Machine embroidery on faux fur
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Faux fur is a popular material for many designer jackets and coats, throws, and more. It looks just like the real thing, but costs significantly less due to its man-made origins. And guess what? You can actually personalize faux fur clothing and accessories using your embroidery machine. And….machine embroidery on faux fur is easy. But before you make the leap, it’s important to take a few precautions.
Products mentioned in this post
What is faux fur?
Faux fur is a man-made material that looks like the real thing. The word “faux” means false in French, which indicates its resemblance to animal fur (the suffix “-fur” refers specifically to fur).
Faux fur is made by spinning polyester or acrylic fibers to create a thick pile and a smooth backing to prevent it from shedding or catching onto other fabrics.
What’s the difference between real and faux fur?
The main difference between real and faux fur is in how they feel, look and how they are made.
Real fur is literally the skin of animals. In fact, many species are hunted specifically for their pelts. And the desirability of an animal’s fur is a big contributing factor as to why certain species are currently endangered.
Faux fur is completely man-made. Synthetic fibers that mimic animal hair or wool are used to create fabrics like mink or shearling.
What does faux fur look like?
Faux fur looks just like the real thing, but it’s much fluffier and softer. It usually has a curved edge to mimic the flow of natural animal hair. Faux fur comes in a variety of natural and unnatural colors. They can be solid or have patterns such as stripes, spots, florals, etc. It’s also common for faux furs to come in different shades like cream, white, charcoal gray (for black animals), brown…etc!
Why machine embroidery on faux fur?
You can add embroidery to a garment or accessory made from faux fur for many reasons. It’s a great way to add some flair, texture, and dimension.
With its exaggerated texture, faux fur can have a very lux appearance which makes it perfect for FANCY gifts. Adding a name or monogram to a faux fur item is the perfect personalized touch. You can buy a variety of faux fur blanks suitable for machine embroider, or you can construct your own faux fur items from faux fur fabric.
Faux fur throw pillows
Faux fur throw pillows are a popular way to add some cozy decoration. Adding a bold name or a monogram to the pillow is a great way to personalize it for someone! My recommendation is to buy faux fur pillow covers to machine embroider and then put the pillow form inside when you are done.
Faux fur jackets and vests
Some retailers are now creating full faux fur items like jackets or vests for fall fashion. Adding a monogram to these garments make them even more special. A monogrammed faux fur vest is also a perfect gift.
Faux fur slides
A common bridesmaid gift is personalized faux fur slides because the girls can pad around in them while they are getting their makeup done. You can make this cozy footwear even more special by adding a name or a monogram.
Personalized Christmas stockings
This may seem like an odd item to mention, however, Christmas stockings often have faux fur trim right where someone would want to embroider a name. Personalizing Christmas stockings with your embroidery machine is not an impossible task despite the fact that the area you need to access on your embroidery machine is quite tight.
Faux fur blankets and loveys
Because faux fur is so soft, you often see it used in throws and loveys. What’s a lovey you might ask? It’s like a mini blanket for a baby to roll around on and eventually cuddle up with as the baby grows up. A personalized lovey made of faux fur is perfect baby gift.
Can you really machine embroider faux fur?
Yes, absolutely! It’s just like any other material except that it can be a bit more temperamental because of its furry nature. The main thing is to make sure that the faux fur will not obscure your embroidery. We’ll discuss that more later…
How to machine embroider on faux fur
Consider a knock down stitch
Faux fur is a very nappy material and it can be hard to get the design to stand out among all those long fibers. Using a knock-down stitch (an area of lower density stitching intended to surround your primary design) will help you tamp down the fibers around your design.
You will either need to purchase a knock down stitch shape, or create it yourself using machine embroidery software. SewWhat-Pro and Embrilliance Essentials both offer this capability as well as some of the free embroidery software available.
Float – don’t hoop!
Faux fur is thick. Therefore, hooping it is nearly impossible. Hoop your stabilizer, spray it with temporary adhesive and stick the faux fur on top. Alternatively, you can use adhesive backed tear away stabilizer. You may also want to incorporate a piece of cutaway stabilizer as well if the faux fur is not very stiff. Or, you can just float the item on the cut away stabilizer instead of tear away. If the faux fur felt very porous and flexible, I would definitely go with cut away as opposed to tear away stabilizer.
Embroider just the faux fur
Let’s face it. The back of machine embroidery is not always pretty. It can also be a bit scratchy which should be a consideration if you are embroidering baby or toddler clothing or accessories. So, if you are machine embroidering on a faux fur item that is comprised of a couple of layers of material, you will have much nicer results if you take the item apart and just embroider the top layer.
In the example, below, you can see how my friend Ellie (www.gracefullystichedstl.com) took apart this faux fur lovey to apply the embroider to the top layer only. Once she was done embroidering, she hand stitched the lovey back together.
Choose the right typeface
If you have the luxury of owning a variety of typefaces, choose wisely before embroidering a name or monogram on the faux fur. Thin letters will get lost in the nap of the fabric. So select ones that have thick strokes. Check out some of my favorite monogram and script fonts, and even some FREE machine embroidery fonts!!!
Use a water soluble topper
Using a water soluble topper is essential when machine embroidering with faux fur. It keeps the fur from popping through the stitching. And the excess easily tears and washes away.
Carefully trim around your embroidered area.
If you find that your embroidery is still hard to see through the faux fur fibers, considering subtle trimming back some of the fur around the embroidery area.
Ready to embroider some faux fur?
It can be difficult to find a way to create personalized gifts that looks expensive but are actually not. Embroidering on faux fur is one option that can help you accomplish this goal by giving garments, accessories, or even blankets an elegant look with just a little bit of effort.
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