Leathercraft Tips and Hacks

The Complete Guide to Understanding Leathercraft

The Complete Guide to Understanding Leathercraft

So you want to start leathercraft, it is good, but what do you understand about it? 

When people talk leather and leather works, there is always this drawback because they lack skills in leatherworking and do not know how to start leather crafting.

What is leather crafting?

Leather crafting is the act or process of making things from the hides and skins of animals. 

It is transforming a piece of processed skin into a beautiful work of art. 

Leather plays a significant role in building economies since the beginning of time and still maintains that impact today.

Leather Crafting In 2021

Today leather crafting employs modern leather-making processes to create incredible masterpieces that last for ages. 

DIY leathercraft kits and online leather crafting classes are numerous guides to leathercraft to get you to understand the craft. 

Whether you are looking to start at home or attend a course, leather crafting skills allow you to showcase your creativity.

Leatherworking Skills

To fully comprehend the process of transforming leather into beautiful items, you must acquire basic skills in leatherworking. 

These fundamental skills enable you to make practical and usable accessories like belts, wallets, purses, and more.

Basic skills in leatherworking

Before we jump into the skills required for leatherworking, do you know there are 4 types of leatherwork? They are the:

European traditional leatherwork – this leatherworking process uses traditional European saddlers’ style to produce clean and refined finishes on leather. 

It also uses linen thread and not synthetic ones.

The American western leatherwork – also employs the saddlers’ techniques like their European counterparts but the tools and results differ.

The stitches are straight rather than the slanted style used in traditional leatherworks. And they use thicker threads than commonly used in European leatherworks.

Tooling – is not exclusively leatherworking like stitching and pricking holes; it is more of a decorative technique to beautiful leather, making it more appealing and personal.

Primitive leatherwork – this is a leatherworking technique from way back in the days. They did not employ any specific tools like modern leather making, and functionality took precedence before fashion.

So what are the basic skills in leatherworking?

There are numerous skills in leatherworking that everyone interested in leathercraft must know. 

They include choosing and storing leather, understanding thickness, cutting, saddle stitching, gluing, edge finishing, and more.

Other skills are for advanced techniques but the above simple expertise to get you through your first leather good.

Tools for leatherworking 2021

Every skill needs tools to become a reality, and leatherwork is no different. 

You could buy a leatherworking tool kit to save you the trouble, but these are the basic must-haves.

These are cutting tools, mat, awls, hole punch, stitching needles and threads, mallets, leather glue or cement, edge clever and finisher, groover, and chisel. 

With the following tools, you are on your way to creating beautiful leather goods.

Journey into Leathercraft

Every person that went into leathercraft hobby had a terrible interaction with leather goods or could not find something customized or personalized. 

There is a story behind every leather goods you buy and if you have the time, chat with the craftsman to know more.

Understanding Leathercraft

To truly understand leathercraft, you need to follow a detailed guide to leathercraft and learn each step meticulously. 

Leather crafting is a tedious process, no doubt, but the results and appreciation are well worth it.

As mentioned, you need a guide to explain the practicality and translate the teachings into reality.

How to start leather crafting?

Well, start from the beginning and know what you want. You have to realize that although leather goods are all made of leather, there are little differences that make each one spectacular. 

Watch this video on how to start leather crafting.

Leather hobby for beginners 2021

There are plenty of places to enable you to kickstart your leathercraft hobby. However, this article will set you up on the right track with the basics you need.

Leathercraft is not that hard even though the process is long is feels therapeutic taking it up as a hobby.

Historical Significance of Leatherwork

Leather is the most successful human resource to date. It has survived the eras and still has significance in modern society.

It is durable, comfortable, and available everywhere.  Moreover, it has sustained man through age. So how did leather come to be?

Origin of leather

As a true testament to its durability, today, the origins of leather dates back almost 6000 years. Humans are a resourceful hunter who killed for food. However, to survive the perilous times, safety and protection were crucial. Leather comes from dead animal skin, which is treated and cured into pliable materials used in leatherwork.

History of leatherwork

The history of leatherwork dates back to when human beings began using skin for uses other than food. So it is fair to say that when our ancestors use bones, strings, and animal's skin to make clothes, shoes, and sleeping mats for themselves.

Medieval Leatherworking

Leatherworking in the medieval ages was intricate and detailed, very beautiful and durable. The tooling techniques were passed down from generations before them and were mostly handmade. 

The process of sourcing, curing, treating, cutting, dyeing, and piecing the leather material together was all by hand.

As the years progressed, technology and more advanced tools replaced old stressful tools and applications.

Antique Leatherworking

It is a finishing process in leatherworking. 

The tooled leather is stained with the desired color to give that old vintage look. 

However, antiquing also enhances the tooling work on your leather for a finer and shinier appearance.

Watch the antique process here.

Handmade Leathercraft in today’s society

People love leathercraft, and some indulge in leathercraft hobbies in their spare time. 

However, people are more passionate about creating unique pieces that express their feeling or purpose. 

Handmade leathercraft is a booming market, and yours could be too.

Modern leather making

Today we have hundreds or even thousands of tools and processes for anyone to create their first leather project. 

Unlike the olden days, there are companies with the skills and craftsmen to bring your designs to life.

 So whether you choose to finish up (which is good) or have it finished, it is still your design.

Modern leather making is fun, easier, and faster. It is not hours cleaning the skin, tanning, or curing.

DIY Leathercraft kit

Do you want to start leather crafting in your home? You need a DIY leathercraft kit to push through the process. 

There are countless brands online, and it is not difficult choosing what works best for you.


Leather is fun when you start. Doing something that people will appreciate the love, care and emotions is a beautiful thing. 

Honestly, leather is one material that can personify how the leather craftsman feels to the onlooker.

Leathercraft is a passion that anyone can develop. If you have the right mindset and willingness to pursue that leathercraft hobby of yours into reality, it is easy.

Let’s be mindful of the various processes involved until your first leather project came alive. 

Whether you follow the process or employ a craftsman, it is worth it.

Get started today and subscribe to the Artisans newsletter. They have all the information, tips, tricks, and juicy bits to make your journey into leather crafts a breeze.


Articles You Might Like:

21 Tips To Improve Your Leatherwork

Make DIY Leather Gifts on a Budget: Easy DIY Leather Handmade Gifts

Perfect Craft Hobby Gifts Idea For Creatives

26 Unique Leather Gift Ideas For Your Anniversary

Easy And Quick DIY No Sew Leather Projects With Leather Scraps