Thursday, October 3, 2013

problems with pleather...

 ...kinda like trouble with tribbles.
image from
But seriously, my last purse project involved a little bit of a learning curve with working with pleather. I thought I would share some of my findings in that they might be helpful for you.

1.) The top thread kept breaking as I was sewing along. My first thought was to change the thread. I was using a brand I don't usually use in my sewing machine, and I know she can be fussy about thread brands. BUT after I switched to gutermann thread it was still breaking. So I loosened up the thread tension on the machine and that helped some. I also decided the switch to a larger needle.

2.) When top-stitching, the pleather would stick to the foot and not move along. Big gobs of thread, so frustrating! I had read that you can reduce the friction by sandwiching tissue paper between the pleather and the sewing foot, and also between the pleather and the feed dogs. It was amazing the immediate difference the tissue paper made! I'd read that this trick works with slippery fabrics, too, but this was the first time I'd tried this trick. One tip I'd add is to use a thicker tissue paper is possible, as it tore away from the stitching cleaner. (With some of my cheaper tissue I had to pull all these little specks out form the stitching with tweezers... no fun!) One downside is that it made it harder to see the material to sew my top-stitching perfectly straight and lined up. But slightly less straight top-stitching is better than no top-stitching at all!

3.) And I didn't come to this conclusion until after I'd finished my project, but next time I'll use a longer stitch length.  I normally just toot right along at the 2 setting on my machine for most sewing needs. I noticed some of the plastic coating on the pleather was "flecking" off in between the stitching so that tiny spots of the fabric underside showed through. It's quite tiny, and probably I'm the only one who'll notice so I'm not going to remake the whole thing... but I suspect a longer stitch length would minimize that "flecking." 

4.) Speaking of stitching, don't forget to sew carefully, because unpicking wrong seams will still leave visible little holes in the pleather! 

I certainly learned a lot about working with this material. I hope this was helpful, so that when you pick up a pleather project your learning curve isn't quite so steep!

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