Not all sewing fabric is created equal. While that statement might instantly make you think of durability, what you may not consider is the difficulty. If you are new to the sewing world, take a moment to learn about some of the most difficult fabrics and how to successfully add them to your project roster.
4 Most Challenging Sewing Fabrics
1. Leather Pieces
Leather isn’t technically fabric, but that doesn’t make it any less of a sewing challenge. Make projects with the animal hide easier by utilizing the “walking foot” feature on your sewing machine. This feature uses a second set of toothed “feet” that move the fabric forward from your presser foot. The top layer of leather subsequently runs through the machine at the same speed as the lower layer. Also, remember to use a “leather" needle and use a slightly longer stitch to avoid skipped stitches.
2. Slippery Fabrics
Slippery fabrics, such as satin, do what their name implies when you’re using a sewing machine—they slip. Avoid damaging snags that ruin the fabric’s appearance by placing the material between two pieces of tissue paper. This gives the machine something to hold onto so the fabric doesn’t “run away” from you. Tape the tissue paper to your table for additional stability, and try using fabric stabilizer or starch spray for slip-resistant material stiffness.
3. Sheer Fabrics
Organza, chiffon, and other sheer fabrics easily rip and fray without proper sewing machine handling. Use the tissue paper trick to provide sheer fabrics with extra support. Also, work with a sharp needle at all times to make precise holes instead of dull tears that create ragged spots in the fabric.
4. Furry Fabrics
Furry fabrics tend to tangle in your sewing machine, especially if the fibers are long. Use a hairbrush to brush the fibers in the same direction before you begin, as the fur should be aligned with your stitches. Make gripping this fabric easier by creating long stitches with coarse thread. Additionally, cut fur and other thick fabrics one layer at a time for better handling.
Get the practice you need with all of your favorite fabrics at The Sewing Center in Kalispell, MT. Proudly serving the area for 30 years, sewing lessons, machine repairs, scissor sharpening, and sewing accessories are among the many services and products you’ll find here. Call (406) 752-7058 to speak with a friendly representative, or review the class schedule online.