Faux fur is used to make fuzzy costumes, pillows, blankets, and more. While it's a fun and cuddly material, it can be somewhat difficult to work with for sewing projects. Proper cutting of the material, especially for long faux fur, is essential to maintain fur around the seams. And sewing must be done in a way that the seams don't show. It's helpful to have intermediate sewing skills when working with faux fur. Expect to spend at least 20 minutes preparing your fabric, depending on the size of your sewing project.
Always clean your sewing machine after you've worked with faux fur. The fur can shed an extraordinary amount of lint, which must be removed from the machine to avoid damaging its inner workings and maintain your stitch quality.
Equipment / Tools
- Cutting mat
- Sharp craft razor or scissors with a sharp tip
- Marking pencils
- Pattern weights (metal washers work well)
- Wide-tooth comb
- Sewing machine
- Faux fur
- Matching thread
Lay Out the Faux Fur
Look at the right side of the faux fur fabric first, and notice in which direction the fur naturally falls. For example, if you were creating a bear costume, you'd want the direction of the fur to fall toward the feet. The costume wouldn't look its best if you cut all of your pattern pieces with the fur heading in the wrong direction. So be sure to lay all of your pattern pieces in the same direction.
Mark the Faux Fur
Cut out your pattern pieces by removing the excess paper from around the cutting lines. Due to the thickness of fur, pattern weights can be helpful to hold your pieces in place. Pins tend to get buried and distort the paper, which in turn would distort your cuts.
Lay the pattern pieces on the wrong side (or back side) of the fur. Use a marking pencil to mark the cutting lines on the fabric back. To cut the fur, you'll be working with a single layer at a time. So if a pattern piece says to cut two, mark the cutting lines twice on the fabric, rather than folding the fabric to cut two pieces at once.
Cut the Backing With a Craft Razor or Scissors
Using a craft razor or sharp scissors, carefully cut just the backing of the faux fur. Don't go deep enough to cut the fur itself. When using scissors, you must only make small clips at a time to be sure you aren't cutting the fur.
Pull Apart the Fur Fibers and Comb the Fur
Once you have the backing of the faux fur material cut, gently tug apart the fur fibers. This will leave the strands of fur intact. Gently comb the fur on the edges of the pieces toward the center.
Sew the Fur
Stitch the pieces together as your pattern instructs. Seams may be joined with a zigzag stitch or a straight stitch. Due to the nature of long faux fur, the openings in a zigzagged seam won't show. Short faux fur might not be as forgiving, so you should test your stitch on scraps before starting to sew your project material.
Comb the Sewn Seam
On the right side of the fabric, gently comb any fur strands that have gotten caught in the seam. Once you have combed the seam, trim away excess bulk from the seam allowance. But always leave enough seam allowance, so you don't disrupt the hair that is filling the seam.
Take the time to repeat the combing procedure with each sewn seam. It is much harder to comb a junction of four seams than it is to do it at each step.