Thursday, September 19, 2013

Leather, Suede and Vinyl - Fashion's Hottest Fabrics

On recent trips to New York City and to the French Riviera, we saw store windows filled with exciting items for men, women, kids and home décor created from suede, vinyl and leather.  Jackets included trench coats and slickers, bomber jackets, and cropped styles with metal accents.  Shirts featured classic button-down styling for men, while for women the shirts, skirts and dresses were filled with cut work allowing brilliant contrast colors to pop through from the back.  Attaché cases, upscale messenger bags and purses were accented with metal and rhinestone.   Shoes featured updated clean lines for classic loafers and pumps, while boots were ankle or knee length with metal zipper accents.  The hats and gloves had simple lines, and the belts were filled with metal grommets or spikes.  It was really incredible how many of these items there were in the boutiques and department stores. 

When you use synthetic materials, you get many affordable options for creating your own chic apparel, accessories and home accents.  However, there is a huge difference between apparel grade and upholstery grade fabrics. If you plan on re-covering bar stools or chairs, or you want to re-upholster a sofa, you must choose an Upholstery specific fabric that is manufactured for that purpose.  Scroll down for a helpful guide on our most popular collections.

Vogue Fabrics offers about 100 incredible options online at and even more in the Chicago area Vogue Fabrics retail stores.  You can also order many of these textiles wholesale online for a discount "buy the bolt" price.  

                      Scroll down for a Discount Code

Tricks to sewing these specialty fabrics:
1] If you notice the material is sticking to the metal of the needle plate or slide plate you can use a Teflon foot on your machine - the Teflon glides better over the synthetics than metal.  This type of foot is available in snap-on and low shank.  Then, put some gift wrapping tissue between the fabric and the feed dogs, again to keep the fabric from sticking to the metal (don't worry, the needle will perforate the tissue so it will just pull away when you are done stitching).

2]  Use the right needle.  For vinyl and leather you want a leather needle, like Schmetz Leather for machines or Dritz Glovers for hand sewing.  The tip is flat like a tiny knife, so it slashes the fabric rather than pokes a hole in it.  This allows the fabric to recover and close up around the thread for a clean look.  Suede fabrics work better with an extra sharp needle, like Schmetz Microtex.

       Click here to see some of our hot fix jewel transfers.

Details on our Special Collections:
Ultrasuede is a no-fray fabric, so it is ideal for cut-work, applique and shoe covering.  Although Ultrasuede is manufactured in many weights, we carry a soft, apparel weight option that's ideal for skirts, dresses and jackets.  We can special order other weights for wholesale upon request.  Ultrasuede is also popular for purses and light home accents, like toss pillows.

If you love the look of Ultrasuede, but need a lower price point, you can try the Luxury Suede.  This supple nap fabric features a similar suede appearance, and is sought after for men's shirts and women's dresses.  Unlike Ultrasuede, the Luxury Suede does fray slightly. We can even custom cover buttons for you out of the Ultrasuede or Luxury Suede you buy - just click here for the order form to see pricing.  You can add a request for the custom cover buttons when you order the fabric online by typing us a note in the Customer Notes box of the checkout.

Wet Look Vinyls are very lightweight and have a little stretch, making them purrrrr-fect for catsuits!  If you have a base of coutil, you can also create hot corsets for gothic lolita, cyber punk and anime outfits. The yellow is popular for retro rain slickers. We now carry Wet Look Shadow Vinyl which is popular for costumers because of its crazy designs that almost seem holographic.

Sueded Cuddle features a no-fray suede face bonded to a Minky Cuddle fake fur.  If you sew the wrong sides together with a 3/8" seam allowance you get a great design element )see image to the right).  This is a really warm fabric for outerwear since it is already "lined" with fur.  You can cut this with a scissors, or you can use a matte knife on the suede side to avoid cutting into the fur -- this will help keep your workspace cleaner.

Faux Leathers (fake or imitation leather) provide the look and feel of animal pelts, but are completely synthetic.  This keeps your costs down and your conscience clean.  Recreate any real leather look with any of our Faux Leather and Metallic Faux Leather cloths.

Upholstery Vinyls include shiny Patent, retro Sparkle, and some that look like real leather.  They are all designed to take the abuse given to sofas and chairs, having passed numerous abrasion tests to ensure they won't go thread bare with repeated use.  Plus they have special backings for durability.

Take 10% Off Fabrics in our special
"Leather, Vinyl & Suede Fabrics" section
Through October 31, 2013.

Use Discount Code:  LVSF10

Discount Code is for retail purchase - wholesale is already discounted so no additional discount apply.  Feel free to share this code on social media and with your sewing friends so everyone can save. 


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