As one of my new years’ resolutions, I wanted to learn how to make a bag or actually anything with leather piping along the edges. Today it the day to dig into a new technique. Since I can’t try anything here in Boston at the moment, I will start with the technical part. How are you suppose to do it? Let’s surf the world wide web!
For everyone who doesn’t know what leather piping is; Piping is a thin leather covered cord that is stitched along the edges. You can use this technique for decoration but also to create quite sharp edges. There are multiple options if you want to use piping. You can either buy pre-made piping or you can make your own piping.
Piping is also a way to finish your edges. You can burnish your edges, use edge paint on them or tuck them in with some charming piping along it. It often makes your design look more professional.
Make your own piping
Apparently, there are two techniques possible. You can create a complete separate piped cord or you can sew it at once. For a first time, I would first try to create the piped cord before I will try to stitch it to my leather bags. You know, just to be sure.
So what do you need? At first, you will need a piping cord, you can choose different thicknesses but the most common piping cord is about 2-5 mm thick. The thickness of your leather strip should at least cover the cord and it is wise to create a wide margin on both sides to be sure you can stitch it to the leather side panels. The length of the cord is the circumference of your piping project plus an extra 5-10 centimeters.
To create a very sharp piping, you can glue the complete strip of leather, place the cord in between and use a bone folder to create a sharp piping. Once everything is in place you should stitch as close to the piping as possible. Imagine if you would do this by hand and you’ve got to cover about 2-3 meters of piping…
Sewing the piping
If you are ready to sew the piping into your project it is important to figure out which layer comes when. The piping should always be covered in between the ‘good sides’ of the leather facing up. You sew the layers together as you are used to but make sure the piping doesn’t move while stitching it. One of the more difficult parts of the piping are the beginnings, the corners, and the ends.
I found some youtube video’s explaining a few tips and tricks covering those parts (some of them are for fabric but almost the same techniques can be applied on leather):
I hope this has been somewhat informative for you all, as soon as I am back and started a new project including piping. I will report back on this technique with a photo tutorial of leather piping.