I’ve had my eye on Kraft-Tex for some time. It’s a paper product made by C&T
and advertised to sew and wash like fabric but look like leather. As I’ve probably said before, I’ll try almost anything once 🙂 (And just for the record, I purchased the material used for this project and this review is entirely my own opinion.)
I decided to use Kraft-Tex as the bottom of a tote bag. There was a helpful video on You Tube (of course!) showing how to use it and showing what it looked like both washed and unwashed. Because I didn’t want to wash the drapery fabric I was using for the bag, I didn’t wash the Kraft-Tex.
The Kraft-Tex was very stiff right out of the package, so I wadded it up hoping to soften it a little before folding it to make the bag bottom. I didn’t really need to do that; it folded and sewed very nicely. It remained extremely stiff but was not at all difficult to stitch with my Bernina, even when it came to sewing through 4 layers as I boxed the bottom of the bag.
When I got it all put together it provided a nice substantial bottom for the bag, as I had hoped. It did not even THINK about tearing like paper when I was working with it. However, I really think it LOOKS like a brown paper bag rather than “like leather” as advertised. Maybe that’s just because I used it to make a bag. As you can see from this detail, it did stitch very nicely.
However, the claim that Kraft-Tex “handles like fabric” was absolutely untrue! It was so stiff that I decided to wash what remained along with the rest of the drapery fabric. Both washed and dried well on gentle cycle, and the Kraft-Tex was slightly softer after washing. It didn’t handle any more like fabric, though–turning that stiff outer bag through the opening left in the lining for that purpose was “challenging”!
Here’s the second bag, made with washed Kraft-Tex. Sure enough, it looks the same after washing. I quilted the upper part of the bag, which gave it more substance than the previous one, so it went better with the stiff Kraft-Tex bottom.
The pattern I used for this bag was free at Bijou Lovely and was very well written and illustrated. I’ll probably make the bag again, but I’ll find another use for the Kraft-Tex!
Thanks for the review. I’ve never made a tote, believe it or not. But it sounds like this product wouldn’t be where I should start, if I decide to.
Actually, the tote had great instructions at the link near the end of the post, so it would be a good place to start. Just use fabric instead of KraftTex for the bottom 😊
If you wash it in boiling hot water, scrunch it up and flat dry it, it softens and looks like leather.
Thanks! I washed it gentle cycle, but will try HOT!
Boiling the Kraft Tex for a good 10 minutes really does soften it up quite a bit. Doing this also makes it handle more like a fabric, but like a vinyl or leather fabric, not a cotton fabric. We’ve started a Facebook group to discuss our various experiments with Kraft Tex, you should drop by!
Thanks for the info! I’ll check it out.