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The Knife Sheath you May have never Seen

Updated on February 23, 2013

Center Seam Sheath.

In the world of cutlery and knives especially hunting knives there are many different knife sheaths out on the market.

Most of the sheaths in the mass production line up today are made of nylon, plastic, or a leather so light it may as well be paper with no solid construction.

A knife sheath is just as important as the knife, its a place where you knife rests until you need to use it in the filed, and it should be made of a good quality leather with a decent saddle stitch and welt.

Making and forging knives for a living, I also take pride in the leather work and sheaths I make, but this article is about a sheath style that has been around for years and you don't see it to often anymore not about advice on leather work.

This is the center Seam knife sheath.

Reason this is called the center seam sheath is if you look at the first photo in this article in the top right hand corner you will see no stitching visible on the front of the sheath. All of the stitching is done on the backside of the sheath while the leather is wet. The stitching look's like it goes right down the center.

See the picture below for an example of what I mean.

Advantages, disadvantages and some details

This style sheath has some good point and some bad points in my opinion.

This style sheath when wet formed properly with a good veg tan leather can give a really nice fitting firm sheath. As mentioned above the stitching is done on the back side for the most part and I have even seen these done with stitching on the front so pulling each stitch firm will give a good fit.

In some cases the disadvantage to this style sheath that I have seen is allot of these have no welt or liner. Main reason is if you put a welt in it, it's no longer a center seam style sheath!

I would say if this style sheath is made it should have a good liner of rawhide or even a heavier veg tan leather of some type. Maybe even a lighter wood.

Even so eventually over time with no welt or liner and if your not careful with this style sheath the blade can poke or cut through the side of the leather. I have seen this happen.

If you popping by and are reading this from a random search engine and have no idea what a welt is in a knife sheath let me give you some good information.

Below is an example of one of my regular knife sheaths. I call this a fold over sheath with a fold over belt loop. The first picture is of the sheath, but the second picture is of the side of the sheath.

If you look you will be able to see a third piece of leather that is sandwiched in between the front and back pieces of leather. This piece almost acts like a shield or guard for the cutting edge and also holds the stitches.

Besides the saddle stitching down the side of the sheath, the welt also has been glued in place with a very durable contact cement.

Hand stitched fold over sheath with fold over belt loop.
Hand stitched fold over sheath with fold over belt loop. | Source
Example of a Welt
Example of a Welt | Source


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    • mlesniewski profile image

      mlesniewski 4 years ago from Upstate NY

      Thank you, Yes you can still find them.

    • GNelson profile image

      GNelson 4 years ago from Florida

      Looks cool!!! I have seen this type of sheath on scandi knives.