Leather is one of the major products that is extensively used in the fashion industry. This processed product is used widely in apparel, accessories, and footwear.
Different types of leather are incorporated into various projects. The type of leather used depends on the nature of the design.
However, people directly involved in fashion designing or leather technology often have to braid and sew leather to make products. If you have taken up a DIY project and intend to sew leather pieces together, there are several ways to do so.
In this document, we speak about how to cross stitch leather and produce fascinating pieces of fabric. Leatherwork can be a difficult skill but with this guide at your fingertips, expect to stitch your leather like a professional.
History of Leather
Usage of leather in daily wear dates back to the third millennium B.C. where women of the Mesopotamian Civilization wore garments made out of leather. Similarly, evidence of leather garments was found in Egypt.
Additionally, the Bible finds mentions of the usage of leather as well. To make things even more interesting, among the ruins of Pompeii, archaeologists found the ruins of tanneries which suggest the usage of leather.
The Native Americans made their clothing out of leather and accessorized it with bones, beads, feathers, and quills.
By the nineteenth century, advanced technologies regarding leather refinement were explored and introduced. The first person to invent a quick procedure for tanning using chromium salts went by the name Augustus Schultz.
Now, people of the world have started exploring eco-friendly ways of manufacturing and producing leather. These methods include vegetable tanning, usage of extracts from chestnut, etc.
Despite rebuttals from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA, the leather industry continues to be one of the most profitable industries.
Sewing Leather By Hand
While working with leather, hand sewing is one of the most essential techniques to master. Even though it is a skill that is of utmost importance, one can acquire it rather easily.
However, it is necessary to know that sewing leather will be much different compared to sewing fabric. This difference lies in the fact that while sewing leather, holes that are previously punched are used to slide the thread through.
The holes that are punched into the leather make sure that the stitches made are uniform and evenly spaced out. To be fair, sewing fabric materials require much more concentration compared to working on leather.
Leather sewing is less precise yet more methodical. This purpose uses needles that are blunt at the tip, which means it only makes sure to pull the thread through the holes.
What Would I Require to Cross-Stitch Leather?
In order to hand-sew, there are a few basic items that are necessary. To perform cross-stitch on leather, the items required are the same, but you can choose for colored threads if you wish to.
The required items that should be a part of your toolkit are mentioned below.
- Leather pieces with holes pre-punched
- Leather scrap pieces
- Leather Needles
- Waxed Thread
- Sharp Scissors
- Sewing Tape Measure
- X-acto Knife
- Stitching Pony
How To Prepare Your Needle and Thread
One of the first steps to stitch your leather pieces is to prepare your needle and thread. The following steps have been enlisted below. This will help you to prepare your needle and thread.
- Cut some thread and keep it aside for threading the needle you will be using for your work.
- In order to figure out the approximate length required for the stitch work, take a measurement of the seam, you are required to sew. Multiply this measurement by 2.5 to 5, and this will be the length that is sufficient enough for your work.
- Avoid using thread that is more than three feet in length.
- Once the cutting of thread is done, thread it through the eye of the needle and pull out a few inches through the other side.
- If the eye of the needle is too small, flatten the end of the thread to make sure it goes through the eye of the needle comfortably.
- To make sure that the thread does not fall out of the needle, lock it by pulling it through the twists of the thread, thereby creating a loop. However, this is necessary for the unwaxed thread.
- Knotting the free end of the thread is not necessary during stitch work on leather.
How To Cross Stitch Leather
To perform cross-stitches on leather, you can follow the given steps. Once you have threaded the needle, you are ready to start on your project.
Follow the given steps to successfully perform cross stitches on pieces of leather to create your little piece of art.
- To make sure the edges of the leather piece are at equal distance from each other, you can use a leather glue to fix them on a support that keeps the edges at a fixed distance from each other. This is done to make sure that the stitches are at equal distance from each other and uniform in nature.
- It is preferable to keep a gap between the edges so that they can be pulled tight while stitching. This lets you know that the stitches are tight.
- For cross-stitching two edges of leather together, you will require two leather needles.
- Both the needles have to be threaded through two opposite ends of the thread.
- The thread must be thick.
- Pull one threaded needle through the first punched hole. The other needle needs to be pushed through the same hole but from the opposite direction. This ensures the first stitch on the leather piece. You can start working from here.
- Pull both the threads from the opposite ends and tighten the stitch.
- Next, make sure that the length of the thread is the same on both sides of the stitch.
- Bring one threaded needle to the opposite side and force it through the second set of punched holes to its original side thus, making a half of a cross-stitch.
- Force the other needle into the same hole from the opposite side and pull it to its original side. Thus, it ensures one complete cross-stitch.
- This completes the first course of cross-stitches.
- Continue with the same process for the entire length of the side of the leather piece.
- Tighten after each stitch is complete.
- To end the course of the cross-stitch, pull the two needles from the same ending hole towards the opposite sides but pull it out from the underside of the leather piece. Pull them to sit tight and tie a knot at the end.
- Cut off the excess thread and complete the course of the cross-stitch work.
You can use various colors of waxed threads to use on your project. The color of the thread you choose could depend on the project you are working on, the design you have undertaken or the color of the leather scrap.
Once you are done with stitching, pull the leather piece out of the glued support, and you are good to go.
While cross-stitching leather, what are the factors that affect the length of the thread we work with?
The thread used for cross-stitching leather depends on the two factors: the thickness of the leather used and the distance measured from the edge to the stitching groove.
Is it necessary to use a waxed thread? What are its benefits?
It is not absolutely necessary to use waxed threads for stitching leather.
The wax on the waxed thread makes the stitch sit tight due to the stickiness of the thread. Thus, the thread can be prevented from uncoiling.
You can wax your own thread by using beeswax on the unwaxed thread.
Cross-Stitch to Make The Best Leather Items At Home
Cross-stitches make interlocking by stitches possible on sturdy items like leather. Skip the usual saddle stitch and add a little bit of creativity to your leather design using cross-stitches.
Cross-stitches are one of the simplest stitches that can be performed on leather. However, it is more methodical and tedious as it tends to consume a lot of time.
Use thick waxed thread for making the stitches so that they stay in place. Using thinner threads can cause problems to your project as they snap while working with them.
Thus, using this article, flex your skills and flaunt them cross-stitches on your cute little leather accessories.