In a previous post (quite a while ago), we’ve discussed the technique of leather weaving. Nowadays it is not as common to do it yourself since machines have been invented for the hard work. Why hard work? Well, it does look great but also takes a lot (read A LOT)of time. S0 if you’ve got some time on your hands, this summer holiday, for example, you might give it a go! But once you’ve decided what pattern you like and cut all the straps and weaved your piece of leather how do you use it in a project? Well, I am currently at this point in a side project (will be introduced soon!) and might give you some tips and tricks on how to work with woven leather.
Trial and error…!
I’ve seen a lot of images of bags with amazing woven leather work but I always wonder … how do they finish their edges? Well, I’ve got still no clue so I will go with ‘trial and error’. In the previous post of ‘Technique – leather weaving‘, I’ve discussed how to finish the edges theoretically. Now I had to do it in practice and that seemed quite something else…
If you’ve taken hours and hours to weave the piece of leather you don’t want it to fall apart in seconds… Theoretically, you can twine the edges, as I’ve read during my weaving research and it should look something like the drawing below.
It’s a nice drawing, and quite clear… but where do I start ??? Calm down, and let’s see how to do this together. It took me quite a while to get the hang of if but eventually, I did succeed, so let’s break it in little steps.
How to twine woven leather:
- Cut a thread about the size of 3-4 times the length of your edge.
- Loop the thread around the last strip of your woven leather. (make sure the length of your thread is even on both sides)
- Twist the thread twice as in the image above
- Loop the next strip between your two strands of the thread (see image below)
- Twist the thread twice
- repeat step 4 and 5 until you’ve reached the outer strip of your edge
- Knot it tightly and push the loops towards the piece of woven leather
If you’ve followed these steps until the end of your edge it should look something like the image above, during the twining, and something like the image below at the end. You could repeat the twining step once again to make sure it is secured tightly. You can trim the end pieces if you want. Although if you want to use your piece of leather in combination with other leather you might want to keep the ends long until you’ve punched all the holes in the leather just to be sure it does not escape your twining.
Combining woven leather with other leather
Since it is quite hard to construct a bag from this leather, it is often combined with other pieces of leather. In my new project, I will do this too and found a second method to secure the leather weaving. If you are careful, and leave the ends on, you can punch holes in the middle of the final strap to sew it together with your second kind of leather. Make sure you punch the holes with confidence since it is still somewhat movable at this stage.
Next, you can carefully sew the strap together with your piece of leather and this hides the ugly ends but also makes it a lot stronger! No escaping possible anymore. Don’t you love the color combination of the cognac leather and the beautifully woven leather?
Just to set your mind at ease… I did not weave all this leather myself 😉 luckily I found this amazing piece of leather (already quite some time back) of 100% woven leather; some left over from a Dutch designer collection. Are you curious what I will make with this amazing piece of woven leather?? Well, stay tuned since I will introduce it sooooon! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more updates in between posts!