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Leather vs Kraft-Tex

When sewing it’s important to choose the right materials. Learn about leather vs Kraft-tex when making a bag which is better for your sewing project.

To making hiking and traveling easier I decided to make some fanny packs for my husband and me. When I looked up fanny packs for men, they were all made out of leather.

I had both leather and Kraft-Tex scraps that were big enough to use, but I didn’t know which one was better. I’ve always loved working with leather, but I didn’t have that much experience with Kraft-Tex. I decided to use both so that I could compare leather vs Kraft-Tex and see which I liked better.

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Leather vs Kraft-Tex

What is leather

Leather is the skin of an animal that has been tanned to become a flexible and durable material. I prefer to get my leather secondhand so that it’s soft and broken in, and it’s a lot cheaper.

Leather is strong, and one side is a little bit shiny and smooth. The other side is soft suede.

Leather can be hard to sew with since it can be slippery, you can’t pin it, and it can stretch while you sew. Having a finished leather project can look very sophisticated.

diy leather fanny pack

How to Cut Leather

When I cut leather I first trace out the pattern pieces on the back of the leather. I usually use a ballpoint pen.

Then I use sharp utility scissors (not my fabric scissors) to cut out the leather. This works well for a lightweight leather that I usually sew with. If the leather is really thick I use an exacto knift and a cutting mat.

diy leather fanny pack

What is Kraft-Tex

Kraft-Tex is a “paper product that washes, cuts, and sews like fabric, but looks and feels like leather as it softens and wears. This means it’s easy (and animal-friendly!) to make leather-like projects.”

diy kraft-tex fanny pack

How to Cut Kraft-Tex

When I cut Kraft-Tex I first trace out the pattern pieces on the back of it. I usually use a ballpoint pen. Kraft-Tex is double sided, so I just choose one side to be the back.

Then I use paper scissors (not my fabric scissors) to cut out the Kraft-Tex. It really feels like cutting thick paper.

diy kraft-tex fanny pack

I used the free 2 Zip Hip bag sewing pattern to make both of these fanny packs. It’s a great free sewing pattern!

What’s the difference between leather and Kraft-tex?

Leather is from an animal, and Kraft-Tex is from paper. I personally don’t think that the Kraft-Tex looks like leather. It has a matte look while leather has a shiny look.

I trace the pattterns and cut both of them out the same way. Neither of them are hard to cut or get the pattern pieces the right size or shape.

leather vs kraft-tex

The biggest difference I found when using leather vs Kraft-Tex is the Kraft-Tex is stiff and holds its shape. It was hard to maneuver around corners that were different shapes.

If you look in the photo below you can see that the leather is sunken in in the middle. It holds it shape, but it is still flexible. The Kraft-Tex is stiff and holding it’s shape. It’s not flexible. It is said that Kraft-Tex softens as it gets washed, but I have yet to try that.

leather vs kraft-tex

Leather:

  • Easy to draw pattern pieces on
  • Easy to cut with scissors
  • Cannot be pinned and must use clips
  • Needs a special sewing machine needle
  • Cannot be unpicked to fix a mistake
  • Sewing creates holes that will never go away
  • Can stretch while sewing
  • Flexible but can be tricky to sew
  • Might need interfacing for certain projects
  • Multiple layers gets really bulky

Kraft-Tex

  • Easy to draw pattern pieces on
  • Easy to cut with scissors
  • Cannot be pinned and must use clips
  • Doesn’t need a special sewing machine needle, but dulls the needle quickly
  • Cannot be unpicked to fix a mistake
  • Sewing creates holes that will never go away
  • Doesn’t stretch or have any give
  • Stiff but can be tricky to sew
  • Doesn’t need interfacing because it’s so stiff
  • Multiple layers don’t get bulky as quickly as leather
how to cut leather vs kraft-tex

If you make something after learning about leather vs Kraft-Tex, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

leather vs kraft-tex

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