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Tips on Sewing with Leather (Tip/Technique)
Viewed 5165 times
Review rated Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 8 people   
Posted by: Deepika
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About Deepika starstarstarstar
MA USA
Member since: 11/28/01
Reviews written: 337
Sewing skills:Intermediate
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tips added: 14
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Posted on: 8/28/06 8:04 PM
Featured in the PR book!
Tips for Sewing on Leather: These are not rules, they are just things I discovered while I sewed with leather and they helped me so I figured I'll add them here.


  • Use a leather needle. For this bag sewing through 4 layers of leather, size 14 worked fine for me.
  • Use a teflon foot in your sewing machine. This prevents the foot from sticking to the leather - especially if your leather is coarse like mine was.
  • Increase your stitch length. My sewing machine's default is 2.2 which is way too small for leather. Smaller stitches may cause perforation in leather. I increased to 2.8.
  • use a thicker thread for topstitching.
  • A thin coat of rubber cement on one side of leather and then binding the other side will really help keep the layers in place.
  • Use binder clips to hold the seams while you sew. Use the smallest kind.
  • Sew slowly and carefully, especially if you are using contrasting thread. You cannot redo the stitches since they leave holes in the material.
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5 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
fatbaby said...
I have a tip to add, while embroidering on leather to make a purse I needed to hold the edges of a strip of fabric back so I could make a strap. I sprayed the edge with sulky temporary spray adhesive, folded the edge, and then folded the whole thing in half (this gave me my finished strap) and then I topstitched the edges I folded together.
9/3/06 5:32 PM
JDpenelope said...
Thanks for these concise but helpful tips.
1/17/07 8:28 PM
conishkee said...
Where can I find moc croc fabric? I am having the hardest time finding it.
2/6/08 8:37 PM
Deepika said...
conishkee, here's my review of moc croc. Included in the review is a link to moc croc at Joanns. here you go
2/7/08 9:00 AM
miri said...
Here are a couple other tricks for sewing leather: Staple the pieces together inside the seam allowance. You can do this to test fit garments; staple together right on the body. Remove staples after sewing. As long as they were in the seam allowance, the staple holes won't show. If you use nylon thread (as many pros do), tie knots and melt with a match to secure. To keep the seam allowances flat after sewing, use rubber cement on wrong side (or Barg shoe repair glue) and hammer gently with rubber mallet. Work in ventilated place if using a lot of glue.
3/27/09 6:10 PM

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