Working on leather is not as easy as working on cloth fabrics. However, it is quite similar. Leather is harder than cloth fabric thus needs harder needles. Sometimes, working leather by hand is easier and better than using a leather sewing machine.
Lacing leather is one of the common tasks that you can carry out on leather fabrics. It is a simple process that involves punching holes in the leather and sewing the lace through the holes by hand. Lacing leather uses the same stitches you use when sewing on cloth fabrics.
What Type Of Stitches Are Used When Lacing Leather?
You can use a range of stitches that are common in sewing when lacing leather. You can use a hoop stitch, loop stitch, running stitch, buckstitch, and cross-stitch.
Lacing leather is completed in a simple process. You start by punching holes in the leather. Thread the leather needle with your lace of choice and use your favorite sewing stitch to sew the lace onto the leather fabric. When you have finished sewing the lace through, hammer it onto the leather and apply conditioner to ensure that a fine and strong finish.
Step 1. The buckstitch is mostly a decorative leather lacing stitch. The lacing made with this stitch looks almost like a diamond shape. It is used to lace high-end leather products. You need chisels with prongs which you can use to make your lacing holes. Make holes on your leather fabric with a four-pronged chisel to prepare to buckstitch the lace. You also need a hammer which you will use to hit the chisels to make holes in the leather. You also need lace and conditioner.
Step 2. Thread your lacing needle. You will need a double-eye needle. Prepare your lace so that it is easily threaded. Slice the end that goes into the eye with a sharp knife and form it into a V shape. This makes your lace easily settle in the eye of the needle. You can use pliers to fix the lace firmly on the needle. Also, make a small hole through the other end of the lacing. This hole makes your anchor stitch when you start stitching. You are now ready to lace your leather.
Step 3. If you have two layers of leather fabric, insert your needle through the center of the two fabrics. Make sure your needle comes out on the other side. Leave the tip of your lace in the center of the fabric. Bring your needle up through the fabric and the tip of the lace. Make sure to go through the hole on the tip of your lace to make a firm anchor stitch on your leather fabric. Then pull your lace until it comes through to the other side of the fabric.
Step 4. With your lace on one side of the fabric, push your needle through the fabric to push it to the other side of the fabric. As your lace exits the leather fabric, twist it a little. This forms a diamond-like shape on the leather fabric. Repeat this to the end of the leather fabric.
Step 5. When you come to the end of the line of stitching, leave a loop at the backside of the leather fabric as you push the needle up. Then push the needle back down to come out through the middle of the two fabrics and underneath the topstitch. Pull the lace tightly to seal the loop. Then cut the lace with a sharp knife.
Step 6. To finish off, hammer your stitches in place with a mallet. Do this on both sides of the leather fabric. You have laced your leather fabric with a buckstitch. Lacing with buckstitch makes your leather fabric appealing and attractive.
2. The Z Stitch
Step 1. You need chisels, mallets, leather lacing, and a hole punch. You also need two pieces of leather that you will lace together in the Z stitch. You also need a strong leather needle to stitch the lace through the holes you have made on the two pieces of leather.
Step 2. With your hole punch, make holes on the two pieces of leather. Your holes should be less than ¼ inch from each other and about ⅛ inches from the edge of the leather pieces that you will be lacing.
Step 3. Thread your needle with the lacing that you want to stitch on the leather fabric. Make sure that you have a sufficient length of lacing that will be enough for the size of your leather fabric. This is so that you don’t have to thread your needle again and again in the lacing process.
Step 4. Start lacing your leather pieces. Lay the pieces of leather side by side. Insert your threaded needle into any of the top holes in any of the two leather pieces you are lacing. Push your needle through the edge and into the corresponding hole on the other piece of leather. Pull the lacing tightly to fix it firmly on the leather piece. Thread the lacing a few times to make sure that it is securely in place.
Step 5. To proceed, make sure that the needle is facing the direction you want to proceed to. From the hole that the needle comes out from, direct the needle to the hole on the opposite side on the other piece of leather. This creates a Z shape on the lacing hence the name, Z stitch.
Step 6. Pull the lacing out of the hole and turn it around and behind the corresponding hole in the other piece of leather and repeat the above step to make a Z stitch. Repeat this to the last hole on your leather pieces.
Step 7. Hammer the lacing in place with a mallet. This makes sure that the lacing holds on to the leather.
3. Running Stitch
Step 1. Assemble your tools which include a mallet, hole borer, leather fabric, garment, or bag that needs lacing. Make small holes with a small gap between them, similar to the distance of making a running stitch on cloth fabric.
Step 2. Thread your needle with lacing. Make sure the lacing is enough for the length of leather you want to lace. Make a small slit on the end of the lacing that is not threaded on the needle.
Step 3. Insert your needle in the second hole. Then come back from behind into the first hole. Place the edge of the lacing with the slit on the hole so that the needle goes through the hole on the lacing to make the anchor stitch.
Step 4. Push the needle into the second hole then bring it back up through the third hole and back down through the fourth. Continue the up-down sewing through the holes to the end of the length of the leather fabric.
Step 5. At the end of the lacing, make a firm stitch to hold the lacing on the leather you can do a backstitch by going back into the previous hole and bringing the needle out through the final hole.
What You Need To Know When Working With Leather?
Leathercraft is one of the many crafts that one can involve themselves in. Working with leather is similar to sewing except that leather is a harder fabric. Because of this, you need to get the right materials for leather.
You need a leather needle, which is harder than a fabric needle, a leather sewing machine, mallets, and chisels to make holes on the leather and to beat the leather lacing into place.
Working with leather is similar to working with fabric, especially when it comes to lacing. You can lace leather with as many stitches as you can use while sewing fabric. Sometimes you need to hit the lacing with a mallet to make sure it is firmly in place on the leather.
To begin a leather project, all you need is a leather project of choice. When you have the materials and skills you need, you can start and finish any leather project easily.
Most Common Tools Used For A Leather Project
To complete a leather project you need to have the right tools. The right tools are a great influence on how your final product looks like. The most important tool to have for your leather project is leather fabric. You can use it to make whatever leather product you want.
You need leather cutting tools. The most common leather cutting tools include a knife, chisels, and hole borers to make holes in the leather as you work on it.
You need an awl to stitch your leather items together. You also need stitching needles, cutting mats. A skiver is also an important tool that enables you to slice off edges on your leather accurately.
You also need a mallet to hit the chisels when making the holes or when firmly fixing the stitches on the leather.