Advanced Leathercraft : For Specialists Like You
Having worked with leather, you will agree with its magisterial appearance. Practising leathercraft provides enthusiasts with a creative outlet. Leather crafting not only gives you the freedom to explore divergent avenues but also is a reflector of your personality.
The sharpness of the cuts, the meticulous nature with which buckles are strapped on, and even the choice of leather. All of these components add up to create a product that is reflective of your taste, much like human traits.
Leathercraft is an empowering skill to possess. Via it, you can design and create professional items, even set up your own business. The possibilities are limitless.
Through this article, come with us on a journey of exploring the practices of advanced leathercraft.
Exotic Leather of the Modern World
As you may have already experienced, the ecosphere of leather is very diverse. With variations arising due to either the manufacturing process or the quality of animal hide, you must have a feel for the base material.
Without further ado, let’s quickly go through the various types of leather that are available in the market. Many of you may have had a leather crafting experience with a few of these. Despite that, it is important to know the intricacies of each one as we encourage you to venture out and explore new base leathers for your products.
This leather provides a more elegant and sleek finish than its base constituents of veg-tanned and chrome-tanned. Being more pliable, it can be a tricky base leather and requires agile tool handling.
This leather base is useful for products that are used outdoors. Its waterproofing properties are a result of its treatment with oils and dyes. Consider using this in projects which require high aesthetics.
Technology of this day and age has allowed salmon skin to be turned into a fashionable item for design and upholstery. Although, using fish as a source of leather was an ancient practise, technology has revitalised the fish leather industry as a prominent source of eco-friendly leather.
Just like the name, coolstone leather is made out of sewable thin slices of slate stone. The combination of soft and supple finish with the durability of PU and PVC, coolstone leather is one of the most revolutionary leather of the 20th century.
Handling this base leather requires a lot of expertise. We, thus, recommend it for specialists like you. It is one of the most durable leathers in the market.
Despite being soft, this leather is challenging to the tool. It is used in products like sofas and seat covers.
Industrial Machines for Leathercrafting
If you want to scale up your passion into a full-blown business, you will have to procure yourself some mechanised tools. This will help speed up the leather stitching process.
Here are some machines that you should consider
- Leather Stitching Machine
- Leather Splitting Machine
- Die-cutting Press With Swing Arm
- Leather Hole Punching Machine
- Leather Embossing Machine
- Leather Burnishing Machine
- Leather Paring Machine
Expert Leatherworking Equipment
The essence lies in having control of the entire process of leather crafting. You’ll maintain consistency in cuts and tooling only if you are well equipped with paraphernalia.
As you grow in your advanced leathercraft experience, so does your workstation. These are some pieces of equipment that you must start getting your hands on.
Possessing different sizes of these in your toolkit will help you run along with your markings and obtain a professional-looking finished edge.
These are semi-serrated shears that are great for cutting out intricate patterns into the leather of thin to medium thickness.
It is an efficient way to cut long straight lines when used in tandem with a metal ruler. We highly recommend it for cutting straps for bags.
This helps maintain a uniform distance from the leather edges by creating grooves into the leather. Very useful when you are working with a stiffer grade of leather.
It is used for thinning leather by shaving off the excess via a blade. If you’re looking to attach multiple pieces of leather, Skivers are the way to go.
Allows you to easily punch different sized holes in the leather without using a hammer. The only limitation is that you can't punch more than a few inches within the edge.
Expert Leatherworking Techniques
As the adage goes, work smart not hard. Having spent considerable time in leather crafting, we understand how important it is to be efficient while handling leather. For starters, leather is not the cheapest of materials out there.
These techniques and leather crafting skills for professionals will help you minimize wastage and increase efficiency.
Transfer your pattern efficiently onto the base leather after sketching down your design on a piece of paper. Fasten the paper using saddle tags and etch into the paper so that it leaves an imprint on the leather below.
There are numerous tools available that can be used to cut leather. Making the right choice can make all the difference between a smooth cut and a rough edge. In addition to a utility knife, these are some tools that help provide a premium finish.
- Rotary Cutters
- Head Knives
- Swivel Knives
- Hole Punches
- Skiving Knives
- V-Gouge Knives
Ever wondered how some leather products look seamless? Burnishing is a technique that makes a huge difference in the finished product. By applying friction on the edges of the leather, heat is produced which compresses the fibres of the leather. This smoothes out the edges. Tools like hand burnishers and edge slickers are readily available in the market.
Although this may sound trivial, when stitching by hand, saddle stitching is the way to go. Since it consists of a long thread with a needle at both ends, it helps prevent irregularities if the threads were to break.
Alternatives To Learn Industry-Level Leathercrafting
- Atelier’s ‘Intermediate Leathercraft Course:’ A progression syllabus leather crafting course that is highly recommended
- ‘Intermediate Leathercraft Course’ by Instructables.
Mastering advanced leather crafting skills require patience and time. The more you get hands-on with the leather and the tools, the more at home you’ll feel with the materials. To encourage you, we at .Ar:ti|sans provide various leather accessories and tool kits to try with your friends. Get hold of our leather crafting resources and embark on your leather journey.
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