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leather shapes leather shapes



Some more of the tools used in hand-crafted leatherwork




safety rule





Safety rule


Dividers:- These are used to mark out guidelines for stitching and for creasing as well as transferring measurements to other pieces of leather. A rule, or a tape measure, just will not do in every circumstance.


Hammer:- This particular type of hammer is also used by shoemakers and bookbinders because of its large, flattened and circular head. It is absolutely perfect for flattening turned-over edges and for seams, both before and after completion of the piece you are working on. On absolutely no occasion should it be used for hitting metal tools, that is what you have rawhide and wooden mallets for.


Needles:- Up until fairly recently, harness needles, with their blunted point and oval-shaped eye, could be bought in 11 different sizes. Now if you are fortunate you will find about seven sizes. As a rule of thumb, size 4, which is still available, is a good, general, all-round size to have. The curved ones are essential when you cannot get your hand to the back of what you are stitching, or when sewing what is in effect a blind seam. It is possible to make your own curved needles. You stick the point of a straight one into a bit of wood, like the side of your bench, hold the eye end in a pair of pliers and gently apply bending pressure while heating the stem of the needle with the flame from a match or a lighter. You can then determine how much of a curve is required. It worked for me.

Sewing machine needles

Using the correct needle, whatever the material, helps prevent skipped stitches or broken threads.

The following is a list of the needles available at the present time:

Denim Needles have a very strong shaft and a very sharp point for piercing tightly woven, heavy fabrics. They are also used for polar fleece.
Embroidery Needles have a larger eye and are used for embroidery threads. A special shaft and point helps to reduce thread breakages and skipped stitches.
Leather Needles have a very strong point for piercing leather. They can be used for vinyl and other thick, heavy, impermeable fabrics.
Needles have been specifically designed for the new micro-fibres. They have a slim shaft and work particularly well on silk and nylon.
Metalfil Needles are used for metallic embroidery threads. The long eye helping to prevent fraying.
Metalfil Quilt Needles are used for quilting when using metallic threads.
Quilting Needles are used for machine quilting. They are heavy enough to pierce through several layers of fabric seams.
Stretch / Ball Point Needles have a rounder ball point for knitted fabrics. They go between the fibres and do not damage the threads of the knitting.
Topstitch Needles have an extra large eye for the heavy topstitching thread.
Triple Needles are the same as #11.
Twin Needles are for decorative topstitching, hem finishing and pin-tucking. These fit all zig zag machines that thread from front to back. They come in different widths.  Useful for hems on smocked garments as the stitching can be removed to lengthen the garments.
Universal Needles are the standby needles for both knitted and woven fabrics.
Wing Needles are the same as #10 and #11. They are used for heirloom sewing, hemstitching and French machine sewing. The 'wing' creates a hole that resembles entredeux (Fancy French word for "joining".  This is an eyelet type of material that consists of a single row of tiny holes.  Used to join fabric to fabric.)
and it looks like hemstitching.

Needlework needles

Chenille, tapestry, embroidery, darners, milliners, sharps and betweens are not usually thought of as beading needles. But they can be, with larger beads, or these needles may be used for couching threads (
couching is often known as the 'drawing' stitch as it can be used as a line to 'draw' a design, giving a good framework for other textural effects)
or adding in other filaments, fibres, ribbons or materials. Needles are also chosen with considerations of thread size and whether they will pass between the fabric's weave (using a blunt point) or whether they will pierce the fabric (requiring a sharp point).

Quilting Needles:- (Betweens) are short, have a round eye, sharp point. They are excellent for short, quick stitches (as in quilting); sizes 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12.

Chenille Needles:- Have long oval eyes and are similar to tapestry needles but with a sharp point; sizes 13 to 28.

Crewel Needles
:- (Embroidery needles) have an oval eye and sharp point; sizes range from 1 to 10 in short and medium lengths.

quilting needle chenille needle crewel needle darning needle milliner's needle tapestry needle sharps needle

Needles are not shown actual size!

Darning Needles:- With long eyes and blunt tips have a variety of lengths and sizes from 1 to 9 (traditionally) for fine cotton and larger sizes 14 to 19 (traditionally) for wool work.

Milliner's Needles:- (Straw needles) have round eyes, an even shaft, and a sharp point; sizes 3 to 12.

Tapestry Needles:- Have large oval eyes and a blunt tip, which allows it to pass between a fabric's warp and weft without piercing the threads. Used for tapestry and needlepoint, silk ribbon embroidery and more; sizes range 13 to 26.

Silk Ribbon Embroidery:- Variety packs often have a size selection of large eye tapestry needles (blunts) and chenille needles (sharps).

Sharps Needles
:- Have round eyes, medium lengths and sharp points. Excellent, all purpose hand sewing needle; sizes range from 1 to 12; more than one of the smaller sizes can used as a beading needle.


Glossary of thread terms
The following is a list of the threads available at the present time:

Air Jet Thread:- Polyester thread that goes through a special process to become air entangled.
Allcot:- (All) Cotton thread or braid.
Bonded Threads:- The process used where multi-filament polyester or nylon is treated with a smooth protective coating on the surface of the thread.
Bungie Cords:- Made from many continuous latex rubber filaments covered with woven polyester. Used in tarpaulins, tent making and other applications.

Buttonhole Twist:- A (fine cord) silk thread, is a strong, closely twisted silk thread used for making buttonholes, etc. Silk thread is best for wools and silks (fabrics of animal origin). It is strong, very elastic, and fine in diameter. Silk is also used for tailoring, to finish the edges of buttonholes, to sew on buttons, and for decoration. Buttonhole twist is about three times the diameter of sewing silk and shiny or lustrous. It is strong and can be permanently stretched.
Colourfastness:- The ability of a dyed thread to retain its colour.
Continuous Filament:- A synthetic fibre of an indefinite length.
Core Spun Thread:- Thread that is made by twisting cotton or polyester around a continuous filament of polyester core.
Drawthread:- A thread (usually nylon) used extensively in knitting industries.
Ecru:- Natural coloured yarn.
Elastics:- Latex rubber covered with polyester yarn used in many applications, such as upholstery, clothing, and pet products.
Elongation:- The amount that a certain thread stretches under tension and stress.
Finish:- A process done to threads to increase abrasion resistance.
Glazing:- The finishing process in which polyester cotton threads are treated with starches, waxes, and special chemicals under controlled heat and then brushed or polished to a high lustre.
Kevlar®:- Spun thread of synthetic material with fire-resistant properties (registered trademark of E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co).
Linen:- Produced from linen flax, it is used where natural fibres are required. Used in many industries such as leather-goods, upholstery, saddlery and carpets. Linen can be twisted to anything from 2 cords to 8 cords, depending on the thickness, and end use.
Mercerising:- Refers to the finishing process where cotton thread is treated in a caustic solution under controlled tension.
Monofilament:- Thread produced from a single nylon continuous filament that is translucent.
Multifilament:- Thread made from continuous filaments of polyester or nylon, twisted together and plied to make a thread.
Nomex®:- Spun thread of synthetic material with fire-resistant qualities (registered trademark of E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co).
Nylon:- A continuous multifilament yarn used in many applications such as leather-goods, filtration, carpets, and bedding among others.
Nylube:- Multi-directional nylon yarn bonded and lubricated to allow excellent sewability. Used extensively in the bedding industry.
Polybulk:- Polyester thread has been through a process to become bulked. Used in the bedding, clothing and other industries.
Polyester:- A High strength, rot-proof continuous multifilament yarn. Resistant to acids and seawater with high abrasion resistance. Used in many applications.
Polypropylene:- A continuous multi-filament yarn used extensively in the upholstery, filtration, flexible packaging, bulk container and furnishing industries.
Quilting Bobbins:- Pre-wound sewing bobbins used extensively in the bedding industry for quilting (also see sobobs).
Sewability:- Ability to sew without skipped stitches or having the thread break. Various factors affect sewing ability, such as incorrect needle size, excessive tension, incorrect thread size, as well as others. Therefore thread has an important role in sewability. Factors in thread sewability include elongation, lubrication, strength, and twist construction.
Sobobs:- Nylon pre-wound sewing bobbins used extensively in the bedding industry.
Soft:- Refers to a finish in which the thread receives no further processing to change its general physical characteristics.
Spun:- Thread made from cotton or polyester fibres that are spun into single yarns and then two or more of these yarns are plied to make a sewing thread.
Suture Threads:- Sterile suture threads are made from either polyester, silk or polypropylene, non-sterile threads are made from Irish linen.
Synthetic Fibres:- Are made from various chemicals as an alternative to natural fibres.
Tenacity:- Tensile stress - expressed as force per unit linear density.
Textured:- Thread made from continuous filaments of polyester or nylon that have been textured and heat set to ensure bulk retention.
Twist:- In thread construction, twist refers to the number of turns around the axis. The direction of the twist can be in either "S" (usual) or "Z" (reverse) twists depending on the final usage.
Twisted Multi-filament:- Thread made from continuous filaments of polyester or nylon that are twisted together to make a thread.

Safety rule:- The Steady Safety Rule gives full protection to the fingers when used with a knife. Graduated in both metric and imperial measurements. The rule has a bright anti-rust finish.


Shears:- Leathers shears, not to be confused with scissors, are perfect for cutting through everything from the thinnest skins to the heaviest hides. Though you will not cut through sole leather with them unless you have the strength of a gorilla! They can be somewhat expensive, but you'll ruin half-a-dozen pairs of scissors if you don't buy them.


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leather shapes leather shapes