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This is how you sew thick fabric by hand

If you are hoping to sew thick fabric by hand, there are many things you can do to make it easier. Start by using strong sewing tools that will help you go through fabrics like denim, wool, cloth or leather. There are several seams that are also good for thicker fabrics. With a little patience and some useful tools, your thick fabric will be sewn in a short time.


[[[[Edit]Use the right tools

  1. Choose a needle that is size 4 or larger. Needles come in all different sizes depending on the type of fabric they are intended for. Pick out a needle that is approximately the size of 4 so that it works well with thicker fabrics such as denim, upholstery or cloth. Visit a craft store and look at the packaging to find the size of the needle on it.[1]
    • Many needles even say on the package what type of fabric they are best for.
    • A size 4 needle is best for denim while a size 3 needle works well for leather.
    • Choose a wedge point pin for thick fabrics such as vinyl or leather to more easily penetrate the heavy fibers and a sharp tip for thick fabrics such as woven fabric.
  2. Choose upholstery or heavy thread to sew your fabric. Choose a heavy-duty thread for your thicker fabric so that it will not tear. Look for threads marked as “clothing weight”, “extra strong” or something similar for your project.[2]
    Sew thick fabric by hand Step 2.jpg
    • Choose a heavy thread color that matches your fabric.
  3. Try using a stitch to sew thick fabric quickly. A sewing is a small tool that makes sewing thick fabric much easier. Feed the thread through the hole and the needle in the knob. Punch a hole all the way through your fabric with the needle and pull the thread from the outside⁠ – this will be easy to do as the thread is attached to the needle of the sewing needle.[3]
    • A syswl is good if you work with leather or cloth.
  4. Wax your thread so that it slides through the thick fabric. Buy wax for your thread, which is sometimes called thread conditioner. Slide the thread through the wax so that the thread slides. This will make it much easier for the thread to move through your thick fabric.[4]
    • Pull the thread through the needle after it has waxed.
  5. Use a thimble to protect the finger from the sleep needle. When sewing something by hand, it can be easy to stick the finger with the needle. Wear a thimble on your index finger on the opposite hand that you sew with to protect your finger from accidental pokes.[5]
    • Look for a thimble at a local craft or large box store.

[[[[Edit]Choosing stitches and seams

  1. Use a stitch for a simple stitch. To make a backstitch, pull your needle through the fabric starting from the back and coming up through the front. Take the needle down through the fabric away from the original stitch and pull it back up again through the fabric. Pull back down the fabric next to your first stitch and continue with this pattern for the back stitch.[6]
    • The back seam is a good seam for thick fabrics because it is simple but keeps the fabric in place tightly.
  2. Sew the fabric with a staple stitch to go with fabric that is very thick. A catch is made by sewing zigzags next to each other in a line along the fabric edge. Sew the catches so that the seam overlaps the folded edge of the fabric.[7]
  3. Try a base stitch to sew thick fabric quickly. Thread a needle and weave the needle and thread in and out of the fabric in a straight line. Leave approximately space between each stitch while weaving for a quick and easy base stitch.[8]
    • Base stitch is not a powerful alternative, but it will hold your fabric together.
  4. Choose a prestressed tied seam to cover the edges of thick fabric. Choose bias binding in a craft store that matches your thick fabric. Sew the pretension that is tied to the edge of your thick fabric to hide it with a straight seam. This is a great way to create a smooth edge.[9]
  5. Choose a French seam for an invisible sewing job. Create a French seam by sewing the seam on the inside of the project so that it cannot be seen. Fold your fabric so that the sides that will be hidden face each other and sew a seam down. Cut the fabric along the seam, iron it so that it is flat and then sew another seam to finish it.[10]
    • Use pins to help hold the fabric in place when sewing.

[[[[Edit]Press and hold your fabric

  1. Iron folds and edges to keep them in place. Fold the edges of your fabric where you are sewing and use an iron to soften them so that the thick fabric remains pleated. Place a cloth between your fabric and the iron to protect your fabric.[11]
    • Fold the edges and then place the cloth on top before using the iron.
    • Avoid touching the hot parts of the iron so that you do not burn yourself.
  2. Use pins to hold the folds together when sewing. Push long pins through the thick fabric to hold a folded edge or several pieces of fabric together. Slide the pins through the fabric before you start sewing, and then carefully remove them after sewing the specific area.[12]
    • Be careful not to get lost with the pin when pushing through the fabric.
  3. Keep the weeks with clips if your fabric is very thick. Ordinary adhesives or the like can be very useful if you are trying to hold very thick fabric or several pieces of it together. Attach the clips to the edge or area you want to sew and then remove the clips when you are ready to sew.[13]
    • For example, you can use clips to hold the folded edge of the thick fabric together so you can sew a bottom edge.
  4. Release thick seams with a rubber mallet to flatten and smooth them out. If you use extra thick fabric, your seams may feel bulky, especially if they cross with another seam. Click on the seam with a hammer or rubber wheel to help smooth the fabric. Do this a couple of times to even out the seam so that it is not so thick.[14]


  • Test the seams on scrap fabric if possible.
  • Wash your thick fabric before sewing it to facilitate the process.


  1. https://blog.treasurie.com/sewing-thick-fabrics/
  2. https://weallsew.com/tips-sewing-bulky-fabrics/
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6OatKzjeD0#t=2m40s
  4. http://thedreamstress.com/2013/03/tips-and-tricks-for-hand-sewing-historical-and-otherwise/
  5. http://thedreamstress.com/2013/03/tips-and-tricks-for-hand-sewing-historical-and-otherwise/
  6. https://blog.treasurie.com/sewing-thick-fabrics/
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gkV9alQ1eo#t=35s
  8. https://sewguide.com/sewing-thick-fabrics-many-layers-fabric/
  9. https://blog.treasurie.com/sewing-thick-fabrics/
  10. https://blog.treasurie.com/sewing-thick-fabrics/
  11. https://sewguide.com/how-to-press-for-sewing/
  12. https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2012/01/30/how-to-use-pins-the-right-way
  13. https://sewguide.com/sewing-thick-fabrics-many-layers-fabric/
  14. https://sewguide.com/sewing-thick-fabrics-many-layers-fabric/

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