Sewing with fur is a challenge, because the hairs can get trapped in a regular sewing machine. A regular sewing machine also has difficulty sewing through the skin.The tight stitches that regular sewing machines typically use can break or damage the hairs on the fur. The best way to sew fur is to use a sewing machine specifically designed for furs. This will let you sew through the fur without damaging the hairs. Always go slowly when working with fur so that you do not damage the piece. Use a lining along with the fur so that you do not damage the fur with sweat and to add an insulating layer between the rough back of the fur and your body.
- Fabric for lining
- Iron and ironing board
- Real fur
- Fur sewing machine
- Leather needle
- Sewing awl
Fold the edge of the lining piece over ½ inch and iron the fold down using a warm iron. Place the wrong side of the fabric and the wrong side of the fur pieces together. Pin the fabric to the fur where you want to place the lining. Try not to make visible holes in the skin backing.
Sew the lining to the fur using a ½ inch seam allowance. Use the fur sewing machine to prevent damage to the mink fur. If you use a regular sewing machine, use a leather needle and stitch slowly to prevent damage and to prevent the thread from tangling. Use a sewing awl to move the fur out of the way as you sew.
Place the right sides of the fur piece together if you want to sew the ends together to make a muff or other enclosed shape. Sew the fur together with another ½ inch seam allowance.
Turn the fur right side out. Adjust any areas where the seam is visible by brushing the fur over the seam to hide it from view.
- Fur sewing machines can be expensive. Alternatively, you can use a sewing machine designed for use with thicker fabrics, such as a leather sewing machine, and produce similar results.
- You don't have to purchase new furs to sew. You can re-purpose vintage garments and coats to bring new life to old fur. Many second hand stores and thrift stores often carry old furs from bygone eras. If the original garment is in bad shape, you can purchase the garment for a steal.