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How to Sew Leather Full Guide of 2023

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If you don’t know how to sew leather, you’ve come to the right place.

Sewing leather is a practice as old as humankind put a needle on a thread.

sewing machine for leather

Photo by La Compagnie Robinson at Unsplash

Regardless of the type of sewing settings you have at home, you will need different tools to sewing leather than for standard thinner fabrics.

We’ve put together this complete guide to sewing leather, including the tools you’ll need and the method to do it.

Let’s take it away …

Sewing Leather tools

  • Durable Ruler
  • Leather Scissors
  • Plastic Cutting Board
  • Utility Knife
  • Craft Knife
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Rubber or wooden mallet

Also sew leather by hand ls

  • Awl or stitching chisels
  • Blunt Tip eedle

Leather Sewing Machine Tool

  • Leather Sewing Machine eedles
  • Leather Foot

Read our guide to the best leather sewing machines

Learn to sew

Prices, types and designs

Most of the leather you work with, is unpainted and unfinished. In this state, you can paint it, pattern it by stamping it, brand it for image burning, or do more elaborate things like a process called tooling.

Tooling involves cutting and stamping designs into the leather, then using positive and negative space to form designs. Tooling is not for beginners. SxsOGkrX07aiCLuJyDJomUIeUUrpcIBUfMc3jJEKSE871 before finishing, because what protects treated leather from damage also prevents it from fusing easily.

The price of leather varies mainly based on superficial defects. Things like insect bite scars, fatal injuries and discoloration lower the price of leather.’Weight’refers to the thickness of a leather rather than its actual weight.

Different types of leather require different tanning. Buffalo leather, for example, is tough.

Some leathers by a process called “chromium” because of FQpZuidG7DAec3n in the procedure. A leather can also be called’chrome plated’even if it has not by this process simply because it is the most common way of doing this. For example, we still call it’hanging up a phone’even though new phones are no longer made with cables for hanging.

how to sew leather

Photo by Dương Trần Quốc at Unsplash

Where to Get Your Teachings

To buy a whole piece of new leather, go to a leather store or find an online store.

“ Upcycling, ” a term for recycling materials, can be much cheaper than buying fresh leather as vHIvRaMLFcj2Ivq4H3tc5kMgjF0P3Cg51iZcJcGKeAIbfhczAaeCi5E2hUsjFdgWMmTThnxjvYPpuYvjsso, as is fabric. You can find leather articles to upcycle in places like flea markets and thrift stores.

Upholstery stores may also have a surplus that Thayer can sell. Car upholstery shops have the colors black, gray and cream, and upholstery shops have a wide range of colors.

Some leather specialty stores allow you to try out stamps, dyes, and other tools before purchasing.

How to sew leather


As with any sewing project, measuring and making guidelines is the standard way of working.

For leather, chalk is much more effective than a pen. jAPQibX7Lil385j879oSr like a pencil to get finer lines.

Especially at the beginning it is better to leave large margins so that you don’t lose your entire project to a bad edge or underestimation

A sharp knife is essential for leather processing. Either a knife you can sharpen or replaceable blades in a utility knife will go a long way in pursuit of this craft.

Avoid degradable blades as you are working with them a very sturdy material that can turn this convenience into a safety hazard.

Dry leather is difficult to work with and so you need to add moisture back to it before starting. We call this casing. I did this before stamping, painting, branding or processing.

Casing leather is quite simple: spray it evenly with water and turn it over to see if it has penetrated the other side. When water penetrates on the other side, it’s time to stop enveloping.

It is important to wrap your entire piece of leather, even if you are only working with a small piece of leather. section. As a result, discoloration and irregularities do not occur. Wet pouring and detail work requires more water than most enclosures.

leather sewing

Photo by Adam Jang at Unsplash

How to learn to sew by hand

You can sew leather by hand or by machine.

Sewing by hand for beginners because it is easy to make mistakes that will completely ruin the piece when trying to sew leather with the machine, especially if you have an inexpensive standard sewing machine.

A specialized leather sewing machine can be quite expensive, and some advanced learning projects cannot do without a sew.

If you are sewing your leather by hand, punch holes in the leather before putting the thread through.

These holes will need to . You can buy grooving chisels 2Ri3CMuAnKUnUlh precisely contoured stitch holes, or buy a stitch wheel to mark where your stitches will go and then poke the holes with an awl. It is important to make sure that the awl does not go in diagonally, but exactly perpendicular to the pieces of leather.

If you are on a budget, you can mark evenly spaced pitch holes with a ruler as a guide, or use the tines of a fork, and hit the holes with a hammer and a small nail or an awl.

You cannot use pins to hold pieces of leather together when punching and sewing holes, as you would with fabric, because every hole punched in leather never will disappear.

Many people choose to hold leather pieces together with an adhesive that does not harden and harden as it dries, such as leather glue or rubber cement.

When fWWtTzrWeKjIX9sMpoWunzFLqAbrW6kG25, you are ready to sew. You must use a blunt-tipped needle to sew leather by hand.

You may need to use pliers to pull the needle through the holes. When finished with a seam, turn around and sew two stitches, securing the seam by tying a knot or gently fusing the thread with a flame (if using synthetic thread).

Here’s a great video about sewing leather by hand:

Using a leather sewing machine

If you are machine sewing your leather, you must use needles and a sewing machine foot intended for leather. Keep extra needles on hand as the leather sewing process blunts a needle quickly.

If you are using a standard household sewing machine, make sure it is heavy enough to handle the material and thread you are using. Do a practice seam on a small piece of scrap leather to test if your machine works with the leather.

Some leathers, especially thicker weights, need to be sewn. with a specialized leather sewing machine.


Again, you can’t use pins in leather. When machine sewing, many people use binder clips or double-sided tape to hold the leather pieces in place while sewing. Do not place the double-sided tape below where you want your stitches to go.

Proceed slowly and carefully while sewing, as you will sew without making permanent holes in the leather. Use a long stitch length – at least ⅛ of an inch.

Do not sew at the end of a seam when machine sewing leather; just stop sewing and tie the thread.


Learning how to sew leather can be a very rewarding and fun hobby, and you can get amazing results with leather you upcycled from an old coat from the thrift store and tools you already have at home.

You don’t have to spend money for an expensive leather sewing machine to enjoy this craft, although this is certainly the next step if you want to professionalize your work.

If you are skilled in leatherworking, you can make everything from spectacle case to purses and bags to your own leather clothing and shoes. Your only limit is your imagination!

What do you think: will you use a leather sewing machine or will you stick to sewing by hand?

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.