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sewing with suede

linda_mcgurn | Posted in The Archives on

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  1. linda_mcgurn | | #1

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    I am having a hard time sewing with suede. The thread in the needle of my machine keeps splitting
    which causes the thread to break or bunch up in the
    eye of the needle. This is with real suede. I am using a leather needle. Is there a special type of
    thread I should be using? Or is there a better setting
    on my machine?

    1. Karen_Vesk | | #2

      *Linda, good quality polyester thread is recommended for suedes, as the chemicals used in tanning may cause cotton to disintegrate over time. By good quality, I mean long-staple polyester, which has a shiny appearance; short-staple is usually purchased on a cone, has a fuzzy appearance, and is generally used for serging/overcasting, ie, wherever no stress will be applied.Keep your stitches a bit on the longer side, otherwise the perforations made by the needle will make it easy to tear the suede when it is worn.Is the suede lambskin or pigskin? Lambskin requires a slightly thinner needle than pigskin.If you still have problems with fraying, you may consider using a "Metallica" needle (not the hard-rock band kind), which is used for embroidery threads. Its long eye significantly cuts down on fraying.Tear-away stabilizer on the top and bottom of the seam you are running may also help.There is no replacement for running as many samples as you need, using different kinds of threads/needles until you find the right combination. Jotting down what you did on/beside the samples will help as well, especially if you sew the same type of skins in the future.

      1. linda_mcgurn | | #3

        *Karen: Thank you for the good tips, I'll start trying them out today!!!! IS the information you gave also good for working with ultra-suede? Linda McGurn

        1. Karen_Vesk | | #4

          *I've found ultrasuede to be more "forgiving" than real suede. It doesn't ease well so if you are using it for a jacket, you should take much of the ease out of the sleeve cap. Again, a good polyester thread would work best.

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