Hand stitching leather is something of a challenge. Due to the thickness of the leather, it takes a lot more work to sew the seams joining the pieces of leather. This always takes a lot of time than it would with a simple fabric. However, leather has an incomparable charm and that is why most of us prefer this material over any other material. Quilting is one of the things that is essential to working with leather and is quite difficult to explain in text.

Hand sewing is a very important skill when working with leather and is quite easy to master even if you have no previous sewing experience. Part of what makes leather hand sewing a little different than fabric sewing is the fact that you are sewing through pre-punched holes like the ones we made in the last two lessons. These holes ensure that the stitches are evenly spaced and mean that hand sewing leather requires slightly less concentration and precision than sewing fabric. Leather needles are also quite large and usually blunt, meaning they are more visible and less likely to poke you.


The first thing you need to do when Hand stitching leather is to cut the thread and thread the needle or needles you will be using. Hand sewing the leather is usually done with a thick waxed thread. Stitch length and the size of the hole you use when sewing the leather. To get the correct length of thread, measure the seam you will be sewing and multiply by about 2.5.

This should give you enough thread to saddle stitch your entire seam, but it’s usually not very practical to work with more than 3 feet of thread, so if your length is longer, you may need to start with a second thread. Across your seam, which is perfectly fine?

Once you’ve cut the thread, thread it through the eye of the needle and pull it through a few centimeters. Depending on the size of the eye of your needle, you may need to pinch and flatten or wet the tip of the thread to thread it through the needle. To block the needle at the beginning of the thread, you can pull it through the turns of thread to create a loop, but I don’t usually find it necessary, especially with waxed threads.


When Hand stitching leather, it’s good to have several different methods to choose from. These five different leather stitching techniques will help you create a more unique finish. They also help you get around a corner, sew two pieces together, or just create a new look.

This stitch can help speed up sewing if you have trouble with saddle stitch. This is a very simple sewing method and basically has the same appearance as a saddle stitch, but only requires one needle. You can start this stitch in one of two ways. First you can take the thread and put it through the needle, but you have to make a knot. This will allow you to pull the thread tight and avoid stretching the threads. Now fasten the piece of thread with the eye of the needle.

To make a “Z” stitch, you start the same way as a simple stitch. Your choice of how you want to start the sewing process. But since this stitching will go over the edge of your item, you can use the knot method and start on the inside of the leather. Wrap the thread around the first two parallel holes several times to ensure a secure start of sewing. After the stitch is on the desired side, you want a cross stitch (I do a back Z). You go into the hole that is below the hole you are on the other side of the skin.

This stitch is very useful for stitching two pieces of leather that are next to each other. This is a very popular technique of wrapping leather around an object such as a flask or steering wheel while keeping minimal thread on top. To get started, you need to have your two needles threaded and locked in place. Your skin should have holes that are pretty parallel to the other side/piece of skin that is already pierced. Next, you take the awl, go over the top and poke the side of the leather with the awl. Make sure you do this for all the holes on one side of the leather. It can also be very difficult not to break the top layer, especially with thin skin.

If you are comfortable with saddle stitch, then box stitch is basically the same thing. The only difference when stitching a box is that your object is shaped like a box. This will cause you to do the same saddle stitch back and forth but at an angle. Pass the needle through the front and bottom of the two pieces of leather. And then start going back and forth through the hole until you reach the end.

A cross stitch is similar to a simple Z stitch, but instead you make an X across the skin. In the places where there will be a crossing, we punch holes parallel to each other; it can be around the corner of the box or 2 flat pieces together. You start by threading one needle so that you have the same amount of thread on each side. Be sure to start the cross on the same side each time to achieve a uniform look. You will continue like this until the end and either cross the parallel lines or tie the last X from the back. It won’t be as strong as multiple thread crossings, but it will look a bit better.


Here is a list of tools that a Hand stitching leather will want to have in order to become an expert leather stitcher.

You can use scrap leather for your first projects and experiments and then buy vegetable tanned leather for your next projects. 2mm 3oz is needed for outdoor work making purses, backpacks etc and carving purposes and 1mm is used for indoor work. Super soft and light leather is best for making handbags that are easy to sew and soft to the touch. 7 to 8 ounces of 2.8-3.4 mm thick leather is used to make the belts. Buy pre-dyed leather if you are a beginner and don’t want to bother with the dyeing process. They are machine and hand dyed and surface treated with stain.

To hand stitch the leather you will need two good sharp strong hand sewing needles with a large eye. There are leather needles that make holes when sewing, they are needles also called gloves with a sharp triangular tip for cutting into thick leather without tearing the material. They come in sizes 1 to 8. Leather needles with a longer triangular point at the end are called sail making needles. And you can find other types of sewing needles online, such as the long upholstery needle and the curved needle, which are suitable for some projects.

You can hand stitch the leather with any heavy-duty sewing thread – linen thread is recommended by many hand leather stitching experts. You can also ask the store for polyester upholstery weights or bonded nylon thread. But pre-waxed leather sewing thread will make your life easier. If you are using regular sewing thread, put a little beeswax on it to make it strong enough to reduce tangling. Cotton threads are usually not used by professionals because they can easily fall apart. A synthetic thread with a diameter of 0.6 mm can be used. Waxed threads for hand sewing leather are made in many thicknesses and types; you get linen threads and polyester threads for hand sewing.

For sewing leather, you need sharp scissors to complete your task. Since leather is very strong, scissors are very important equipment for working with leather.

When the leather doesn’t behave, you hit it with a hammer. Thick skin needs such wounds to maintain its shape and become more flexible and pliable. Instead of a hammer, you can get a wooden mallet or a paving block. A cobbler’s hammer will not damage the leather, which is important.


However, another hallmark of a quality bespoke suit is the Hand stitching leather technique which is a true feature of a bespoke suit which is so delicate and completes the exposed edges (lapel, pockets and buttonholes.

The art of hand sewing is an essential aspect and a luxury element in other high-end industries. Luxury car connoisseurs crave not only the attention to detail in performance engineering and sensual exterior components, but also the carefully crafted leather interiors of the most desirable and iconic automobiles.

Revealing the difference in the construction of leather travel bags or handbags is mainly due to the sewing technique. The designer either has the products mass-produced on sewing machines or very high-end bags with artisan hand-stitching.

Most luxury brands that either sells in their own retail stores or luxury department stores are more than likely machine sewn. Keep in mind; even though it’s advertised as handmade, it’s more of a handmade sewer, a small detail that can be confusing for consumers who don’t understand the difference in industry definitions.


Hand stitching leather techniques. Leather is a luxury material that requires focus and precision to provide a quality product that meets consumer needs. Consumers have always demanded handmade because no artificial intelligence can compete with human skills. There are various types and techniques of leather stitching that artisans use to add value to their products. There are several different quilting methods used by different artisans because the quilting style feels like the essence of leather while giving the item an extra luxurious look.


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