Tips for Sewing Pleather

Pleather samples
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Pleather is a "plastic leather" or synthetic leather. It is available in a variety of weights and forms. Some forms of Pleather have a suede-like surface.

Synthetic leather is much more economical than leather and easier to sew than leather. It is also available for larger projects where matching hides could present a problem when you require a large amount of matching the fabric.

Basting & Pinning Holes

  • Pins will leave holes so they must be avoided anywhere that would be visible and remember that holes can weaken the fabric even if it is in a seam allowance. Visit the stationary aisle at an office supply store or your local department store. Items such as paper clips, tape or weights used for fabric work nicely rather than trying to use pins and not have holes in the fabric.
  • Use glue stick where ever it won't be seen. Use as little as possible to prevent a sticky mess that could bleed through at seams to the visible side of the fabric.
  • If pinning is absolutely necessary, pin in seam allowances and remove the pins as you sew.

Skipped Stitches

  • Sew from the fabric (wrong side) whenever possible.
  • A roller foot, a Teflon foot, or transparent tape on the bottom of your regular sewing machine foot, on your sewing machine will also help allow the fabric to move properly. Experiment with different presser feet on scraps of the Pleather fabric.
  • A leather sewing machine needle may solve an issue with skipped stitches.
  • If you must sew on the right side, place tissue paper on top of the fabric to help the machine feed the fabric properly.

Pressing & Wrinkles

  • Do not use a high temp iron. Use a dry iron set on the synthetic setting and test the setting on scraps of fabric before your project. How to Select the Correct Temperature for Ironing Clothes
  • Use a press cloth, on the right and the wrong side of Pleather to prevent the iron from melting the fabric, sticking to the fabric or scorching the fabric. Once again, it is best to test your iron set up with scraps of the fabric to ensure good results and not ruin your project. Pressing Tools
  • Do not use a heavy hand. Work slowly and allow the heat to do the work, not the weight of the iron. Plowing through the fabric with the iron while the fabric is warm, will cause the fabric to become distorted and miss-shaped.
  • Use alternative pressing tools such as a clapper, a wallpaper seam roller or a Wooden Seam Pressing Bar to set creases and seams.


  • Not all pleather is washable. Read the bold end information or test a scrap, by measuring a square of the fabric and putting it through the washer and dryer. Once it is laundered, test the feel of the fabric and re-measure the square to test the amount of shrinkage.
  • If you are going to wash the item, preshrink the fabric using the same method you will use on the finished item.

First Time Sewing Pleather