Home generalSynthetic Leather Sewing: Basic Guide

Synthetic Leather Sewing: Basic Guide

  • Material and preparation
    • Sew on the synthetic leather
    • material selection
    • amount of material
  • Sewing artificial leather
    • Info suede imitation
    • The tucks

Today I may deal with an exciting topic: sewing artificial leather. Since this is a very wide range, I focus for now on soft textile leather, with which one can also sew clothing. Whether stretchy or not stretchy is secondary for the time being.

For the sake of clarity, I have decided to sew a garment with tucks to gradually show the material peculiarities in the processing of this material. In addition, of course, there is also a guide to sewing tucks included.

Material and preparation

Difficulty level 2/5
(with this guide even beginners can sew this type of artificial leather)

Material costs 1/5
(depending on fabric selection and project / quantity between 0, - Euro from the remaining utilization and 30, - Euro)

Time expenditure 1/5
(for the tench 30 to 60 minutes depending on the exercise)

Sew on the synthetic leather

Basically, a distinction is made between furniture and textile artificial leather . Together they have that they are made synthetically. The processing methods of the base materials are now so advanced that it is already very difficult to distinguish between real leather and the artificial variant in some types of leather. A big step against animal suffering.

Wash leather is textile leather that can be washed in the washing machine. This mainly means textile artificial leather for clothing and accessories.

The weight of artificial leather is only partially information about the thickness and elasticity. Basically, the heavier the leather, the thicker and less stretchy it is. In the case of the light leathers, however, this is again not universally valid, since there are also very thin artificial leather types, which however can not be stretched to a minimum.

Synthetic leather with up to about 300 gsm is usually ideal for clothing. In the range up to 600 gsm, it can be used to make accessories and bags that often require more or less strong reinforcement. From about 600 gsm, sturdy bags can be sewn without reinforcement.

Today I am concentrating on the lighter, soft artificial leather types for use in the textile sector, in the form of a project: I sew a gym shorts with knee inserts in the knee area.

material selection

The type of material depends very much on the particular project, as this type of fabric exists in fixed and stretchy variants. Ideally, the type of artificial leather will match the elasticity of the fabric that is otherwise used for the project or the type of fabric recommended in the pattern guide. I would like to sew a summer track pants with imitation leather for my son.

More specifically, I would like to reinforce the knees, as they always break very fast in children. Since this is a jersey project, the first choice would be very elastic synthetic leather. But I want a little more protection for heavily used areas, so I decided for this Cuddle Suede night blue suede imitation, a slightly stretchy synthetic leather in suede look.

amount of material

The amount of material and the pattern

I chose a pattern that fits well in size and shows wedge-shaped partitions at knee height. These wedges should then originate from suede imitation. For the jersey pants I need about 0.8 m cotton jersey for the size 110. For the wedges I need about 0.25 m of imitation leather, because the tucks will lose some of their length.

Sewing artificial leather

Info suede imitation

For my special textile leather, it is important to cut in the threadline, as it has a stroke direction as suede imitation (as well as velvet and other higher pile fabrics).

On the previous picture you can see on the left picture, on the left side once down, on the right side upwards. Usually, this is also the right threadline. The back is comparable to a woven fabric (see top right picture).

The tucks

I want to use the tucks at knee height so that my son's knees are better protected while playing. For this it is not necessary to sew these for the entire height of the wedge. If you want to do this for visual reasons anyway, that is also possible. But plan enough fabric height.

Tucks are basically just quilted fabric folds that are sewn together (as desired) at regular or irregular intervals, side by side . I begin with it about 6 cm from the lower edge of the fabric, because I do not want to provide the entire height with tucks. I will sew my tucks at a distance of 1.5 cm and have decided on 7 pleats .

For the first Biese I draw so a straight line on the right side of the fabric. In imitation suede, it is sufficient to bend the pile with a hard object (such as a ruler edge or similar).

With smooth synthetic leather you can use different water-soluble pens (PRYM 611807 Trick-Marker aqua blue water-soluble) and occasionally also chalk or crayon powder with pin (PRYM 610955 Kreiderad Stift).

Exactly on this line I now fold the artificial leather left to left (ie with the "beautiful" fabric side) to the outside.

TIP: Please pay attention to the care instructions for leatherette when buying! In my case, it is possible to iron the imitation leather under low heat under a cotton cloth to get the edge nicely even. (Fig 3) This is not possible with every type of leather.

I now steppe this fold tight-edged and sew it each beginning and end by repeatedly sewing back and forth. The distance to the edge should be about 3 mm and necessarily be the same for every pelmet, so that they are beautifully even! It is best to note a point on the presser foot or on the needle plate, where you can orient yourself with the edge of the fabric.

Afterwards I measure exactly 1.5 cm from the edge and mark again a line for the next hole .

TIP: Especially if it is not possible to iron the imitation leather or if it tends to slip, Wonderclips can provide a remedy! Please do not use pins! These can permanently leave holes in the artificial leather depending on the material!

So now I sew all seven tucks for both leg inserts .

Then I put a cotton cloth over it from the top (note the direction of the brush!) And make sure all tucks are pointing down ...

... and iron my tucks again in shape.

Now I put my wedge-cut parts on the tucks and cut with the usual seam allowance. So that I do not slip or bend me when assembling the trouser-cut parts, I now step down the embroidery direction within the seam allowances in the threadline.

Now I sew together the individual pieces and put the pants as usual ready.

And already the pants made of imitation leather are finished!

If you can not or do not want to adjust a cut, but you like the tucks so well, that's no problem either. There are enough finished patterns that already contain tucks. When creating your own, it is only important to calculate the additional fabric length for laying the tucks and then to cut them. This is not only true when sewing artificial leather, tucks can be made from many types of fabric.

Of course, the processing methods that I have described apply even if you do not sew any tucks. As an example, however, these seemed very useful to me, as many aspects of processing in a project can be described.

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