This time of year many of us are creating gifts and other fun items like stockings to hang by the chimney with care, Santa Claus hats to wear and furry earmuffs for our hair. Enough for the sonnets of Pat. . .
So, it is time to talk about using faux fur and how to handle it. Since I did not have any faux fur in my inventory, I will be using a towel to simulate the nap.
The more popular Christmas style for hats and stockings often come with very long fur. It can be as much as an inch to an inch and a half. That is a lot of length for embroidery. Let me demo how I would put a name on a stocking. This idea goes long after Christmas, the fur will feel good for several months, so think of items that could go on a coat, gloves or jacket.
Here is an example of a terrific stocking, but I think it might just be a little better with some pre-planning.
The insides of the letters are matted and some of the lettering has fur covering it up. That fur is very long and to make it just a little better, keep reading.
Doing a design that is more or less solid is relatively easy, but a name is something else. For instance, there is a lot of area that the letters need to cover and not be covered by the 3D fur. Here is how I handle it.
Make sure that you use your embroidery software to print out the pattern. If you use normal printing programs, you likely won't have the correct size. After carefully cutting out the over all pattern, but not separating the letters, I will be using a piece of Styrofoam that I have used so much it is well worn. But for laying something small out, I just could not have anything better.
I use colored pins for visibility. In this case, light colored pins would have been best.
I did miss cutting out the bottom of the "S" and I would fix that before starting to arrange the fur.
In this case, the rat-tail comb may be a little too large, but there are lots of other things to use. I might work with a small crochet hook for this size a project.
When all the fur is looking as natural as I think it should, I would begin trimming around the letters. The trimming would be beveled slanted away from the letter. Trimming after the embroidering can result in matted areas that won't be as professional in appearance as I prefer. I want the lettering to be crisp and without the bevel, the embroidery will be covered by fur in a manner as the dryer dictated. (I hate a bossy dryer.)
Keep in mind that fur, just like leaves and flowers, the fur strands always seek their own 'place in the sun.' Each hair arises so that it is being optimized for viewing. Nature may cause a few to be laying in an unusual pattern, but for the most part, they are uniform and quite spectacular. Unfortunately, this beautiful covering ends up being desired by a few who keep the poaching business running. I appreciate faux fur, there is a quality to emulate the real thing but gives us an opportunity to 'live and let live.'
There are many other fabrics like corduroy, fleece, velvet that I feel could be improved with this technique.
My apologies for not having better samples. I just did not have any fur types of items to embroider. That may be against the law in some states, having scraps of wonderful things is the natural order of things, right?
Here is my Tip: Go to the store and buy a big package of
'post-it-notes.' The size of the note does not matter, but here is a
tip that will have you considering other places to clean with this
idea. Your computer is one of the dirtiest places you spend time at.
Start by using some "Dust and Lint Remover" - the compressed air type.
Always use the spray can across the keys at a slight angle. If you blow
directly on the keys, it will come back into your face and eyes. Turn
your keyboard upside down and shake gently into a trash receptacle. I
remember an office joke about there being enough food in your keyboard
to keep any one from starving. So much for laughing. Then, using the
sticky part of the note, insert it under a row of keys and gently slide
left or right all the way from one end to another. The one thing that
surprised me most was just how much hair there was under my keys. Gee,
you may even find a lost winning lottery ticket in there. . . .
May the beauty and grace of this season be in your heart year round. Pat