The leather industry has been around for many centuries but only gained global recognition in the 20th century.
Leather is popular because it offers both a soft-feel and long lasting durability.
Leather gives items a stylish look and adds a luxurious look to any outfit.
Ryan James, the maker of leather goods at Little Kings Goods, a leather work company dedicated to producing the highest possible quality of handcrafted leather goods, located in Canada, shared a few tips, tricks and hacks anyone venturing into leather craft can learn from in this video.
Here are some of the hacks and tips he shared:
1. Tool Sharpening Hack: Many designers of leather craft buy tools with disposable blades which they use for a month or two and then exchange for a new blade. Instead of disposing the old blade, one thing you can do, provided your blade is of good quality, is sharpen it. It doesn’t cost much to sharpen a blade and it definitely beats buying a new blade every time.
2. Corner Cutting Hack: For making items like wallets with curved edges, instead of buying a corner punch to use in shaping the edges you can use your scribing knife. Here’s how it works; get a spool of thread and use the plastic bottom of it to mark the corners and then use your scribing knife to cut it off.
3. Threading Zap Hack: Sometimes, the eye of your needle gets clogged up with wax especially when you use wax polycord often, this can make threading a needle very frustrating. Instead of throwing your needle away or giving up, all you need to do is use your threading zap to melt the wax away. Threading zap can also be used in place of a lighter (which can ruin your leather if its flame gets to close to the leather) to burn the edges of your thread.
4. Trim Allownace Tip: A trim allowance is that extra space you add to your project that you cut off from your finished work to make sure that the outside edges of your leather projects are flush. It saves the time sanding your edges will take.
5. Gold Foil Hack: Not able to buy a machine for good foiling? Don’t worry, there’s a more cost effective way to get it done. All you need is a heat gun, some gold foil and your makers mark or stamp (which must be made out of metal). Use the heat gun to heat up your stamp till it is extra hot then press it down on the cold foil using an arbor press or the stamp handle (for small stamps).
6. Stitching Machine Tricks: To make your stitches constant when sewing with a stitching machine all you need to do is use an edge guide to keep your leather in line. To prevent the presser foot of your sewing machine from leaving marks on your leather, remove the spring under the knob on top of your machine to reduce pressure in the presser foot. Having issues with how fast your machine sews? Get a speed reducer.
7. Hammering Stitches Trick: The holes made by the needles after hand or machine stitching are usually raised and the stitches don’t sit quite as nice as they should, hammering down these stitches fixed this.
8. Edge Dye Marker Hack: To dye the edges of your leather works, you can get a refillable edge dye marker. These markers, which come in various sizes, get the work done perfectly.
9. Edge Burnishing Hack: Instead of going through the multiple steps and agents involved in burnishing your edges, you can burnish them with dye alone (this trick works with vegetable tan leather only). Apply the dye to the edge of your work then use the burnishing tool to burnish it. You know you’re getting a good burnish when you can hear a click.
10. Repairing Scratches Trick: In case you accidentally scratch your craft at any point during the production process there’s no need to panic, the problem can be fixed. Simply use your heat gun to heat up the surface of the leather (waxy leather only) and then massage the leather, this takes away any scratches as the wax melts and covers the scratch. For vegetable tan leather that has no wax just get some leather balm and use it to coat the surface of the leather where the scratch is to repair the damage.
So, there you have it! These are some of many tips, tricks and hacks you can use in leather work.