lace leather

How to lace leather

When beginning leather work  very quickly we need to find out how to lace leather.

Leather lacing can be used to add to the overall look of leather products by using a variety of lacing techniques to tie pieces together or for purely decorative purposes. The basic techniques to lace leather are the same techniques used to sew other fabrics together. However, due to the tougher nature of leather, lace holes need to be punched through it.

It is essential that the lacing is done with the finished side of the item facing towards you.

Holes are usually made by using a leather punch or lace chisel. Ideally, the holes need to be sufficiently wide enough to allow the leather to pass through, but not too wide.

Lacing can be done with either waxed thread or leather strips. Waxed thread requires really small holes. Leather strips require holes of approximately 3.18 mm in diameter. Holes should be evenly spaced, leaving little space between them and the leather’s edge. Also holes need to be placed on both pieces of leather and need to line up properly.

It may be possible to get the hole to line up exactly by using the hole punch to punch the holes through both pieces of leather but this will depend on how thick the leather is.

Lacing - Stitching Methods

A variety of stitching techniques can be used to lace leather. Usually you will need a quality stitching needle to make the lacing as easy as possible.

The most common stitching methods are

Single Loop Stitch

Sometimes called the running stitch – it is a simple push through one hole. Pull back through the other procedure. This lacing method is great for small items like a key fob. If you use this stitch you will need thread one and a half times the length of the area to be laced.

Double Stitch

Ideal for lacing wallets, purses and small sized bags. This method requires the use of two needles and something that will allow you to secure the leather and keep your hands free. A stitching horse or a soft jawed vice will work well.

You start the stitching process by passing one threaded needle through the first two stitching holes and draw the thread through so that there is the same amount of thread protruding from each hole. Then thread the free end of the thread through the second needle. 

Now thread the second needle from left to right through the next two holes to be laced. Then thread the first needle from right to left  through the same holes. Then pull both threads tight. Repeat the process until complete. The double stitch loop will require thread that is seven times the length of your project’s area being laced.
For added effect it is recommended that the lace be tapped lightly with a mallet to flatten it.

It is also recommended that you apply a leather conditioner to the lacing.

How to lace leather by Leather Circle

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