“The devil is in the details”, they say. Though this doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Because those details are what will make the difference in the end. The new owner of the bag will discover them overtime and will realise what an amazing bag you’ve made. Though every little detail will need to be designed. Therefore today I want to discuss a new technique for me… a structured zipper pull. Today part I with the preparation and next week part II the execution.
Who cares about the zipper pull??
I never really paid attention to the zipper pull. Often just a little metal pull is used while the more expensive brands can even afford branded zipper pulls. Whenever you want yours branded you will need to order about 2000 to have a reasonable price… But it doesn’t always have to be a metal zipper pull. Why don’t you just create your own leather zipper pulls? Skip the thin leather strap pulls but make it look more expensive with the structured zipper pull.
But how do you structure a zipper pull?
It will take a little bit more time, but it will pay off. It will take a little bit more leather, but use some scrap leather. You will have to work more precise but you can do it! Let’s start.
The structured pull contains 3 layers.
- The top layer –> is connected to the bottom layer
- The middle layer –> This will create the structure
- The bottom layer –> is connected to the top layer
Each layer has its own function. The bottom- en top-layers are connected with each other since it is made of one piece of leather. When you fold it in half it will enclose the ring you attach to the zipper ‘head’ (not sure how you call it…). The middle layer will give the extra texture, structure and sophisticated look. Why adding extra texture, I’ve written a whole post about it here.
Step one – design
Now you know which layers need to be included in your design. All that’s left is the thickness and the shape of it. The sky is the limit so use your imagination and create one that will match the design of the bag for example.
Step two – skive and trim
The next step of the preparation is the skiving. You will need some tools for this. You can either use a skiving knife, skiving machine or a safety skiving knife. Especially the top layer of the zipper pull should be as thin as possible to be folded over the shaped middle layer. To give the middle layer its shape you could trim the edges with an edge grover round or with a Japanese leather knife at about 45 degrees angle. You could also stack multiple thinner middle layers with different sizes to create an extra texture.
Step 3 to 5 will be glue, shape and sew but to make this tutorial complete I will make some detail photos of the process. Love to see you back next week for part II!