One issue that comes up with making things from quilted leathers or faux leathers is that they typically can’t be thrown into the washing machine with little care. This creates a problem when you’re constructing fashionable diaper bags with leather that REALLY need to be washed.
A possible solution that I’ve found is called Kraft-Tex, produced by C&T Publishing.
I have always had a love for branching out and trying new things! I really love quilting adn sewing with leather and other leather-type prodcuts to see what kind of finish they will have. I think products made with a combination of high quality quilting cotton and leathers and faux leathers have such a great impact as finished products. Below are samples of some purses that I made with Kraft-Tex.
Tula Pink Plume and Parisville patchwork purse with Stone Kraft-Tex
Alison Glass Ex Libris purse with Natural Kraft-Tex
Kraft-Tex used to be available in just “Natural”, which mimics the color of veg-tanned leather. C&T publishing now offers multiple color options, including “stone”, which is pictured above.
So you might be thinking right now…hmmm…I wonder if Joanna is getting anything from C&T Publishing for featuring their products on her blog. NOPE! I just really like this product, and I know I was a little intimidated about first working with Kraft-Tex. But YOU shouldn’t be! I have some great tips for you if you’ve never worked with this stuff before to make your life a little easier.
Once you sew a hole in this, it’s there forever (think oil cloth). Use a smaller needle, and space your stitches a little further away from each other to prevent unsightly stitches.
Kraft-Tex is easier to work with if you pre-wash it. It isn’t necessary, but I really like the look and feel of it after I’ve washed it. And I wash and dry mine 3 times before I touch it with the sewing machine. Washing and drying gives the Kraft-Tex a lovely texture that looks similar to that of worn leather.
After I wash and dry my Kraft-Tex (I throw it in with other loads of laundry I’m doing. You don’t have to worry about Kraft-Tex bleeding on anything.), I iron it with steam. This will help (along with washing it) to soften it up a little and make it easier to work with.
Kraft-Tex doesn’t really have a right vs. wrong side. But you will want to make sure you keep using the same side as your “right” side. Before I cut my pieces out of the Kraft-Tex, I stick a post it to the side I select as my “right” side. And I do this again to the pieces I cut so I am able to keep it straight.
Kraft-Tex does NOT fray! (Go ahead, do a little happy dance.) This makes it really enjoyable to work with.
You can also use permanent markers on your Kraft-Tex to create really awesome designs (If you’re partial to doodling!). I would recommend heat setting any marks that you make with your iron (without steam) prior to getting wet again.
For the most part, Kraft-Tex wipes clean and is really versatile. It’s easy to get dirt from wear and tear off.
Dying. You can darken it with natural dyes or synthetic.
Basically, I think Kraft-Tex is awesome. It really makes other colorful fabrics shine and sets your products apart from others. It’s a great product to consider, and even better when it is a fraction of the cost of real leather (with a consistent look and supply source).
There are a wealth of projects, and if you search “Kraft-Tex” on Pinterest. You can create awesome stationary, make up bags, purses, and pretty much anything else you can think of, so try it out! Search Kraft-Tex Projects on Pinterest