LEATHER SEWING AWL
A leather sewing awl is a hand-held leather working tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. They are used primarily for marking or piercing small holes in the skin, usually for pulling out threads or stitches later. When used to make holes, they are sometimes called leather awls. This is due to their use in these cases for punching small holes. It is used to thread through each hole to join two pieces of leather together.
There are also leather sewing awls with a specially shaped tip that makes threading or threading much easier. The shape of the tips is one of the main elements that distinguish awls. Some are pointed, others diamond-shaped.
Some awls have a fixed blade, meaning the blade is permanently attached to the handle. Other awls are available with interchangeable blades where the blades can be removed and switched off while maintaining the same handle. This helps keep tooling costs down as it is generally cheaper to buy a single wheel than a new wheel/handle. Storing one handle and several blades also takes up less space than storing several individual tools.
HOW DOES LEATHER SEWING AWL WORKS
As a hand tool, a leather sewing awl works by gently pushing the sharp tip of the tool through a piece of leather. Awls with rounded points can be used to mark the location of holes, such as those that will later be enlarged with a hole punch.
Diamond-tipped awls can be used to poke small holes that are later sutured. The diamond shape of the blade creates a small “x” pattern cut into the leather. The small “flaps” created by this shape fit more tightly together as you thread the thread through, so it looks tighter. A rounded hole would leave space around it, while the “x” cuts are less noticeable.
A needle with a sharp tip can also be dragged lightly across the skin to leave a mark or line. In general, where some marks are made with a pencil or pen, some may also be made with the tip of an awl.
A leather sewing awl is used to make holes in hard materials such as leather, sometimes bone. The tip of the awl is shaped like an ice pick; when you hit the belt with the mallet, the pressure pushes the steel rod down onto the belt.
As it descends, it creates a small groove in the skin. When you then pull on it either by hand or more often with pliers, it pulls a small “plug” out of the hole created by the rotation as it exits and exits the permanently created hole. I’m not sure how much faster you can hand sew this way, but it’s faster and the stitches come out better.
FOUR DIFFERENT PARTS OF LEATHER SEWING AWL
Leather sewing awl. The first is the sharp end that makes holes in the skin. The tip of this part can be shaped like a cone or a diamond. This point should not be sharp enough to pierce the skin, but should be able to easily pierce the skin even if it has been worked and treated.
The second part is called the shaft. This runs from the tip down to where you hold the sewing needle when piercing the pieces of skin. It always comes with grooves on both sides that can be purchased by twisting and turning the leather sewing awl while it is inside the material.
Another critical aspect is called the head. This is the end of your leather sewing awl that can be placed inside the item to hold it open. Again, you are not sewing this part, but you will need to move it to see where you are putting the holes.
The last one is called the handle. This holds everything together so you have a smooth piece of equipment when working with leather goods. The handle usually has either a metal or wooden handle so you can get a firm grip as you work.
PURPOSE OF LEATHER SEWING AWL
Leather sewing awl. When working with leather, an awl is a tool that makes your life much easier. An awl that is stronger than the thin needle that comes with your typical sewing kit is used to poke holes in the skin. Yes, there are thin needles that go into an electric or manual needle threader, but if you want thicker holes to thread heavier threads through without breaking over time, then you need something more substantial.
The difference between using an awl and any other craft tool is that it has a sharp point at one end of its metal body. This point makes a small dent in the skin when it pierces it. These indentations are virtually invisible when the leather is finished, but allow thread to be easily threaded through them.
Using an awl with holes when sewing leather is easier than using a thimble because it gives you more control over how deep you push the spike into the material at a time. If you’ve ever had to use something hard and thick like a needle or even a toothpick to push thread back through fabric, then you understand what can happen when you poke yourself with one of these things. The problem with them is that once the sharp object got into your skin, you had no way to grab the thread to pull it out again. This is where the awl really shines.
The sharp head makes this tool ideal for punching holes in leather and even other materials. For example, if you are working with paper and want to put string or ribbon around a book or between two pieces of material to hold the book closed, an awl will help you do that. While sewing leather on a machine can save you time, it doesn’t give you as much control over the sewing process as an awl. Using a leather sewing awl gives you complete control over each stitch and ensures a beautiful stitch pattern on the leather.
THE BEST SIX TYPES OF LEATHER SEWING AWLS
- Haft Awl
A leather sewing awl handle is basically a handle that holds the replaceable awl blades. With an awl handle, it is important that the handle is firm and fits comfortably in the hand. Some awls are basic and functional. Grips are a practical way to effectively expand your leather tool kit.
- Collar Awl
Collar awls are usually used by saddle makers. They feature a long stem (about 8″-10″) with sharp cutting edges at the end. The shape of the slot will allow the leather to sit straighter when the lacing is stretched (than if it was just a round hole.
- Curved awl
Curved awls are very helpful for creating holes for stitching rounded or curved leather pieces together (as opposed to those that are flat). When joining two pieces that will be over a curved surface, the curved awls create an opening that will more naturally reflect the curve of the final stitch, allowing for tighter stitching and more overall control. It also looks much nicer as a finished piece.
- Diamond awl
When looking for a tool that can make a hole in leather without leaving a large opening, try a leather diamond awl. They are awls with a diamond-shaped (think 4 corners coming to a point) blade and a very sharp point. These are a very popular type of awl. This is better than just a hole punched into the leather, as holes created like that would often be larger than the thread used and leave a loose-fitting seam once complete.
- Lacing awl
The tip usually has a small hooked end or eye (like a needle, only much larger). The lacing awl is pushed through the material, the lacing is hooked onto/over the end and pulled through the material (lacing with it. The lacing is usually much heavier and thicker than the thread, so it requires a larger and sturdier tool to hook. In these situations, the lacing awl works great.
- Needle awl
A sewing awl also referred to as a needle awl is an awl with a pointed needle end and an eye on it. This is one of the most helpful leather stitching tools. This allows threads to be passed through the needle and pushed through leather material when stitching two or more pieces together. It essentially functions like a thick, strong needle. Instead of being pushed through by hand, or with a finger thimble, it can be pushed through via the handle, held by the hand.
A leather sewing awl is a tool that can make your life easier when working with large pieces of material. It is also suitable for hand sewing, so if you want to work on something small and delicate, a leather sewing awl may not be for you. We hope this article on how to use a leather sewing awl as a guide has given you all the information you need about using a leather sewing awl. When still sharp, leather awls are an incredibly useful tool.