My latest inspiration source is Coco Chanel. She is an amazing woman and has been a life changer for the woman’s fashion as you can read in my ‘learning from the master’s post‘. Her signature bag is made of black quilted leather but how do you quilt leather?
Types of quilting
First of all, I am writing this post since there is almost no information online how to do this without a sewing machine. So let’s make something clear before we start. There are two types of quilting:
- Type I: all kinds of small pieces sewed together to form one whole large patch.
- Type II: the famous fluffy little squares made by sewing batting behind the leather.
Two lessons learned…
Since you all will be familiar with Cocos’ famous 2.55 you will know I am talking about type II. Alright, so what do you need? I have tried quilting one time before in these lovely valentine hearts as you can read here. I have learned a few lessons…The first lesson I have learned is to search for a better batting. I have struggled a lot on such a small little keyfob… But what kind of batting do you need? I have a secret to confess. I love to watch on youtube how designer bags are ripped apart and are restored or redesigned. You have to be able to control your nerves once you cut a 6000 euro bag to pieces. But that’s not, all you can see how they are made from the bottom up. That’s when I saw what kind of batting they use in the house of Chanel.
A second thing I have learned in my previous try to quilt is to split the leather or to use a thin type of leather. If you want to create that fluffy cousson-like squares the leather should be able to fold around the batting. This time I have chosen for a thin type of goat leather. There is only one thing to keep in mind while working with thin leather, is that it will be more stretchy, more flexible.
How to quilt leather?
Before you start with your project, it will be easier to quilt a larger piece than you will need for your design. Once you finished you can start on your project. Alright, let’s start with the quilting. The first thing to do is to decide how large you want your squares to be. I have marked each 5 centimetres on both sides and draw lines between each of those points. To prevent the leather to slide all over the place you can glue it to batting.
Next, all that’s left is to punch holes in the leather on the lines and stitch it. It sounds easy but since we are doing it by hand… you might take a few hours to finish it. Doesn’t it already look great?! I love it and soon you will be able to see what I will be making with it! But first… let’s continue with some stitching!