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Tips for working with faux fur

Tips for sewing with faux fur:

  • Use 1/2" - 1" seam allowances.
  • Increase stitch length to 3.0 - 3.5mm.  Sew slowly to avoid skipped stitches and machine jamming.
  • Use heavy duty needles - depending on the fur backing 100/16, 110/18, or 120/19 would be recommended.
  • Wear eye protection while sewing.
  • If using no seam allowance, you can sew using a wide zig zag stitch on the edge of the fabric.  When opened, the seam is secure, minimal, and almost invisible on the face of the fur fabric. *This seam technique is great for most fur-to-fur projects; however, please note that using zero seam allowance will require pattern modifications to reduce the suggested seam allowance of most patterns. 
  • You can use pins or clips (such as wonder clips) on the faux fur.  If using pins, quilting pins are suggested because they are longer and are easier to maneuver with faux fur.
  • With right sides together, tuck the fibers of the fur into the seam by pushing it between the layers while clipping or pinning for a more professional finish.
  • Start by pinning or clipping the two ends and then work your way to the middle making sure to tuck the fur in away from the edge as you go.
  • You can use a walking foot if you have a hard time getting the faux fur to go under the foot of your machine.  This is especially helpful for thick faux fur such as the 2" luxury shag fur, although it is not necessary for success. 

Tips for cutting faux fur:

  • Trim selvage edge - this is the imperfect edge on the sides of the fur that is leftover from manufacturing. You will want to cut slightly past the dotted line on both the left and right edges of the fabric.
  • Find the nap of the fur - nap is the direction of the fur.  It is helpful to mark an arrow on the back of the fur fabric to indicate nap direction in order to eliminate directional confusion when cutting out a pattern.
  • Lay the fur on your cutting surface (or the floor) wrong side up and make sure the nap of the fur is going the same direction and is smooth and flat. You can slide a yardstick or ruler under the fabric to get the fibers of the fur all going the same direction.
  • Use a black marker to trace or draw your pattern pieces on the backing of the fur.
  • Cut using small snips being careful to only cut the backing. You don't want to cut the fibers of the fur as this results in chopping off the fur leaving missing chunks.
  • Once you've cut the fur, you'll want to go around the edges to pull out the loose fibers so that the fur doesn't shed as much.  Don't pull too hard- you don't want to pull out the fibers if they are not already loose!  Alternatively, you can take the piece outdoors to shake it out - you can also do this into a bag or over a trash can.