How do you improve your leatherwork? To some people, creating pieces from leather is an art, to others as a craft, a craft delicately improved on with years of experience and dedication.
However, what happens to those who were not born into a family of leather smiths? Those who did not grow up knowing how to bend, twist and work leather into a beautiful submission, what happens to them? They get leatherwork tips.
After getting basic leatherworking tools, and maybe some leathercraft tutorials online, you might need just a little bit more to give you what you need.
We have put together 21 tips which you can use in improving your leatherwork. Maybe when you go through them, you will see how to get better at yours.
Think Of Your Own Ideas
The best way to improve your leatherwork is to make something original. Think of and come up with your own ideas, it works best.
Read Leathercraft Books To Get Inspired
Read books on leathercraft, get new ideas, see new designs, get inspired. You will see a lot of places where you need to and can improve.
Join Leatherwork Community Forums
Ideas are often exchanged so well, and more things are learned in the community. If there is something you don't know, some basic leatherworking tools you don't know how to work with, anything at all, you can learn all of it from these communities.
Study Historical Periods And Different Cultures
Leather has transcended through time and aged like fine wine, getting much more beautiful with inventions and modernization. However, the old leather works that defined historical times and cultures of people remain, study them. You don’t have to remake them(you could), you could simply modernize the ones you find, and make something beautiful out of something old.
Avoid Working On Too Many Projects At A Time
Focus on one project at a time, and keep at it until you have gotten it right. Doing so many at the same time would leave you with a truckload of imperfections, and just like that, you have not improved.
Relax When Drilling Holes
Drilling machines can make a huge mess when there is tension in the process. Relax. Yes, you want perfect work, but, relax. Take your time, drill the holes with some love. Love on your leatherwork, dear leather-smith, love on it.
Avoid Experimenting With Things You Have Almost Finished
Experimenting with an almost finished project is your first step to completely ruining that project. Don’t do it.
Use A Stitching Pony
As time goes on, more and more things would be discovered to help with leather crafts. A stitching pony holds the leather in place while you sew.
Hand Stitch Leather With Traditional Saddle Stitch
The traditional saddle stitch methods may look like a little too much work, but the attention to detail you give will pay over time.
Invest In Materials
This is one of the most important leatherwork tips you would ever get, invest in materials. Let your money help you improve. There are leatherworking tools you need, get them, lookout for the best leather tools and get them.
Hiding Stitching Knot
To hide your knot, simply pull the knot into the centre of the already stitched leather, and voila! Knot hidden.
Make A Template, If It's Not A Unique Item
Before you start cutting an item which is already in existence, make a template. This reduces the mistakes you make, saves you a lot of time.
Learn Principles, Not Examples
While it's great to look at and learn examples from leathercraft tutorials and in all other forms these examples come. However, you need to learn the principles more. Going by these principles will better improve your leathercraft.
Use The Right Weights Of Leather
When you want to start any leather project, be sure of the weight of leather needed, and get the right weights.
Mix Up Your Colours
If you don't try, how would you know that some colours match? Go ahead, mix them. This would help you improve your colour matching process.
Take Time To Finish The Straps Properly
Don't rush the straps, take time, pay attention to detail. The attention to detail paid now will pay you later in massive improvements.
You need a stamping machine to properly stamp leather. Get the name or pattern you want down, and stamp it beautifully. When you make a project, stamp it.
Colour Your Leather For Variety
The process of colouring leather is a simple, yet long one. You can either use a commercial dye, the old fashion vinegar and rust method, or mint oil. They have different ways they work.
Leather carving requires more hand tools than a machine. With leather carving, you create what you want by cutting into the leather, and it's a very delicate process. You will fail sometimes, but you will get it right sometimes too, and that matters. It makes you improve.
Watch YouTube Videos For Tutorials
Watching tutorials for more leatherwork tips will do you good. There are tons of beginners leather crafting lessons online, watch some and learn more.
Colour Patterns On Leather
Creating coloured patterns on leather seems complicated, but it's not. Your best bet is applying the colour on the leather with your brush(freehand) and letting your imaginations and skills (amateur or not) guide you through the process.
Carrying out all 21 of these leatherwork tips, or at least, a majority will strengthen your hand at leather crafting. With every tip you use, and every step you perfect, you become better than you previously were. This should be the goal of every leathercraft person. These amazing tips will guide you through your leather improvement journey
If you want to try out leather crafting in 2021, these leatherwork tips will make it more beautiful for you.
Whether you are a beginner or a veteran leather crafter, .Ar:ti|sans certainly has a leather craft kit that anyone can enjoy making. With a selection of three different products.
and a wide range of colours to go with. It’s certainly a gift for all those leather lovers around you.
If you loved these tips and you would like more, do subscribe to our weekly Artisans newsletter to receive our weekly craft updates, tips and tricks.