Learn All About Kraft-Tex ‘Leather’ Fabric

Kraft-Tex washing comparison. Different methods and results on test. How to make Kraft Tex look like leather.

Have you ever heard of Kraft-Tex?  It's been on my wishlist for ages, but I can't get it here and had to wait for the lovely Lucy to bring me some over on her bi-annual visit.  

It's a strange sort of material.  Described as a paper fabric, it is designed to be used in all sorts of mixed media, paper crafting, and sewing projects – it's very versatile.

Kraft Tex colors

Straight out of the packaging, it's just like a roll of thin cardboard, and you can use it like that with stamping, embossing, painting, punching etc in all sorts of projects.  You can even print on it!

But when I think it really comes alive for me, is when crumpled and washed or soaked, then it takes on a leather-like appearance and is ideal for creating bags, wallets, tags, embellishments and the like.

Here are just a few project ideas from the CT Publishing website.

Kraft Tex projects

You can also buy a book, Kraft Tex Style which gives you all sorts of fabulous project ideas from the very quick and simple to the most fabulous bags, wallets and more. I've got the book and do recommend it if you want to learn more about the sort of projects you can make with Kraft Tex.

book

I wanted to explore more about how it worked, whether it should be soaked, boiled, washed etc so I am learning about it as I go in this video and sharing what I find with you.  See what it looks like right out of the packet and then as I take each test piece and treat it differently to see if I get different results.

Learning about how to pre-treat Kraft Tex to make it look like leather

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In the end, I think each method has it's merits and it depends on the project you want to create and the look that you are after.  Want it very flat and smooth and just make it a little easier to work with?  Just give it a soak.  Want a very textured leather look?  Crinkle it before, then soak, then crinkle again before pressing it to dry, or leaving it to dry naturally, and then pressing.

If you love to create mixed media projects, I think you'll love it.  It could also make great bag handles and tags, or accent panels too.

Where to buy Kraft Tex

You can buy your Kraft Tex paper fabric at:

End result texture photos

You can't really see the texture well in the video so here are some photos to show in close up what the options look like.  This first one has been boiled twice and through the washing machine once, never hand creased, and then ironed.  This piece has the least texture and is the most stiff of the three.

kraft-tex

This second one was soaked, then boiled, then creased while wet, then washed in the machine and creased while wet and then pressed.  It has some texture, more than the first one but not as much as the third one.

kraft-tex

This third one was creased while dry, then soaked, then creased while dry and boiled, then thrown in the washing machine, then creased while wet and then pressed.  It seems like creasing several times during the process helps to make the fabric more pliable. This also has the most texture, so if this is what you are looking for I suggest:

  • crease while dry
  • soak in boiling water 10-30 mins
  • crease again while wet
  • dry with an iron

kraft-tex

If you end up with more texture than you like, simply re-soak it to relax out some of those creases and then press it again.

So I'm thinking of giving that wallet a try.  Would anyone be interested in sewing it?  I can make a video to help as I make mine.  Let me know in the comments if you would like a video for how to make this wallet.

Wallet

Or if you have used Kraft-Tex before, please let me know your thoughts on how to pre-treat it, what projects you have used it on and if you have any photos online, please do share links here too.



Why Not Try One of Our FREE Projects?

This super simple project to make a Key Fob is a great first project to get started using Kraft-Tex.


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Ilse Gräter
Ilse Gräter

Sorry, not sure if it is Mayra or Debbie! 🙂

Ilse Gräter
Ilse Gräter

Hi Mayra, I would LOVE to see you making the “leather” wallet. Thank you so much for all your generous sharing!

Doris otten
Doris otten

A video would be great
Thank you

Sherrie Lilly
Sherrie Lilly

You did not indicate if it shrank from the original 6″ x 6″ size.

Mary Gehlhoff
Mary Gehlhoff

I just ordered a roll for bookmaking and wondered what I was going to do with the rest! I actually ordered from Walmart – they had the cheapest. You can also buy it already washed and crinkly.

Anita
Anita

Do you think it could be used like leather for a sole of a baby shoe?

Mayra Cecilia
Admin
Member
Reply to  Anita

I think it will be ok as long as he/she is not walking, it will be slipery. Wash it well so it becomes softer.

Cathy
Cathy

Did I miss it? Did you re-measure your squares? Was there any shrinkage?

ginger
ginger

I would love to see a video for the wallet! I am thinking of making a phone case wallet, as I can not find what I want in a pre-made one. So any info/tips/ideas would be amazing! Thank you. And thank you for this video as well!

periwinklesue
periwinklesue

I loved your video. Quite helpful! I was hoping you would give the results if the 6″ pieces shrunk at all in the process. Did you measure them to see?

Mayra Cecilia
Admin
Member
Reply to  periwinklesue

No they don’t shrink but become very wrinkled.

Nancy Soga
Nancy Soga

I’ve been trying to get the right tensions on my machine so that the bobbin thread doesn’t kink or show through to the top and can’t seem to find the right settings. I’m using a jeans needle and Sulky thread top and bottom. HELP please.

Mayra Cecilia
Admin
Member
Reply to  Nancy Soga

Try changing threads, oiling the machine, cleaning the bobbin and using a Teflon foot so the product can glide easier. What kind of machine do you have?

Khahn68
Khahn68

Yes, I’m intrigued. Please post the video of the wallet

Fern Jones
Fern Jones

would love to see the wallet made from this

Chelsey

You can also cut it in most cutting machines, and make a fake leather applique. (which is really awesome)

Nikki
Nikki

Thanks for running these tests — you’ve saved me a bit of time with my own experiments with this new product. I too like to make bags and wallets, and haven’t been completely thrilled with vinyl as a substitute for leather; nor am I completely happy with canvas for the bottoms or other “scuff” areas on bags. Fingers crossed that this product at least sort of lives up the the maker’s hype.

reignvermont

Would love to see a video ?

onehalfpintagain

I would love to see a video making a wallet out of Kraft-Tex. I have a friend that uses Kraft-Tex in her Swoon bags and they look great! I have that on my wish list.

Mayra Cecilia
Admin
Member

Please check out our tutorial on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_PACerykxE&list=PL4YyzIBn8TNJvyKEWIKjo-oMKjHwC0hW0&index=1
We will love to see your final product!

Carol
Carol
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Hi– Your video is marked ‘private’.

Deby at So Sew Easy
Reply to  Carol

Ah ha, Mayra gave the game away too early. This is a test of a new wallet that isn’t ready for launch yet, it’s still in testing. Keep your eyes peeled for it coming up soon.

Mayra Cecilia
Admin
Member

Upppssss!!!!

Linda
Linda

I tried to make a pair cowboy boots for an 18″ doll from this. While they looked awesome I couldn’t get them on the doll because there was no stretch to the Kraft Tex. I’ll have to try your last technique for washing it because I thought it was still too stiff after I washed mine. Looking forward to your ideas using Kraft Tex.

liz n
liz n
Reply to  Linda

Try inserting a piece of felt on the upper, where the waist and tongue would be, at the front of the boot. That should give it more flexibility.

Linda
Linda
Reply to  liz n

Thank you for this idea.

Kathy Booth
Kathy Booth

I looked for the video in this article and could not find it either. is it for the wallet, or was it a demo of something else?

Deby at So Sew Easy
Reply to  Kathy Booth

You can’t see the video Kathy? It works OK for me. It’s right there underneath the heading that says “Learning about how to pre-treat Kraft Tex to make it look like leather” just below the picture of the book. Do you see it there? Do you have any kind of ad-blocker installed perhaps? That might interfere with some of the content loading. If so try deactivating and see if you can see the video now.

Vicki Chesney
Vicki Chesney
Reply to  Kathy Booth

I don’t see it either for the wallet but the video is demonstrating the three methods of “pretreating” the Kraft-Tex. I don’t believe there is a video of the wallet. The pattern is available but it would be nice to see the video on how to make it.

Vicki Chesney
Vicki Chesney

I’ve had a couple of rolls of Kraft-Tex and I bought the book but have not done anything with it yet. I would love to see a video on how the wallet is made. I listened to the video on how to prep the Kraft-Tex and saw your comment about making a video about how to make the wallet and am looking forward to it.

Brenda
Brenda

Cool stuff but I am concerned about durability. I would hate to have a purse that over time would disintegrate during normal use, particularly in the folds and seams. I’ll stand back and keep any eye on this. In the meantime, it would be fun to use this for crafting items that will not see frequent use.

Marianne Gizzi

Hello. Great video. I am curious to the resiliency of the seams. As in strength. Like how do the seams on a wallet or purse hold up.

Deby at So Sew Easy
Reply to  Marianne Gizzi

It’s too early for me to really say at the moment, but this is really strong stuff, doesn’t tear etc so I’m thinking it will be fine. At least as good as regular fabric anyway because its much thicker.

Val Clements
Val Clements

Great video Deby. I have never heard of Kraft-Tex. I am very interested though. I would love a video on what you make with this product. Always good to learn something new, getting the creative juices flowing.
Thanks Val.

Deby at So Sew Easy
Reply to  Val Clements

There are several projects I’m working on Val, and they’ll be coming out over the coming weeks. It’s really fun to work with.

Marcia
Marcia

I have quite a bit about it…I am considering using it to make grocery shopping bags

Christine
Christine

Thanks for sharing information about this product. I have never seen nor heard about it but am intrigued! A video about using Kraft Tex to make a wallet would be great! Thank you

Deby at So Sew Easy
Reply to  Christine

Coming up Christine!

Donna
Donna

This is the first time for me to see this product. It looks interesting. Would you be able to embroider on it? Thinking about initials or some small design to have it stand out.

Deby at So Sew Easy
Reply to  Donna

Yes I have seen some very nice embroidery on it. You have to make sure you aren’t using something too dense or with a very pronounced edge to the design because too much sewing can almost perforate the kraft tex like a paper towel and make it weak along the edges of the design.

liz n
liz n
Reply to  Donna

Donna, yes, you can embroider on it. So far, I’ve only used Kraft-Tex for book binding, and have embroidered some of the book covers. I’ve used a frame, rather than a hoop.

VickiT
VickiT

Great review of this item Deby. I had seen a few bloggers use that awhile back and was quite interested in how it would work when sewing with it. I was thinking since it says you can print on it that it would be fun to do that with a design similar to those you find in the new adult coloring books, but not quite as ornate as some of those designs are and then to make something out of it. I was thinking maybe a book cover for my oldest Granddaughter so she could color it and have a nice book cover. Or just make it without printing so she could doodle her own artwork on it herself. It looks like it would be interesting to test it out to make different projects to see how it reacts while sewing. I had seen a wallet made from it before and thought it looked nice and was a good use for the product. I would love to see what type of pattern you come up with for a wallet as your patterns always seem to have just a little more ideas put into them. Can’t wait to see more.

Diane Obernesser
Diane Obernesser

Thanks Deby, I recently bought some of the natural from Missouri Star–They carry all the colors.

Diane
Diane

I recently purchased some Kraft Tex, and haven’t used it yet… wasn’t sure what to do with it or what I want to make. Thank you for taking the time to create this video.. it helps me decide how I want to use my Kraft Tex.

Michelle

I’d love to see a video of the wallet too. Your videos are great!

Beth
Beth

I have also been wanting to know more about Kraft Tex and would love to see a wallet video.

Pamela Joy
Pamela Joy

Thanks for this info Deby, a video of that wallet construction would be great! I’d love to try to make one myself!

nina
nina

Would love a video

Deby at So Sew Easy
Reply to  nina

Hi Nina, there is a video in the article already. Did you miss it? Or perhaps you have some kind of blocker on your system that stops them playing? I don’t know, but there is already a video in the article so I hope you can figure out how to play it.

Michaelanne
Michaelanne

Yay!! I’ve been waiting to see what you do with this. I have more projects than time, as usual, but want to make wallets for the guys. I boiled some in the microwave in leftover coffee grounds to get a nice color (I only bought white so far). Of course I didn’t think to cover it, so I had a cleanup job to do!!