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What is your experience with faux leather?
I am coveting )faux) leather garments but I have zero experience with the material.
signemarie
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Date: 9/26/13 4:17 AM

So, leather clothing is big right now where I live. Apart from the classic jackets, I see many skirts and pants/leggings that I like. Much to my surprise, they sell for almost the same as real leather garments. Which is way more than I am comfortable paying.

So, I am planning to sew myself some leggings and a skirt for fall. I have a pattern block for the leggins and will make the skirt a 3/4 circle in two pieces with pockets and waistband.

This is where I need to pick your brains.

-Is there any way to determine the stretch percentage from the material tag alone?

-Does anyone know the difference between faux leathers made from from polyurethane/polyester and PVC/polyester? How do you determine whether it'suitable or not?

- I suppose they are not breathable at all. Does it sound crazy to sew up a pair of leggings in this material. Or is there such a thing as sort-of-breathable stretch leather?

- How do I sew this stuff? Do I need a special leather foot for this material or will a walking foot and leather needle be fine? What kind of thread do I use?

If you have any other tips on sewing faux leather I'm all ears!

PattyGee
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Date: 9/27/13 0:32 AM

I have sewn with poly urethane ultra leather about $60/yard. It is easy to sew and I used regular metrosene thread (polyster) but I used a microtex or sharp needle, not a leather needle and a teflon foot. It has stretch on the crosswise grain and a little on the lengthwise grain. You may need to use a leader to start the seam. There is a backing on the ultraleather that is a type of tricot??

I have used PVC leather, tricot type backing. It is a lower grade and less expensive faux leather then the ultraleather but it might be a better way to go then the ultra leather for trendy clothes. Neither of them are breathable. I think Vogue fabrics carry the ultraleather. Good luck with whatever you decide.
-- Edited on 9/27/13 0:35 AM --

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madrejesica
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Date: 9/27/13 9:27 AM

Patty, Bingo on the microtechnology needle. I'm taking sewing classes at the sewing center in Maitland Florida. The instructor is helping a student making a faux leather garment. Microtechnology needle, walking foot or Teflon foot was recommended.

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Rubyla
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Date: 9/27/13 10:53 AM

Thanks for the posts on faux leather. I was thinking about working with it. I just checked the Ultrafabric website. It appears that Ultrafabric Ultraleather is not breathable but they have a faux leather product called Brisa which is supposed to be breathable. I have never tried it but I found it for sale at Onlinefabricstore.net. I have not ordered from them either.

nancy2001
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Date: 9/28/13 2:14 PM

Your best bet for leather for clothing is a new home sewing fabric called Perfecto fused leather or bonded leather. It's made of ground up cowhide that's pressed into a 1/32" thickness and then covered with a light layer of polyurethane and backed with a thin knit. This 54" wide fabric is extremely realistic and relatively inexpensive, selling for between $15 and $22 per yard from vendors like fabric.com and emmaonesock.com here in the US. There is a small amount of stretch on the knit's cross grain and considerable amount of stretch on the bias. Because the leather is covered with a layer of polyurethane, the fabric is not breathable.

I'm now sewing a jacket for the Mini Wardrobe contest that's ending in a couple of days, and my jacket is trimmed with quite a bit of fused leather. I'll post a photo later today or tomorrow. You can use a regular needle to sew bonded leather, and don't need a walking foot unless you plan to topstitch it. Regular polyester thread is fine.

Note that I have used quite a bit of very expensive genuine Ultra Suede and Ultra Leather fabrics ($50/yd and up) in my jacket and handbag sewing. I believe the new bonded leather fabrics are a great alternative for many projects due to their realistic appearance and reasonable price. I believe bonded leather will become increasingly popular for garment sewing as more and more people learn about it.

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mgmsrk1
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In reply to signemarie <<


Date: 9/28/13 7:30 PM

Quote: signemarie
Does it sound crazy to sew up a pair of leggings in this material. this material or will a walking foot and leather needle be fine? What kind of thread do I use?




Yes, to me making leggings out of what is basically a thick plastic is crazy. Wrap your lower half in garbage bags for the day and see how it feels. You may have a different tolerance to it, I don't even wear shoes that are not leather or breathable material like canvas.

Teflon foot, walking foot or roller foot would be what I would use depending on the thickness and grip of the fabric.

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signemarie
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Date: 9/29/13 2:43 AM

Thank you for your replies. The reason I want to make leggings/pants is I found a pair that I love, but they are way to expensive for my budget. They were faux. And comfortable. So I thought, maybe they invented new kinds of faux, who knows? It seems that most european boutique brands are selling faux leather leggings this season, so it can't be that crazy. Or could theirs be that much different? I don't think so...?

The fabric I'm looking at is not thick at all. It feels like 60 denier nylon stockings in thickness, but of course, isn't knitted, so not breathable...

The leggings would be a cold-weather thing. I live in a cold place, sweat is not really a problem in the winter. Maybe I would want to make the top part from viscose jersey and just the legs from leather... Hm..

Again, thank you for chiming in, I am so happy I found this forum to ask for help. If you have more tips on faux leather, let me know!
-- Edited on 9/29/13 2:46 AM --

Kwaaked
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Date: 9/29/13 6:12 AM

Bear in mind, some people hate poly, some don't. I personally wear poly in 100 F temps and it never bothers me.

As to sewing, I've made a lot of PVC garments. It does hold pin marks, and everything else, so I baste in the seam allowance to hold it then sew, because you really only get one pass at it. And I will say, PVC can be hot to most people, and there are types that are more uncomfortable then others (in my experience, the cheaper stuff is hotter). I've seen bodysuits that the people about died in it, and I made a ball gown out of it that was fine for me to wear (although it was hotter then a cotton gown, but 15 yards of anything is hot).

I have both a teflon foot and a roller foot. Depending on the fabric, and a test, as to which one I'll use.

I personally think the thing to look for with faux leather is to find a good quality that doesn't flake if folded, stretching doesn't make hairline cracks in the top and it looks and feels as close to leather as you can find.

As to the crazy...real leather pants (and chaps) are crazy hot and uncomfortable to me. I can't buy into leather for summer, and I have in my wild and youthful days owned a pair of PVC jeans that were fine for the winter. The one thing that I remember about them was the back yoke and waistband was done with a ponte knit to make them getting on and off easier since they didn't have a lot of ease to them. The also had two gores in the hips to allow for stretch and ease of wear, which might be something to think about.

Lena Merrin
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Date: 9/29/13 7:38 PM

I've just sewna a pair of skinny pleather pants and I absolutely love them. It was my first pleather sewing experience and there were adjustments to be made to the way I sew. My pleather was a viscose covered with polyurethane and it has a good stretch. I tried a teflon foot and it was still dragging, so I sprayed the pleather with a spray starch and it worked like a charm (with a normal foot). My pleather was forgiving, so re-stitching was possible, interfacing and even some backtacking. And the pants look HAWT! :)

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signemarie
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Date: 11/22/13 7:29 AM

Just wanted to say thanks again for all the helpful advice.

I can report from the other side that a piece of tape (the matte kind that photocopies invisible) under a regular foot is a good alternative to a teflon foot.

I did sew a pair of leggings and the sewing went well. Not too sure about the pattern+fabric pairing, I think stretch faux leather is better suited towards 4-pattern-piece leggings and not the 2-piece pattern I used.

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