Table of Contents
Tools and Equipment
Cutting out your Patterns
The Sewing Process
Silver or Gold Belt
Making Leather Wallets and Drawstring Pouches
Making a Leather Drawstring Pouch
How to Work with Suede
Where Do You Get the Leather?
When we were kids at school, and were living in a land, where we were taught crafts at school, as part of the educational curriculum, under the term of socially useful productive work, I remember some parents getting rather indignant, because their children were being taught how to work in leather!
Being a rather socially backward area, steeped in old tradition and also the traditional working professions fit for different people of different ethnicities and castes, these supposedly highborn families would not allow their children to work on anything, which included touching any material made out of pigskin, calfskin, and hide. These items were considered to be touched only by the lowest of the low, the untouchables.
They were the cobblers, who made things in leather, and people, supposedly of the highest caste never wore items made out of these natural products. That is why their shoes were always made out of wood and no way would they use leather belts, purses, bags, ornaments, jackets, or any other things which other people could wear with impunity.
Believe it or not, this system worked in the East, for millenniums, but luckily, today we are fortunate because we are not so old-fashioned and also, we do not believe in such outmoded traditions, and that is why we can enjoy one of the most enjoyable of all activities, working with leather and making your own accessories, which otherwise, would set you back hundreds of dollars, if you went and bought them off the shelves.
Believe me, if you are under the impression that working with leather is very difficult, it is definitely not so. If you have pushed a needle and thread, through a piece of fabric, you can consider leather to be just another fabric. It may be a bit harder to work on, but if the thread has been asked with ordinary candle wax, and your needle is sharp, there is absolutely no problem in stitching leather, and absolutely no limits to the things you can make out of leather. People have been doing so for millenniums, from jewelry to pouches to bags, to moccasins and shoes, to anything you want to make, which is going to be long-lasting and a thing to treasure.
So let us assemble our equipment first. There are plenty of leather making kits, on the Internet, but with their totally absurd prices of up to $225, surely, surely you are not going to waste all your money on buying such a case or kit, unless of course you want to become a traditional leather worker, and intend to sell the things you make?
Leather is normally made from the skin of animals. The whole skin is sold, and the portion of the back is stronger and thicker than the one at the edges. That is why, when you begin cutting shapes in leather, you would want to look at the thickness beforehand. The easiest to work with are leathers obtained from goats and sheep.
Sheepskin leather – this is of course the cheapest, because it is so easily available, and that is why many people do plenty of embroidery work upon so that it looks more expensive.