Leather tools – leather working essentials
Without leather tools, leather working is impossible. With Andriy Proforuk, owner of Craftntools, I talked about which tools are very important and which ones you shouldn’t miss at all for leatherworking on fine leather – necessary for handbags and small leather goods.
Andriy, what is the basic range of leather tools you should have, when starting leather working?
Hi Isabel, the basic things to start leather working is your personal desire to:
- Invest a lot of time
- And only then, you are able to understand what leather tools you need.
Speaking from my own experience, the first things I bought were: a few pieces of leather, diamond awl, a tool for edge beveling, and fine quality waxed sewing thread. Also you will need a knife to cut the leather pieces – though, at the beginning you may use any sharpened knife you have on hand – and the special so called “blunt point” needles.
Which tools do you recommend especially for leather working and stitching by hand?
To make nice straight stitching on leather pieces, you must use the following leather tools:
- A sharpened knife to cut the respective leather piece.
- You will need a glue for leather to stick leather pieces together.
- A compass to mark a parallel to the edge of the leather piece line.
- Pricking irons or marking wheels – these tools are used to mark the future stitch on piece of leather.
- A diamond awl. You use it to make the holes on the marked leather surface.
- John James saddler harness needles (blunt point).
- A good quality polyester or linen waxed thread.
- An edge beveling tool.
- Optionally, you can use some edge polisher and waxes. This is a kind of finish.
What kind of tools are important when you produce your leather goods with a sewing machine?
The tools are almost identical to the ones you use in hand sewing, yet with the difference, that the main work is done by a sewing machine. So, you’ll need a good sewing machine for leather and special needles in different sizes. There is also a difference in sewing thread. It is not possible to use the thread for hand sewing in sewing machines!
You sell products from many traditional manufactures like knifes from Vergez Blanchard, John James Needles or Fiebing’s Leather Care. In your opinion, how important are good quality products and tools for leather working?
Of course the quality of the tools, materials, and leather care products you use is very important, no matter what kind of work you do. That’s why we tried to gather the best quality products in our Online-Shop. Yet fine quality tools and materials are expensive and beginners often can’t afford them. So I recommend to use simple, not expensive tools at first. There is also no need to buy very expensive leather at the beginning. By trying out and collecting experiences, you get an understanding of the process. The main thing is the passion and willingness to work hard.
If you were a leather working tool, which one would you be and why?
I even cannot imagine. Maybe the knife? But no, that was just a first association. I don’t want to be a leather tool. I wish I were a well-known inventor.
Leather workers are located all over the world, where do most of your customers come from?
We have customers from all around the globe. Leather sewing became very popular during the previous decades. The greatest influence on it has the expansion of the internet and trading platforms such as ebay, Etsy, and Amazon. People more and more understand the advantages of online purchases: today, you can order everything you want from different countries and manufacturers.
Additionally, you are able to sell handmade products to customers from everywhere in the world. Consequently, many people began to expand their hidden talents in leather sewing and became a real competition to well-known brand names.
The greater part of our customers are from the US, followed by customers from the UK, and the rest of the European Union. We also have a lot of clients from Asia and Australia.
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