leather shapes leather shapes

KINGSMERE CRAFTS

HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS

Moulded gussets

The advantage of this type of gusset is that it lies flat in the closed position and expands fully when opened, and there are two ways of making them, namely the "tin" and the "string".

tin method

string method

     Tin  

   String

The shape to which a moulded gusset can be fixed depends on the width of the gusset required, and that in turn on the size of the article. For a purse the normal width would be about 1" to 1½". Dampen the leather for the gusset on the flesh side and leave to mellow for a time (about five minutes).

Using the string method the mellowed leather is folded grain to grain along its length and a loop of string fixed to a support, and the leather then sits with its fold along it. Pull with the first finger and thumb of both hands, stretching the outer edge, while the inner is pulled by the string.

For the tin method cut a piece of zinc a good 2" longer on all sides than the front of the purse with a "U"-shaped piece cut out, the size of the fold of the gusset. The dampened and folded gusset is bent round the inner shape of the tin, the outer edge being pulled along the base and then the corners. Pleats should be smoothed with a folder.

You can repeat gussets with some degree of accuracy using the tin method, which is impossible with the string. However, with both these methods, size and length will have to be trimmed to fit the shape of the purse front.

divider

Moulding is a very successful technique for using up expensive scraps of sole leather. Cut to size and do any decorative work before starting to mould it. Soaking for a sufficient length of time in warm water it will become soft enough to mould into various shapes. Always use the grain side out. Strips can be moulded round something like a jam jar and taped in place over a piece of polythene and allowed to dry naturally. An easy way to make bangles, but do be careful when handling wet leather -- you can easily bruise it, and even when it dries, marks will still be visible.


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leather shapes leather shapes