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zipper replacement in imitation leather?

MarieC | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

In need of assistance and guidance for sewing on imitation leather.  Replacing a zipper in a ski jacket with fleece innerlining, fleece lining, and imitation leather outer shell so lots of layers.  Stitching holes from previous zipper are visible.  Presser foot of choice (Teflon, roller?), needle size (11?), tissue paper between feed dogs and jacket?  tissue between presser foot and imitation leather?  Help  


  1. sueb | | #1

    When I sew on leather or imitation leather I prefer to use a dual feed foot rather than the teflon foot.   I've also had better luck with a denim needle than with a leather one.  You'll want to sew slowly and start with a brand new needle in the machine. 

    1. MarieC | | #2

      Thank you so much for the prompt reply.  The angels must be watching.  Just stopped to order the roller (dual feed?) foot and the owner is loaning me hers until they come in.  I'll try your suggestions tonight.  Thank you again.

      1. sueb | | #4

        a roller foot is a different foot than a dual feed one.  A dual feed foot is also sometimes reffered to as a walking foot.  The roller foot has little wheels on it that help the fabric glide along under the foot.  The dual feed (or walking foot) actually acts like a set of feed dogs on top of the fabric so it helps the layers of fabric feed through at the same right.   All that said, since you have a roller foot, try it and see how it does.  You may have better luck though with a piece of tissue underneath it on top of the fabric and you may need to loosen the tension on the pressure foot.

        good luck !  let us know how it works.

        1. MarieC | | #6

          So a walking foot or even feed foot must be what you are referring to?  I have what I think you mean but in previous uses was dissappointed though they were not with this imitation leather nor the many fleece layers.  I can try that too.  Thank you for the help.  I'm headed to the machine right now.

          Prayers please.

          And thanks

        2. MarieC | | #7

          The zipper is back in and I am pleased with the end result.  Thank you all for your help.  The teflon foot with a size 11 needle at a very slow pace with double stick Wonder Tape did the job for me.  The muscles in my lower arms and fingers assisted too.  The wonder tape held the fleece lining flush with the stitching line and then another strip tacked the outer shell lightly enough so I could pick it up and reposition it as needed.


          Marie C

  2. User avater
    Thimblefingers | | #3

    I have sewn a lot with imitation leather (including a wedding dress for a Hells Angel biker chick!).  Size of needle depends on weight of fabric but 11 sounds a little small.  I don't have dual feed so use a teflon foot, and lower the pressure on the presser foot.  I also use tissue between the foot and fabric and the feed dogs and fabric - not just for ease of stitching but the tissue helps to protect the fabric.  Have had nothing but fabulous results with this method.

    1. MarieC | | #5

      Thank you for the tips and I was also loaned a Teflon foot so I'll give that a try too.  Using the tissue I'm not sure how I'll see the edge to hit the same stitching holes or at least the same line?  But you can bet I'll try everything and anything.

      Thank you so much for your help.



    2. MarieC | | #8

      Thank you so much for your assistance.  The zipper is back in with the help of you two, the dealer who loaned me her Teflon presser foot, and prayers.  Thank you all.

      Happy Day,

      Marie C.

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