Learn How to Sew: Sewing Fur

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What You'll Need
Sharp razor blade or knife/scissors
Measuring tape
Marking pencils
Pattern tools
Large needle

Sewing fur is slightly different than sewing more common fabrics. While the end result is worth the effort, knowing how to handle this material is essential.

Safety Matters

Before you begin sewing fur, you will need a large enough area to set the fur down in order to cut it. You will also need tools that are very sharp, new if possible. The fur should be properly cleaned in order to be healthy to use in clothing or other projects.

Step 1 – Check the Fur

When using real fur, you need to check to make sure the fur will lie in the proper direction. Hold the fur up and look to see where the hair naturally falls. For example, if you want to make a vest, the fur would probably be flowing down, so you want to cut your pieces with this natural flow in mind. Take some time as well as to comb the fur and to make sure it is clean of any debris.

Step 2 – Make Your Marks

On the backside of the hide, you will make marking which follow the pattern for the item you want to make. Make these markings in dark enough ink so that you can easily see them. If the fur is dark, you might need to use chalk or something that will stand out.

Step 3 – How to Cut Fur for Sewing

Once you have created patterns for the fur pieces, you can begin to cut. Take the knife or the razor blade and move this sharp edge along the markings you created. Make sure to cut from behind, do not cut the fur itself. In fact, don’t pierce the skin enough to cut the fur.

Once you have cut as much as you can, then gently pull the piece of fur apart. This will allow you to keep the fur hairs in place.

Step 4 – Sewing Fur

Sewing fur begins and ends on the back of the fur pieces themselves, where they will be unnoticeable. Zigzags or straight stitches are what you use when sewing fur. You will want to place these stitches in by hand whenever possible because sewing machines can damage the material. Short-haired furs will need the lightest stitches as possible or they will show on the other side.

Take time to look at your stitches after you put them in place to see if they show on the other side. Or, you could plan to have your stitches fall underneath a patch of long hair, hiding them completely. Just as in any sewing project, pin the pieces to each other when necessary as well as to the patterns to remind yourself which piece will be located in different spots.

When the fur has been properly prepared, the stitches will say in place without trouble. Make sure the hide is completely prepared for sewing before you begin.

Use your new found knowledge to make your own winter coat. Or, you can add a fashion statement to any piece in your wardrobe.

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