We've been there! You finally decide to sew with a leather sewing machine but you have no idea where to begin. I decided to create this guide so you can find things easy. It is not really that hard to sew with leather as some people try to make it seem. And I just love the products I make with leather.
Use the tips below to guide you when you want to sew with leather. These will make your life easier than it currently is.
The way you sew normal fabrics is completely different from how you sew leather. There are many tools you could use to make the process more enjoyable and efficient. You first need the right leather sewing machine and the right accessories for it. One of the best accessories to get is a Teflon foot. A Teflon foot is strong and allows the leather to easily glide under the presser foot of the leather sewing machine.
A trick I always use is to wrap the foot with tracing paper. It makes the leather go through the machine much more smoothly. Another trick is to place a small piece of clear tape on the presser foot.
Another good accessory for a leather sewing machine is a walking foot. It makes the leather go through the machine more easily.
It is always a good idea to think thoroughly about the project you want to make and which type of leather best fits your work. A crucial element is the thickness of the leather. Your choice dictates which type of drape you finish product gets.
Just remember that is always easier to work with thinner leather. It is easier to pass them through your sewing machine and to maneuver around.
The best home leather sewing machines can handle thicknesses up to 3oz.
The next thing to consider is whether you want to sew with top grain leather or suede/nubuck leather. Then you need to inspect the leather itself for imperfections before cutting them into pieces.
After picking the right leather, the next step is to trace your patterns. Always trace the patterns on the side of the leather that is going to be hidden. In this case, you can think of it as the rough or wrong side of the leather.
Use a carbon template instead of a paper one because it is a more stable one.
You'll often use a pencil or chalk when tracing on fabric. You should use a tracing wheel when tracing on leather. It gives you a better result and makes it easier to cut the right pattern.
There are a few cutting tools you need in your repertoire when working with leather. Besides a good leather sewing machine, you also need excellent cutting tools to work with.
You should get a rotary cutter. This is the best tool for cutting leather because it makes the leather stay flat and make you cut without shifting.
Other tools you may want in the pattern cutting process include a good pair of leather cutting scissors, a hole punch, and leather awl.
You can't use regular sewing needles when working with leather. You need special leather sewing needles. These are generally stronger, wider and sharper. They can punch through thick fabrics very easily.
The thing with leather sewing is that mistakes can't be easily corrected. That is why you need the right needles to make the right holes.
It is also advised the have sample around and practice sewing on it before moving to your design pieces.Clips
Holes in leather are permanent so you can't use pins to piece the pieces together. You, therefore, need clips to use in this case. I recommend getting wonder clips.
The next thing to check is the threads. You need the right threads to sew leather properly. The best threads for sewing leather are the pure nylon threads. They are basically just stronger and longer lasting than cotton threads. They will keep your work together for many years.