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
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.
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