ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Leathercraft - Hand Sewing or Stitching Leather with the Saddle Stitch Tutorial (The Best Stitch for Leatherwork)

Updated on March 19, 2013

Hand sewing leather is an often-overlooked, but vital part of leatherworking. There is no substitute in leatherwork for the proper stitch. Unless you are making a key chain or something extremely basic that has no need for real strength, the best leather craft stitch available is the saddle stitch for hard-use items. After all, you don’t want to go through all the trouble of making a great design and working hard to put it together just to have it fall apart because the stitch was too weak! There are a few other options for stitches and you can also use lacing to close a seam, but in general, there is no substitute for the saddle stitch.This saddle stitch tutorial will go over the steps necessitated in the saddle stitch.

You will need waxed thread or artificial sinew or anything else that will work (I have heard of people using dental floss, but I don’t really know if that will work well or not), two leatherworking needles, and a pair of pliers or something to pull the needles through the small holes. There are two ways to perform a saddle stitch, but I’ll describe the way that I do it:

1) Procure a piece of either waxed thread or artificial sinew that is about 2.5 times the length of the seam that you will be stitching and attach a needle to each end. For example, if the seam is 8 inches long, pick a length of thread that is around 20 inches in length. This will leave a little extra at the end, but that is far better than coming up a couple inches too short and having to redo it!

2) Start at one end of the seam and push one needle through the first hole. Pull enough thread through so that there is an equal length of thread on each side.

3) Pick up one of the needles (let’s say the right needle) and push it through the hole immediately beneath from the right side and pull it tight out the left side, without stealing thread from the left needle. You will probably need to use something to help pull the needle through, because it will be a tight fit and hurt your hands.

4) Now take the left needle and push it through the same hole from the left and pull it out the right side of the hole. You should now have the needles hanging on each side with approximately even amounts of thread again.

 5) Keep alternating back and forth, pushing both needles through each hole and tightening them until you reach the other end.

6) When you get to the other end, start stitching again back the way you came for a few holes. This locks the stitch in place so that it won’t start to unravel.

7) Cut the thread and tuck the loose ends in the stitches or burn them if they are synthetic (be careful not to burn some stitches apart if you do this – I’ve done it before).

You are now finished with the stitching! It isn’t the most fun part, but it isn’t too bad. The reason for the saddle stitch is now obvious – you now have stitches running both ways over the length of the seam. If a stitch one side gets broken or cut, the other side will hold the seam in place.

The Art of Hand Sewing Leather
The Art of Hand Sewing Leather
Considered to be the Bible of leather stitching.

If you are serious about leatherwork and leather sewing techniques, get The Art of Hand Sewing Leather by Al Stohlman. It is the Bible for this kind of work. For more information about leatherworking, please check out my other hubs and

Enjoy leather working!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)