Australian Leather craft Shop

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Mac-Lace Leather was established in 1946 and we are still Australian owned and operated. We carry stock of all types of leather and associated products for leather craft. We are based in Brisbane but send products all over Australia.
Our website features all of our products available b

Step by Step Guide to Leathercrafting

 

Leather has become one of the most used material for making purses,shoes, wallets, belts, toys, jewelry cases to name a few. Since the days of the old west, cowhands have been using this incredible material for lassoes, chaps, holsters. Over the years, many men, women and kids have turned this craft into a hobby and it became a material that is use to make numerous items that we use. The skins of animals are tanned and made into some kind of leather. Alligators, snakes, cows, bisons, buffaloes and even ostriches are among the many killed for their hides. Although leather is abundant and is available in a wide variety of colors and finishes, it commands a high price for any item it is made from. Whether you are doing leather craft as a hobby or as a business, it is easy to create an article that people will love.

The tools needed to get started are few and very inexpensive. They are:

- small steel square for measuring and cutting a straight edge
- Modeling tool to make designs
- Knives for cutting and skiving
- mallet
- stitch marking wheel
- Awl - different holes sizes
- punches - pronged and single slits
- plier punch with different sizes
- a two piece snap setter

Considering that up to the smallest piece of leather can be used, buying an entire hide can end up making lots of items. It is recommended that a beginner start out with a few square feet of assorted scraps to learn about this craft.

Now that you have been shopping, it is time to get started. Try to start out making simple things like belts, billfold or even a pair of sandals. You can draw the pieces you will need on the leather but on more complicated items make a pattern first.

Lay the leather down on a work table right side up. Then place the pattern on the piece of leather and with one hand holding the pattern firmly, trace the outline of the pattern onto the leather. At first do not worry about flaws or which direction the grain runs. At this point we just need to get the feel of the leather and tools.

Next, depending on the thickness you may use a sharp knife or scissors to cut out the pattern. On thicker pieces. like the sole of a sandal use a tin snips.

Skiving is when you slice or pare away part of the edges of the leather to avoid stiff and bulky edges when it is joined.

With thick leather you may need a sharp awl to make holes (about half an inch from the edge) along the pattern edge so you can sew easily with a blunt needle. With thin leather you can use a regular unthreaded sewing machine to make the holes. Make sure the holes are spaced evenly apart so it will look neat when finished.

Use nylon, cotton, silk or nylon thread to sew your pieces together. There is waxed thread sold for this purpose or you can wax the thread with beeswax.

As you get more experienced into this, you will discover different ways to stitch your item together but for now just use a simple hem stitch.

To put a nice finish touch on your item buy snaps, split rings or other decorative accessories to give it a classy look.

Now that you have tried your first leather item, I am sure you have a lot of ideas to get started on. There are lots of things I haven't touched on because there is so much stuff you can do with leather it is amazing and the more you practice this craft, the better you will be able to implement different techniques to enhance your project.

Mac-Lace Leather - Brisbane leather and leathercraft supplier. Shop online for tools, hides, hardware, stitching and more or visit us in shop at Cleveland.

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