Have you ever heard of Kraft Tex. It's been in 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.