Leatherwork …

This past week I finished up a bit of leather work that I’d had floating around in several stages of completion. I finished up a couple of tooled belts and bracelets, a couple of knife sheaths, and a replacement for an old leather satchel I’ve had since my teaching days (after 12 years it was on it’s last leg). The mailbag was the largest piece I’ve made to date and it was a bit of a challenge. It’s made from 9-10oz leather so it ended up almost feeling like a saddle bag – very stiff and solid feeling. I do most of my work without the traditional cordage used for stitching leather (waxed linen, artificial sinew, etc.). Instead I use a much larger gauge hemp cord. I like the soft organic look of the hemp with the leather and it’s neutral color goes with most any dye color.┬áThe nature of the hemp makes it more difficult to work – it has a tendency to fray easily, it varies in thickness, and since it is a larger gauge it requires a bigger hole and needle. Depending on the size of the hemp I’m using I will either punch or drill (and yes leather purists will cringe at this but with the thicker leather this isn’t a significant issue). The hemp is too thick for a traditional stitching awl so all the work it done with just a needle. It holds up quite well over time and is much simpler to repair than traditional stitching.

Comments are closed.