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5/6 Sewing

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5/6 Sewing

Whether tone-on-tone or contrasting, sewing is the most visible step in the making of an item. This is the moment when all the measures taken are confirmed, when there is no room for error. The needle holes in the leather are permanent and not always easy to camouflage! A few stitches aside and the piece is unrecoverable.


It's my favorite part in production. Finally I have the impression that work is progressing! The parts are assembled together, the accessory takes shape. It is rarely the longest step, but the easiest to spoil! The machine goes fast and the gestures must be precise and synchronized.


The sewing machine is a very special tool. To work leather, there are several types of machines. The peculiarity of leather goods accessories is that they are often rigid or semi-rigid. They do not bend and therefore do not '' fit '' into the machine. That means, the place where you want to sew can't access the needle. This is when specialized sewing machines come in handy. Instead of a table, some have an arm, others a pillar, to clear the space around the needle. All these machines have special mechanics for sewing leather. They are very robust and use specific needles and thread.


The thread I use is a nylon thread. Compared to the thread for sewing clothes, it is very large and unbreakable. Small detail about leather goods, we generally use a slightly smaller thread, but always nylon too, for the underside (the thread in the bobbin). This allows a more beautiful seam without being less solid. Another detail about leather goods, the nylon thread is very smooth, therefore slippery, and tends to come apart. This is why it is very important to burn all the wire stops to weld them. Each leather worker has his technique for burning the threads. When I started to equip myself ten years ago, I did not have the money to buy all the necessary tools because there are so many! So I adapted my technique. Creasing irons are used for different tasks and there are a multitude of interchangeable tips, including a thread burner. I only bought a few irons, but not the thread burner, and have been using one of the irons I had for all this time. I get used to the movement and I now have trouble using the thread burner correctly when I borrow one from a workshop colleague. I'm always afraid of cutting the thread at the wrong place!


Once sewing is done, the accessory is usually almost finished. There remains the final touch, which will be the subject of the next text!