Monday, September 20, 2010

Fun with leather

I went on a bit of a buying binge as my leather provider had a great sale at the end of August. I happily explored the possibilities of the 40 lbs. of leather that were delivered to my door Aug. 30th and decided to work with an upholstery weight black cowhide and an odd product called 'perferated cowhide'.
I was prepping for the Primal Arts festival over Labor Day weekend so a couple of waist cinches were the easiest thing to build in the short time window left before the event.

Earlier I had picked up a bottle of spray adhesive for materials -- boy did that come in useful. Most people think the additional fees for working with leather come from the price of the material. Yes, that is a component as a garment has to be cut differently in leather and may require multiple hides or added seams to accommodate the leather. The major cost comes from having to use a different sewing process because let's face it leather doesn't like to be ironed any more than your skin does!  So seams need to be hammered open with a mallet and glue is used for temporary bonding in place of things like basting and pins. Additionally if a sewing mistake is made in leather, it is difficult to recover from because the holes from the needle have permanently changed the surface -- unlike woven/knit fabrics where the fibers recover after the stitches are removed. The thickness of the seams and the texure of leather also requires a stronger motor in your sewing machine & preferably a walking foot.
Having a good machine setup & armed with my spray adhesive, I finished 2 waist cinches in time for Primal Arts.
Photos uploaded shortly! 

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