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Re: Embroidering Leather

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  • jeff Bain
    You might try Piteado. The Mexican leather artist embroider everything from belts to saddles using cactus thread called pita which is very durable and burn
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 19 11:16 PM
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      You might try Piteado. The Mexican leather artist embroider everything from belts to saddles using cactus thread called pita which is very durable and burn proof. I have looked a belt and the actually embroider on very thin leather and then glue and sew that to thicker leather. You can buy the pita at piteado fino .com
    • petemonahan
      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.
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 20 4:49 AM
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        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
        >
      • Henry Plouse
        I 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
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 20 8:17 AM
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          I 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@...>
          To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
          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
          >




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Diane Dooley
          Why in the world would you even try to poke a hole in any weight leather with an embroidery needle? They re not even that sharp. That s what an awl is for.
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 20 8:54 AM
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            Why in the world would you even try to poke a hole in any weight leather with an embroidery needle? They're not even that sharp. That's what an awl is for.

            Tasha


            On Jul 20, 2013, at 11:17, Henry Plouse <ozymandias1951@...> wrote:

            > I 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.).
            >
            > {snip}
            >
            > YOS, Alric, Glyn Dwfn
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Henry Plouse
            My point, exactly (e-mail really needs a  sarcasm icon ).  Even with my incredibly sharp awls (I draw blood every time I work leather), I find it difficult
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 20 11:49 AM
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              My point, exactly (e-mail really needs a "sarcasm icon").  Even with my incredibly sharp awls (I draw blood every time I work leather), I find it difficult to hand punch anything above lining and garment weight leather (i.e., 3 oz. and under), but you have people talking about "embroidering" leather (incl. 5 - 6 oz. leather, which is plenty "heavy" in my book).  Not likely.  You might be able to "simulate" embroidery with stitching, but it's not the same process and the skills and techniques are not directly transferable. 
               
              The fact is that I pre-punch almost everything and every weight of leather I work with.  If I'm using finer, sewing thread (or embroidery floss), rather than my usual waxed linen or nylon leather sewing thread, I may need to improvise with brad/nails, given the lack of any tool optimized for the job, but prepunching leather is the only way to do it, whether you are sewing or doing decorative stitching (which might better describe the process than the term "embroidering").
               
              YOS,
              ALRIC  


              ________________________________
              From: Diane Dooley <tasha_medvedeva@...>
              To: "medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com" <medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:54 AM
              Subject: Re: [medieval-leather] Re: Embroidering Leather


               

              Why in the world would you even try to poke a hole in any weight leather with an embroidery needle? They're not even that sharp. That's what an awl is for.

              Tasha

              On Jul 20, 2013, at 11:17, Henry Plouse <mailto:ozymandias1951%40yahoo.com> wrote:

              > I 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.).
              >
              > {snip}
              >
              > YOS, Alric, Glyn Dwfn
              >
              >

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • silveroak@juno.com
              Greetings, 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,
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 20 12:20 PM
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                Greetings,

                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?

                -Carowyn



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              • Diane Sawyer Dooley
                Yes, but I wouldn t want to use those for embroidery, lest I snag and cut the embroidery thread. Sinew and waxed linen for sewing leather is sterner stuff.
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 20 12:44 PM
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                  Yes, but I wouldn't want to use those for embroidery, lest I snag and cut the embroidery thread. Sinew and waxed linen for sewing leather is sterner stuff.

                  Tasha





                  >________________________________
                  > From: "silveroak@..." <silveroak@...>
                  >To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
                  >Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2013 3:20 PM
                  >Subject: Re: [medieval-leather] Re: Embroidering Leather
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Greetings,
                  >
                  >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?
                  >
                  >-Carowyn
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                • R Schooley
                  I do, but only in more modern pieces.  I m usually working on garment leather, around 2 to 4 oz but the technique should work on something heavier.  I just
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 20 1:00 PM
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                    I do, but only in more modern pieces.  I'm usually working on garment leather, around 2 to 4 oz but the technique should work on something heavier.  I just pre-punch the holes for the outline, either with and awl or using stiching chisels (I've gotten some that have the prongs about 3 mm apart which is perfect) and embroider the outline using a back stitch.  I've used cotton, linen and silk floss with no problems although I have found I have to have the floss a bit thicker to get the right look.  The biggest thing to watch for is stitch length, you can't let it go too small or you just end up creating a perforated line, at this point the 3 mm I can get with my chisels it smallest I'm comfortable going.   I have not been able to figure out how to do a fill, couching might work, but I have not tried it yet.
                     
                    To give you an idea of how it looks on a finished piece this is a card case I recently finished.   I used silk floss to outling the embossed design on the leather, holes pre-punched using an awl.
                     
                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ravenshold/8873879116/
                     
                    Rebecca


                    ________________________________
                    From: Sean <mapshaker2000@...>
                    To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Friday, July 19, 2013 8:57 PM
                    Subject: [medieval-leather] Embroidering Leather


                     

                    Has anyone ever had experience in embroidering leather? I have a large piece of 4-5 oz leather that I want to make into a satchel and embroider it. I know that isn't quite medieval in design, but it's for me to use not for display. My main issue is whether to just do an outline type of embroidery or trying to do a fill. I can't even start to think about how to do a fill on thick leather.




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Henry Plouse
                    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
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 20 9:50 PM
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                      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.
                       
                      YOS,
                      ALRIC, Glyn Dwfn   


                      ________________________________
                      From: "silveroak@..." <silveroak@...>
                      To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:20 PM
                      Subject: Re: [medieval-leather] Re: Embroidering Leather





                      Greetings,

                      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?

                      -Carowyn



                      ____________________________________________________________
                      Moviefone - Official Site
                      Find the Latest Movie Showtimes and Your Nearest Theaters at Moviefone.
                      http://thirdpartyoffers.juno.com/TGL3141/51eae31dab5f5631d080est03duc


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                    • petemonahan
                      Looks like we re all headed in the same general direction. I m luck enough to have a real finder in my city [Toronto] - Capital Findings - so I too have a
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 21 4:59 PM
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                        Looks like we're all headed in the same general direction. I'm luck enough to have a real 'finder' in my city [Toronto] - Capital Findings - so I too have a very wide selection of awl points and have never felt the need to use a brad. have used the needle noses to pull through needles though, which is why I buy packs of 20! And once you've pre-punched you can use nice blunt tipped needles if you like and never snag or cut your floss!



                        Yes, triangular pointed glover's needles will punch their own holes, but are meant for fine leather - chamois weight and lighter - where pre-punching hundreds of holes for a pair of gloves would be excessively tedious. I too pre-punch everything, so technically I 'stitch' rather than 'sewing'. And, yes, I've created perforated lines by stitching with holes too close together. very frustrating when the work rips apart immediately upon use! # cm spacing sounds about he closest I'd try to, but as Alric says, if you're gonna wind up adding a backing for strength, why not just do it on the backing anyway? My final two cents worth!

                        Peter
                      • Diane Sawyer Dooley
                        3 cm or 3mm? TAsha ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 21 5:01 PM
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                          3 cm or 3mm?

                          TAsha





                          >________________________________
                          > From: petemonahan <petemonahan@...>
                          >To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
                          >Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2013 7:59 PM
                          >Subject: [medieval-leather] Re: Embroidering Leather
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          >Looks like we're all headed in the same general direction. I'm luck enough to have a real 'finder' in my city [Toronto] - Capital Findings - so I too have a very wide selection of awl points and have never felt the need to use a brad. have used the needle noses to pull through needles though, which is why I buy packs of 20! And once you've pre-punched you can use nice blunt tipped needles if you like and never snag or cut your floss!
                          >
                          >Yes, triangular pointed glover's needles will punch their own holes, but are meant for fine leather - chamois weight and lighter - where pre-punching hundreds of holes for a pair of gloves would be excessively tedious. I too pre-punch everything, so technically I 'stitch' rather than 'sewing'. And, yes, I've created perforated lines by stitching with holes too close together. very frustrating when the work rips apart immediately upon use! # cm spacing sounds about he closest I'd try to, but as Alric says, if you're gonna wind up adding a backing for strength, why not just do it on the backing anyway? My final two cents worth!
                          >
                          >Peter
                          >
                          >
                          >__.
                          >
                          >

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