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Tips for sewing Faux Leather, pleather and vinyl.

Bags made from faux leather look great BUT sometimes it can be a little tricky to get good results! Here are a few tips that you might find useful if you are having problems.

If you are experiencing skipped stitches, you are most likely using an incorrect needle (or too old!) for the job!

  • Use a Leather Needle or a Jeans Needle in your sewing machine. I find that it depends on the type of faux leather you are using as to which needle works best. Some people do NOT recommend a leather needle however for me, it worked a treat on certain types of faux leathers. Test on a scrap!


  • Don't use pins or ensure you ONLY pin within seam allowances or you may end up with unsightly holes. Use, wonder clips, alligator or butterfly clips to hold in place!
  • Use double sided sticky tape to hold without clips or pins. Just make sure you use one that doesn't gum up your needle! (I learnt this one the hard way! LOL) I like Collins Wash Away Wonder tape. Not that I wash my faux leather creations, I just find this particular tape to be the least gumming of any that I have tried. Works great for holding zippers in place in all your sewing projects too! :)


  • Set your stitches to a longer length than normal.
  • Lesson the pressure of your foot.
  • A walking foot is something I ALWAYS use when sewing faux leathers so if you don't have one for your machine I highly recommend you get one!
  • Try a Teflon or roller foot. You can also try scotch tape on the bottom of your foot.
  • Try using tearaway paper (Like that used in embroidery)  on both the top and underneath, to help the foot glide over the faux leather. Remove the tearaway when you are finished stitching. However sometimes it can be a little difficult to pick all the tearaway from beneath your stitches. Try a water soluble version if you don't mind your work getting a little wet BUT do ensure you allow to dry thoroughly. If in doubt, as always, test on some scraps!


  • A dash of Silicon spray along your seams before stiching makes everything nice and slippery and so even your regular foot glides over it nicely. I use one called "H4000 Silicon Spray" by Helmar. It is a food grade silicon spray and doesn't leave a residue.
  • Use 100% poly, Nylon or Rayon threads as cotton may not be strong enough.
  • Adjust your thread tension. You may find if your thread is breaking a lot, that you need to lesson your thread tension. Test on some scraps!


  • When stitching with any type of faux leather and vinyl etc, the less holes you have the better, so when stitching your seams, rather that forward and reverse to secure your seams, try leaving a long tail of thread and knot off instead! 

I hope this helps you achieve results! If you have any other tips to add, please do let us know via the comments section! :-)

Happy sewing!