Is there anyone who has experience working with leather?
I've worked with leather, using it as appliques that I glued on surfaces; mirrors, walls, tables, but this time I am making handbags. I do sew, and have been sewing for 32 years, but I've never stitched leather. it would be great to get pointers, suggestions or tips from a fellow hubber.
I've used it in bag making and shirts. It's a little bit to get used to but not difficult if you're an experienced sewer. Of course you need leather needles which come in different sizes. And an even feed foot helps a lot because the leather is a little thick and you'll be working on two layers. That'll help to pull the leather through evenly. I've worked with deerskin and lambskin. Also, if you don't already have one, you might get a heavy duty grommet machine and a hand awl if you'll be making holes. Patterning your design needs a pencil that will show up and once you make stitch marks they're hard to cover up if you have to rip seams. A really big bead needle is great for hand stitching details. Leather also takes paint really well, just don't make it too watery if you're making a design or it will bleed. it can be dyed as well but needs a lot of pounding after drying to soften it again.
Hubber Tim_511 has a few hubs on leatherwork. You might check them out.
Why would you ask a bunch of writers about how one would go about leather working a purse. You could always request it as content in the question section.
I used to own a couple of leather goods stores and a wholesale leather goods business in the 70's...made quite a good living until the "almost handmade" mass produced goods from China flooded the market. Most of my products were Latigo - belts, purses, etc., but some were softer - suede, etc. The advice you got re: special needles was good. As I live in Northern California, Meissner Sewing in Sacramento, Ca. was a good source for more industrial quality sewing supplies and machines. They are still going strong 40 years later - www.meissnersewing.com. Get the right tools for the job...staff sewed their finger tips more than once trying to "push" the leather through. Good luck
rwelton.....THANK YOU...YOU'RE AWESOME!!! I am a repurposer, and I am making handbags from repurposed denim, leather/suede scraps and belts (the belts will be the straps). I'm really excited by this project, and truly, truly appreciate you for responding to my question!
Currently my time is spent researching additional materials and supplies needed, checking out resources for marketing my product, and creating my work area. I hope to get started by next month, but no later than February.
*sing'n- "I'm sooooooo excited, annnnnd I just can't hide it......"*
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