It's always exciting to use a new fabric or material and fur is no different. Having real fur really takes the entire garment to another level and will be noticed by all who are privileged to see it. There is nothing that compares to the feel of authentic fur. If you are looking to implement fur into your project, be sure to treat yourself to the real thing.
Fur is actually quite simple to sew. Think of it as a light weight leather but with some hair on it. The most important thing to remember when sewing with fur is that fur has a DIRECTION. Make sure all of the little hairs are going the same way before sewing two or more furs together. We recommend using a Polish fur stitch, (seen in the image below) AKA a blanket stitch, for sewing two furs together. This will ensure the furs do not "move" as they will be tightly held in place.
Tools of the Trade
If you have sewn garb in the past, odds are you have most of the required tools already. For hand sewing fur you will want to use a "glovers needle" (shown below) and a good heavy weight or dual duty thread. Another tool we recommend is a furriers knife. Again, an Exacto knife will do the job, but if you plan on using fur often or on a project that has many cuts, a furriers knife is the tool for the job. The last tool is an optional tool but it is nice to have around, and that is a good fur comb. This tool is ideal for fluffing up the fur once all of the sewing is complete. This will fluff up the fur and produce the ideal look when using fur.
Once you have your pattern, the next step will be cutting into your fur to make the correct shape. NEVER use a scissors for this step as it will cut the hairs in the fur and the end product will not look right. If your fur has some stretch to it we recommend to "block" the fur as seen in the image bellow. Once the pattern is traced onto the leather side of the fur use a furrier's knife to carefully cut out the pattern. Be extra careful to use just enough pressure to cut the leather but not enough that the knife will cut the hairs on the other side. If you don't possess a furrier's knife, an "Exacto" knife will do just fine. Be patient during this step, it's well worth it!
Protecting Your Fur
The last thing anyone wants after creating a beautiful piece is having it get damaged or destroyed. Follow the below tips to ensure your fur lasts for many years to come.
1. Do not leave furs in extreme conditions. This includes in vehicles as in the summer months especially vehicles get very very warm. Do not leave furs outside during the winter or colder months. Extreme heat or cold will damage the leather and eventually destroy the fur.
2. When storing fur, do not store on thin wire hangers as it will apply too much pressure over a small area and may even cause a permanent crease.
3. Store furs if possible "in open air" rather than tucked away in a sealed box. Keep furs out of direct sunlight when stored as the sun can cause fading and other damage.
4. If possible avoid getting the fur wet. Water causes matting to the fur and causes it to lose its loft.