11898Re: [medieval-leather] Re: Embroidering Leather
- Jul 20, 2013I have done a very small amount of embroidering on leather, but, unlike Tasha, I DO think of 5-6 oz leather as "heavy", at least when it comes to poking holes through it with an embroidery needle (or any needle, for that matter). I would stick with garment weight leather (i.e., < 3 oz.).
As far as the embroidery, itself, is concerned, The key is two-fold: Firstly, I prepunch the leather (often using a nail/brad - even the smallest punch will remove or damage too much of the leather) in a staggered grid pattern, so as to preserve as much space between the holes as possible (to reduce the risk of tearing) and, secondly, you have to use a fairly long "run" of exposed thread, so as to minimize the number of holes required - none of this close, tight embroidery stitching/cross-stitching you use on cloth. Then you need to secure the exposed thread on the underside of the embroidered section (which not only locks in the thread, but reinforces the leather against tearing). "Tanner's Leather Weld" works really well on a small section, leaving a rubberized, protective seal which keeps the threads/floss in place and protects it from snagging, while adding a bit of structural strength. If the embroidered area is larger or on a "high
use"/"high stress" area, you can supplement that by also applying a piece of cloth or lighter leather (which the "Leather Weld" will hold on) to the underside of the embroidered area. Note, when I do that, the backing piece is designed merely to cover the exposed thread/floss on the underside of the embroidered area. I don't put the backing on and then embroider through it and the leather, tho' I suppose that would work, too, to reduce tearing.
However, once you start putting a backing cloth on the underside of the embroidered leather, you quickly realize that it would work even better if you just embroidered the backing material and then applied it to the exposed part of the leather piece (exactly as Tasha and Peter recommend).
YOS, Alric, Glyn Dwfn
From: petemonahan <petemonahan@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:49 AM
Subject: [medieval-leather] Re: Embroidering Leather
I believe that Tasha and McBain have the right idea. You probably don't want to perforate a large area on a working leather bag for fear of weakening it. Also, embroidery is hard enough work without trying to drag the floss through leather too!
The North American Natives who bead leather do an applique technique like the two just described. They bead onto cloth - denim is popular these days - then whip/blanket stitch round the edges and through the leather. The bonus is that on wearable stuff like moccasins, when the leather piece wears out you can remove the beading and re-use it on a new project. Given that the working life of a pair of moccs worn daily may be measured in weeks, not months, this is the only practical way to do it!
Good luck with the project
Peter the Cobbler
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