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leather shapes leather shapes



French binding

Hand-crafted, and decorative leatherwork. How is it done? - continued

Binding edges - continued

Only if you are using fine, delicate leather should you even consider trying this method of binding otherwise it will look far too clumsy and bulky. It is best to have a trial run first using the equivalent of what will be the thickness to be bound, to assist you in working out the width of the binding that will be required. Whether there is any connection with the "French seam" in needlework, a seam in which the edges are invisible, I don't know.

Hopefully the illustration below should help with understanding the procedure which is quite straightforward, though somewhat fiddly.

glue and stitch binding

turn over, glue back

side profile

Glue and stitch binding ¹/8"from edge

After stitching turn over and glue to back

Side profile of binding

The binding should be glued and stitched about ¹/16" in from the edge. Then turn it over the edge and stick it to the back of the piece. Sew a second row of stitches about ³/32" below the first row of stitching (that is below the bottom edge of the binding you have just stitched and turned over) this will go through the binding you previously glued on the back and will hold it in place.


Another method of binding a seam is by using what is known as a turnover binding. This is really just an extra allowance made when cutting out your pattern that will permit it to be wrapped over your edge. Most invariably this would be something like the outer part of a wallet, where the various parts are being  hand-sewn together and  the extra allowance would turned over onto the inside before sewing, rarely if ever in the opposite direction, unless the intention was to make it decorative. You calculate the allowance required by estimating the thickness to be bound plus ¹/4", for the stitching.


Leather Edge Lacing

Leather edge lacing serves two purposes. It can bind two or more pieces of leather together and provides a decorative finish to the work by covering the raw edges.

Leather lacing creates a thick weave of leather around the edge. Its purpose is not just to look good, but also to help protect the edges of the leather piece from wear and tear.

The easiest stitch is the running stitch (Here). The whip stitch (Here) offers more of a decorative look and can be used for projects that will not have as much stress on the seams. The cross-whip stitch is similar to the whip stitch, but with a slight variation. This stitch will take six times the length of lacing required for the length of the project. Buck stitch (Here) is a common leather stitch used with flat lacing. This style of lacing creates a regular, even pattern of linear stitching. You'll find the illustrations of how to do Baggin's stitch (Here). You'll find the illustrations showing how to do the Mummy Wrapping stitch (Here). For how to do the Back Whip stitch follow the instructions on this page (Here). To see how to do the Cross stitch then this is the page (Here). For the Wide Whip stitch go to (Here).

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leather shapes leather shapes