Faux Suede: A Luxurious Easy-Care FabricFor care and ease of sewing, it’s better than the real thing
With a luxurious hand and easy-care reputation, synthetic suede is a fantastic fabric choice, especially when you seek a sumptuous feel without bulk. Halston made it famous in the 1970s in his iconic shirtdresses and jackets. It is available in a range of weights and colors, prints, and embossed and perforated versions. Choose a lightweight type for drapey styles or a medium-bodied fabric for structured garments. Faux suede’s no-fray nature makes it wonderful for cutwork or appliqué.
Faux suedes are made from microfiber polyester and a polyurethane binder. Some are constructed as a nonwoven fabric with a suedelike nap on one or both sides. Others have a woven or knitted base with a napped surface on one or both sides. Ultrasuede, a trademarked fabric developed by Toray in the 1970s, was the first high-quality version. Other synthetic suedes are available, but you get what you pay for in terms of hand and durability. Look for a brand name and shop from a trusted source for the best quality.
Faux suede doesn’t ease well, can be damaged by heat, and may wear at stress points. It is tough to sew with a regular hand needle, and on a sewing machine, skipped stitches and creeping can be problems. Aside
from these easy-to-overcome shortcomings, faux suede offers remarkable qualities: It is durable, breathable, tear resistant, water and stain resistant, and washable.