out as mirror images so you end up with a left and right piece.
- After you’ve finished cutting pull on the edges to remove any loose bits of fur or take them outside and shake them to remove the loose fur.
Can I pin faux fur pieces together?
- Use long pins which are popular for quilting as this holds thick layers it together nicely.
- Hold the layers together with Wonder Clips or pins.
- Make sure the nap is the right way as you pin/or clip.
- Tack the layers together if they are too thick for pins or clips.
Top Tip – Label the pieces as you cut, include the direction of the nap.
How to sew faux fur.
- Use a walking foot if you have one. Sew with the Nap of the fur.
- Adjust the feed dogs on your sewing machine to accommodate the thick layers.
- Put a thick needle into your sewing machine 90/14. Do a trial sew on some scraps to check your settings are correct.
- Sew with stitch length (stitch length 3.5).
- Trim bulky seams down, seam allowance approx 1/4″. Reduce patterns seam allowance to make sewing easier.
- No overlocking needed as fur does not unravel.
- Fake fur is not warm, use a lining if making a Winter coat or jacket.
- Hooks and Eyes are good to use for closures if the coat is not wrap and tie.
- Lightly brush the fur once sewn to cover the sewing line. This takes out the excess loose fur as you brush.
Cleaning Faux Fur.
- Check if your fur can be machine washed. Use a cool, non-spin, low agitate, cycle like one for delicates.
- Dry clean fur that cannot be machine washed.
- Use a small amount of gentle washing detergent designed for hand-washing and a bit of fabric softener to help keep the fur soft.
- Once washed, roll the fur in a clean towel to remove excess water.
- Shake the fur and hang up to air dry.
- Brush lightly to restore fur order when dry.
- Handwash – Soak fur in a solution of cool water and mild wool detergent to remove stains.
- Rinse thoroughly in clean cool water if hand washing.
How best to store your Faux fur coats.
- Store your fur in a cloth bag, not a plastic bag.
- Keep it in a dark location like a cupboard.
- Do not squash it into a small space.
- Keep fur stored in a cool dry temperature, not a warm humid one.
Internet inspiration for Faux Fur.
Oversized Faux Fur COAT Tutorial by See KateSew.
Stitching Sewcial has two great blogs on all things faux fur.
From Shannon fabrics – top tips for sewing with fur by Kenneth. D. King.
- Cosplayer has a great blog on sewing fur, great for those who do role play parts in history.