I love chamois - I use it all the time: To line bracers and my leather armor (because it is great at absorbing sweat and keeping you cool), to line sheaths (when size considerations don't allow the use of woolen hide) and quivers (to help prevent rusting of blades and arrowheads), and, occasionally, to make bags and gloves (rather than as a lining leather). Here's a hint - the first time I bought chamois, at a leather shop, it was grossly pricey, however, I then discovered that I could get the same quality chamois for a fraction of that price at places like "Harbor Freight Tools", where it is sold for washing and polishing cars.
As for "special needles" for leatherworking, the answer is "yes" and "no". I have fairly stout, sharp needles for hand use and for use in my "Speedy Sewing Awls" however those are not always suitable to the purpose and, moreover, they're not really necessary if you pre-punch the leather, which is why I own just about every kind of punch on the market. Even so, for some jobs, it's back to a brad, a hammer and a pair of needle nose pliers. It's worth the effort, tho', because pre-punching means that you can use a needle appropriate to the thread and the job, without worrying aout the medium you are sewing.
ALRIC, Glyn Dwfn
Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:20 PM
Subject: Re: [medieval-leather] Re: Embroidering Leather
What about chamois leather? I had the unexpected pleasure of handling some 2 months ago, and it was amazingly soft. I can't sew to save my life, my embroidery makes cats laugh (and I have the pics to prove it), but I could embroider on it. I'd still use an awl, though. For that matter, I'd use a designated embroiderer....
Aren't there special needles for leather sewing? Triangular, if I recall correctly, to prevent ripping?
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