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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Bias Fabric Fur Embellishment

Next to couching (see recent post HERE), embellishing with bias cut Fabric Fur is one of the very most fun, easy sewn trims you can create! See below some of my garments trimmed with Fabric Fur. 

Free Motion Quilting on a Creative Sweatshirt Jacket

All heaviest trim edges are Fabric Fur Trim.

The Secret:  Bias grain ‘furs’up. 

Bias cut woven fabrics cannot ravel (as straight grain will do), but rather ‘ruffles’ or ‘furs’.  Especially wonderful ‘Fur’ can be created when the yarns to create fabric are dyed themselves.   Irridescent Fabrics – where the Warp (lengthwise grain threads) and the Weft (crosswise grain threads) are DIFFERENT are especially wonderful in Fabric Fur.  Even cheap, slippery lining, satin,  can make wonderful layers in Fabric Fur. See some examples below.

How to Make Fabric Fur 

  1. Cut Bias Strips 3/4″ wide.  I like to layer 3-5 fabrics.  Sometimes, they are all the same – other times, they are different.  Layering them in different order will create different looks.  Experiment! At the bottom of this Post is a video of mine where I teach how to fold fabric to cut the longest possible strips of bias from it.

3 or more bias layers can create Fabric Fur

  1. Layer  and stitch down the center with a thread color that shows on the uppermost layer.  You don’t need to be real perfect here – in aligning OR stitching.


Cut 3/4″ wide to start. Trim to 1/4″ on either side of center stitching.

3. Trim with a Rotary Cutter to 1/2″ total width by placing 1/4″ line on rotary ruler on the stitching line and rotary cutting.

4. ‘Attack’ with a Fabric Chenille Brush (the BEST – though a stiff toothbrush can work) to create the ‘fur’.See the difference between the left end of the strip in the photo below, and the right end where I have ‘attacked’ it with the brush?

attack with fabric chenille brush

attack with fabric chenille brush

Fabrics to AVOID

What does NOT work are ‘printed’ fabrics – where the color is printed on top, and the reverse side of the fabric is ‘white’ as with most printed cottons.  Also, some very high thread count fabrics (like Batiks), are just too tightly woven to allow for much ‘furring’.

Here, then is that Video on how to cut Bias strips – the longest possible strips from any size rectangle of fabric.

How to Cut BIAS

I was shown this trick by an Elna Educator, April Dunn, many, many years ago and have taught it ever since.

This technique works PERFECTLY for Fabric Fur, as the strips do NOT have to be a certain length.  See in the photo below that whenever you run out of length of a layer of bias, that you simply lap in the next piece and keep going.

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