When it comes to handmade leather craftsmanship, sewing repairs are undoubtedly a vital subject. Whether in the production process of leather goods or in the later maintenance, sewing repair plays an indispensable role. In this blog post, we'll take a deep dive into the importance, tips, and some practical advice about leather sewing repair kits.
How to Sew Leather by Hand
How to sew or repair stitches in leather at home is a common question for those without access to an industrial sewing machine. Here, WUTA Leather breaks down everything it takes to sew leather, from the tools you’ll need to the sewing process itself.
Knowing how to sew leather by hand is an important skill to learn in leatherwork, and while it can seem daunting, it’s relatively easy to master. Leather hand sewing differs from fabric sewing in that leather hand sewing requires you to sew through pre-punched holes, which will ensure that your stitches are evenly spaced.
When performing leather sewing repair, you may use many different tools to ensure that the repair process goes smoothly and you get the best results. Here are some common tools used for leather sewing repair:
Leather sewing needle: Choose a sewing needle that is appropriate for the thickness and thread of the leather. Different tasks may require different types of needles, e.g. straight, curved, etc.
Thread: Choose the right thread according to the type and thickness of the leather. Thick threads are suitable for thicker leathers, while thin threads are suitable for thinner leathers. The color of the thread should also match the original stitch.
Waxed thread for leather:Waxing thread is essential to leatherworking. It makes regular thread stiffer, less stretchy, and more resistant to water and mildew. If you are learning how to sew leather, it’s useful to know how to wax your thread.
Scissors: Use sharp leather scissors for cutting the thread and trimming excess. Make sure the scissors are kept sharp for accurate trimming.
Pliers: may be needed to clamp and hold metal fittings, buckles or buttons when replacing them.
Leather awl: Used to make holes in leather for sewing or adding decoration. Make sure you choose a awl that is appropriate for the thickness of the leather.
Stitching tools: These tools help you to draw stitches on the leather to guide the path of the sewing. This is particularly useful for complex restoration tasks.
Sewing clips: These are used to hold the leather blocks together during the sewing process to ensure that the stitching does not move.
Leather Glue: In some cases, you may need to use leather glue to reinforce or secure parts of the area before sewing the repair.
Embroidery needle: If you plan to add decorative stitching to your repair, an embroidery needle is an essential tool.
Leather burnish tool: Used to sand the repair area to smooth and harmonize the stitching with the surrounding leather.
Leather cutting knife: Sometimes it is necessary to cut and trim the leather precisely, so a fine knife is essential.
What are the different types of leather stitching?
Many styles exist, including single stitch, saddle stitch, cross stitch, baseball stitch, and box stitch. Each variation has its use and looks, allowing for different construction methods when sewing leather. Using different stitching methods, leather can be sewn together uniquely.
Best stitch for sewing leather!
What Is the Best Stitch to Use on Leather? The best type of stitch for leatherwork is a saddle stitch. Rather than connecting every other hole on alternating sides of your textile as you would with straight stitches, a saddle stitch connects every hole on both sides to create one long line of stitches without gaps.
How to stitch leather?
we will be discussing the saddle stitch method since it’s the most recommended.
Once you have created your holes, it’s time to prepare the thread. If you use the saddle stitch method, you will want to measure and cut the thread 3.5 times the length you plan to sew.
Insert one needle through the first stitching hole from the outside of the leather, leaving a tail of thread on the inside.
Insert the other needle through the same hole from the inside of the leather, crossing the threads inside the leather.
Pull both needles tight, allowing the cross to sit flat against the leather.
Insert the first needle through the next hole, moving from inside to outside.
Insert the second needle through the same hole, again crossing the threads inside the leather.
Pull both needles tight to create a snug stitch.
Repeat: Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each stitching hole, alternating between the needles and maintaining even tension. This creates a diagonal pattern of stitches on both sides of the leather.
Once you reach the last holes, you will sew through them twice in the same figure-8 pattern you’ve used with the other holes. This ‘locks’ the stitch, finalizing your saddle stitch. Complete the stitch by tightly pulling the thread and then trimming it.
By mastering these leather sewing tips and styles, you'll be able to achieve a high level of quality and beauty when restoring and crafting leather goods. Remember, patience and carefulness are the keys to success, and constant practice will help you keep improving your skill level.