Faux fur is one of those daunting fabrics because it’s so different from the standard cotton fabrics we tend to sew with. But it is ideal for certain projects like toy making, warm winter clothing and accessories like scarves and hats, bags, cushions, snuggly throws and more.
Below we have a few tips to help you get to grips with sewing with fur so you can impress by adding it into your projects. The fur fabrics featured in the images were from Abakhan Fabrics, who sell them both in store and online. Shop their range of faux fur fabrics here.
Brush the fur first
Fur sheds an awful lot! Before starting brush off as many loose fibres as possible. You can use a comb, or even just your hand. Or take it outside and give it a really good shake.
Find the nap/pile
The fur fibres have a right and wrong direction, you need to make sure they are lying the correct way. If they are correct, they will lie smoother and the colour will look uniform, the wrong way and the fibres will stick up and be ‘tufty’. You may want to mark the direction of the nap with an arrow on the back of your fabric to ensure your cut yours pieces with the nap in the same direction. Sew in the direction of the nap.
Read more about fabric nap here.
Cut the backing not the fur
When cutting out your fabric you want to aim to only cut the back fabric, not the fur pile itself. This will enable the fur to pretty much hide your seam. Take it slowly, make small snips and make sure your scissors are sharp. 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.
Choose a simple pattern
You won’t be able to easily do pleats, gathers or tucks because faux fur is so thick so make sure your pattern is a fairly simple shape without too many seam lines. Trace the pattern onto the back of the fabric, not the front.
Clip instead of pinning
You will probably find it easier to use Wonder Clips to hold the seams together rather than pins as these can distort the fabric and with thick layers you would need longer pins. As you clip your seams try to ensure the fur is lying in the direction of the nap, smooth it down with your fingers if necessary. You will also find it easier using pattern weights when cutting your pattern pieces, rather than pins.
Use a large stitch
You need to use a larger than normal stitch when sewing fur, try a 3 or 4. Test it on a small piece first. If you find you are having trouble getting it through the machine switch to your walking foot and try it again. Needle wise a size 90/14 is ideal, otherwise just make sure you have a new (nice and sharp) needle in.
Sewing the seams
The seams on faux fur makes tend to be very bulky, trim it back after stitching to reduce bulk. You could also try using no seam allowance, and using a wide zig zag stitch to attach the 2 pieces. The fur will cover any gaps left by the zig zag stitch.
After sewing a seam use a comb to gently comb out any fur fibres that got caught in the seam. If you don’t have a comb you could use your fingers. Do this for each seam as you go rather than leaving it until the end.
Clean your machine and sewing area after
The fur can shed whilst you are handling it so make sure you give both your machine and sewing area a good clean (or hoover) when you have finished your project.
Free Faux Fur Projects
Here’s some links to lots of free faux fur projects to get you started.
Faux fur cushions: https://liagriffith.com/faux-fur-pillows/
Faux fur scarf and gloves: https://sew4home.com/projects/fabric-art-accents/pull-through-scarf-faux-fur-matching-cuffed-gloves
50 Faux fur sewing projects https://so-sew-easy.com/fur-sewing-projects/
15 free faux fur projects https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/faux-fur-diy-projects-4151953
Image credits Abakhan Fabrics and Fiona Pullen