There are numerous instruction video’s and tutorials you can find on google. Though I thought, step by step I try to include all types of techniques and background information on this blog. So you don’t only can read my new posts every Tuesday and Thursday but that you can always review basics of Leathercraft. As you can read here in the ABC of leathercraft, the saddle stitch is the strongest stitch you can make. But what do you need and how do you do it?
What do you need:
- Two needles (harness needles)
- Waxed thread 4 times the length of the part you want to stitch (never be too short on your thread)
- A piece of leather (punched with holes)
- Optional a stitching pony
Step 1 – Prepare
Prepare yourself for stitching. This includes pull the thread through the needle and push your needle two times through the end of the thread to secure it in the needle. Make sure you thread is waxed (pre-waxed or wax it yourself), so it will stitch more easily (and to make it water repellent). Place your leather in stitching pony (or between your knees) so you have two hands to work with.
Step 2 – The beginning
Prick with one needle through the first hole and make sure you have on both sides an even amount of threat. Once you have made your first stitch the thread will be secured so you don’t have to knot it anywhere right now.
Step 3 – Saddle stitching
The big difference between the saddle stitch with other stitches, like on the sewing machines, is that you knot the thread in each hole. This makes this stitch the strongest one. But how do you do this? First, prick the needle from left to right (or right to left what you prefer but be continuous). Make a small cross with your needles and make sure that pricking needle is on top. Turn this cross so you can pierce the second needle from right to left. Before you pull the whole thread through make sure you haven’t pierced the thread itself by pulling the left piece of thread a little bit back. If not make sure your right to the left-to-right needle is under the loop of the left-to-right needle and pull it tight. Be careful that you don’t pull it too tight when you work with thinner types of leather. It will not look that neat once you’re done.
Step 4 – Continue
Continue this until you have reached the end of your prepared stitching line and stitch one hole back to finish it. You can either melt the last piece of thread or cut it really short. Because of all the knotting of the saddle stitch, your thread will be secure.
Step 5 – how to improve your saddle stitch
If you are not content about your stitching, you can practice and practice and practice even more. Because in time your stitching will improve. Though you can always watch other people explaining it as well. Maybe they can make the penny drop for you.
Here are some video’s or links you can read as well!
- Video 1 on how to saddle stitch from Instructables: https://youtu.be/VLa3ehDCUi0
- Video 2 on how to saddle stitch by Armitage Leather: https://youtu.be/7ue3zBg0bdA
- Video 3 on how to hand stitch leather by Ian Atkinson: https://youtu.be/Y0EL7K2NhYs
- Blog post on Martha Stewart by Jim Linnell: http://www.marthastewart.com/1125947/how-sew-leather-hand
Most people have often that one side looks better than the other. So try once in a while to focus on the other side and keep improving your saddle stitch. I hope you have learned a lot and I look forward to your experiences! Want to try out you newly learned skill? See for yourself at the DIY’s archive or stay tuned because the Christmas holiday is coming up!