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I'd love to talk to you about Kraft-tex today! It's one of the hottest new 'materials' on the bag making scene at the moment, and it's so versatile!
Kraft-tex is currently supplied by CT Publishing, and this is what their site says about it:
Tough, touchable new paper combines the best of leather and fabric
Wait until you get your hands on this rugged paper that looks, feels, and wears like leather, but sews, cuts, and washes just like fabric. kraft·tex® is supple, yet strong enough to use for projects that get tough wear. Use it to bring an exciting new texture to your craft-sewing projects, mixed-media arts, and bookmaking. Color may vary slightly between rolls.
• Play with it! Sew it, stamp it, draw on it, fold it, inkjet print it
• Durable enough for totes, belts, wallets, book covers, luggage tags, and more
• The fiber-based texture softens and crinkles with handling and washing
I have it on reliable authority, that this same material is sold in South Africa as Coconut fibre, but I can't find any to buy here in the UK to test this out!
Chances are, if you own a pair of jeans, the back label is made from this stuff, not leather.
What it's like:
In it's unadulterated form, it's a thick paper, like a card. It folds nicely with a bone folder, and you can sew it easily.
Once you pop it through the washing machine (yup, seriously), it softens up to form a sort of light leather-like material. It creases up beautifully for a gorgeous rugged, yet natural look.
|Click image to buy (Affiliate Link)|
What you could use it for:
The possibilities are endless, it doesn't fray, doesn't unravel, it's sturdy and stable. You could use it for bag labels, flaps, wallets, book covers, bags, straps, pouches, passport holders, toiletry bags.... the possibilities are pretty much endless!
How you could embellish it:
Kraft-tex will take paint, mod podge, sharpie, embossing, embroidery...and because needle holes are permanent, you could even embellish it by needle punching!
You can also cut it into printer size pieces and send it through your printer!
|Kraft-Tex decorated with Sharpie used to make an Up, Up and away Passport Wallet by Moments, sewn by Christine from Bags by Bags of Style.|
What you should remember:
Firstly, remember that any holes you make, will be permanent. No pinning, and definitely no unpicking your stitches to follow a different seam! You wouldn't want to do too much back-stitching as this can weaken the seam, instead just go backwards once a few stitches, before carrying on. It is advisable to use a longer stitch length, and a needle for jeans.
Secondly, whilst Kraft-tex doesn't shrink, you would usually want to do any texturising (Such as washing, or steaming and creasing) before you cut your pieces out, to ensure they maintain their shape.
Thirdly, Kraft-tex is likely to blunt your shears and needles quicker than fabric, so try to use paper scissors, and change your needle before starting a new project.
|Printing and colouring Kraft-Tex by So Sew Easy|
Tips for sewing with Kraft-tex:
Christine from bags of style shared with me this tip: If you're making something that needs turning out, try wetting your project with a light spray of water, before turning. It'll help it turn right sides out without tearing.
And now, for you lovely readers, a discount!
C&T publishing have very kindly given us a 15% discount code on any Kraft-tex products on their site until 1st July 2016!
Use the code SAMANTHAKRAFT15 at checkout on their site!
My fabric relish - Kraft Tex Wallets, KarenAScofeld - Review of Kraft-tex with Pictures, Tips, and Notes