The Forming Techniques in Leatherwork: Gluing and Stitching


This process ensures the permanent joining or securing of the various parts of the intended article together. Usually, small pins are used by some leather craft men to initially secure the pieces together as a final check before the actual stitching or gluing is carried out. Other leather craft men oversew the edges of the pieces temporarily together with cotton as a checker to test the general outlook of the article. The temporary sewing is very important because any corrections can be easily made before the actual and permanent stitching is done. When the leather craft man is very satisfied and convinced of the assembling after carrying out the temporary stitching, the final gluing or stitching is then carried out. If the various pieces are to be secured with glue, the areas are well sanded to smooth and free them of any dirt that would disturb the binding. The brush is dipped in the glue and then applied gently at the edges to be secured together.

Most adhesives after their application need time to set before they can stick together. If this is the case, the leather craft man allows the applied adhesive to set. The duration is dependent on the type of adhesive or cements applied. After the adhesive is set (Most leather craft men use their fingers to check whether is set), the edges are gently brought together with great caution by working on them from one point to another till all the parts are permanently secured. Excess glue is neatly wiped with a piece of cloth and left to dry in an airy space or area.


If stitching is to be carried out, the pieces to be sewn are brought together. A stitch spacer is used in creating the holes at the edges of the pieces. The tool is held in the left hand in a vertical position and hit at the handle end with a hammer. To ensure equal spacing of the holes, the first prong of the tool is placed in the last hole created. A piece of linoleum or strawboard is placed under the leather during the piercing process so as not to damage the teeth of the stitch spacer. It would be a good plan to rule a line with a bone folder or tracer as a guide for the holes. The corners of the articles are best pierced with an awl. If threads will be used for sewing, they must be strong and their color should be close as possible to the color of the leather to create color harmony.

To make the threads stronger, the leather craft man may rub it slightly in beeswax. This would also reduce frequent curling or knotting during the sewing. Needles with round large eyes are best suitable for the sewing. The threads should not be pulled too tight or too loosely. If it is pulled too tight, it may cut through the leather and draw it out of shape while making it loose would make the entire piece look clumsy.

If thonging is to be done, the holes punched in each of the pieces must unite if a perfect joining is to be achieved. Enough allowance should be left from the edges of the pieces before the holes are created. If this is not done and the stitches are made exactly at the edges, the sewing will not be strong and may wear out very soon after constant handling. The thronging technique to be used by the leather craft man must be well thought of because the various thronging styles have specific articles they can suit best.

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