What is Leather Craft?
Leathercraft is the age-old, precise art of working with leather to create something unique and beautiful. Leather designers have honed this sacred tradition through investigative methods which have allowed designers to analyse and learn from traditional leather techniques used in the past. This can be seen by the popularity of Vintage leather, which in modern times is a fashion necessity. As high-quality leather ages, rather than wearing out, it burnishes and beautifies, developing a much sought-after patina and unique character that cannot be duplicated. The care put into making such quality leather is truly down to the artisan-ship, materials and the unique set of tools involved in bringing some of the best leather creations to life.
The question of “how to make leather?” will have a unique starting point for each individual when it comes to the scope of the project and creation. Leathercraft is an experience like no other; such an experience is achieved by creating meaning for that individual, creating that unique moment when your project and designs are orchestrated through personal taste and not dictated by what’s maas-en-vogue. A ground level experience, where you become the designer taking influence from the world, the colours around you, photography and designs to create and capture a reflection of you and your interests.
Leather designers will always recommend considering the right materials and tools for your project. This will always be the starting point for any leather 101 guides or courses. Leather has become a lifelong passion for many, who at first started out with just a simple leather 101 guide and fostered the art of leather making as a long-term hobby. When you are just starting out, leather crafting can seem like a daunting challenge when you have no leather tools. However, the good news is that there is no need to spend huge amounts of money; it is in fact safer to use fewer tools so you can really practice and perfect them before moving on to bigger projects in leather design.
Cutting leather is a fundamental part of the leather design process. There are a few different options out there to help you craft, so your choice will have to be down to your own unique personal preference. The most common tools used are a standard utility knife, a rotary cutter, or a round knife. Each option will provide a different cutting experience. Even well respected leatherworkers commonly use Xacto knives and box cutters.
A cutting mat will be essential, letting you make clean and precise cuts while at the same time protecting any work benches or counters from cuts and scars. While using your cutting mat you will most likely need a chisel. A diamond chisel is commonly used to create stitch holes so you can accurately stitch through pieces of leather. Sizes and widths vary; diamond chisels are placed on top of leather and are stuck with a mallet to create punched holes through the hide. This original technique can be found with its origins deriving from the history of leather.
A hammer or Mallet is needed to create punches and accuracy. It is essential to have one and is a good investment for a range of crafting techniques. A stitching awl is another simple tool that is needed, used to widen the holes and then easily thread through the leather.
Suitable needles are also needed to help with stitches, however when buying, you should look for wider needles so that they can carry the heavy waxed threads that are needed to stitch leather designs.
Leather comes in different widths and shapes and having a Skiver will play an important role in the shaping and thinning down of the leather. Again, this will vary between different projects with how much you will need to be using one. A complimentary tool to the Skiver is an Edge Beveller, a relatively small tool that is used for trimming and finishing rough edges and rounding them off softly.
An Edge Burner, will burnish the edges of the leather hide. Create friction by rubbing the burner, which will result in the melting of the fibres and edges. This is a great tool to stop fraying and will give the overall product a slick finish.
Hole punches are the necessary component to the hammer or mallet, helping drive the tool accurately through any type of leather grain and leather design.
Finally, no project is complete without recording the design process through a sketchbook. A leather bound sketchbook might be the perfect inspiration when creating your projects, drawing your images and keeping a record of what the experience meant to you for each different creation. Making leather can be an individual process, or you can create it with whoever you choose, no two leather making projects will ever be the same and the end result and experience will be one to remember each time you look at your finished piece. Partaking in leather craft is experiencing the history of leather, learning about materials, tools and the final changes that illuminate new frontiers in your understanding of this ancestral skill.
This is a talent that requires practice to understand, and leather is a material with a living history, passed on from one pair of hands to the next. When you try for yourself, a guide to the art of making will let you extract the true meaning behind leathercraft, which is ultimately the act of doing. .Ar:ti|sans DIY Leather Kits are made to ensure you can focus on what it means to shape leather, the dexterity that it requires and builds in your hands, a single moment in time when you are part of a heritage that goes back to our most ancient ancestors.
With an .Ar:ti|sans Kit, you can take a piece of the finest leather, your tools and a visionary mentor to transport you into the soul of a skill, learning the truth of what it is to be an artisan.
>>> Crafted By: Catherine Williams <<<