In my internet sleuthing I have gathered literally thousands of images, plans, and patterns of things I would like to make or have for reference. Government documents, like the scans below, are invaluable resources for the maker when they are made public. Who would know how to better and more efficiently make a pair of … Continue reading U.S. Army Riding Gloves Pattern – free
Stitching Pony, Leather Worker's Clamp, or Saddler's Clam... Whatever you call it, it is a handy device to own if you sew any leather. These are simple devices that just about anyone can make with little time or money invested. Although there are many varieties and models, the one shown in this tutorial by Harry … Continue reading Making a Stitching Pony; Video Tutorial
When teaching a leather craft or making an item for someone, I am often asked about the machine used to sew such thick leather or through so many layers in tight areas. People are often astounded when I explain that this is all hand sewn, with an awl and two needles. I learned saddle stitching … Continue reading Saddle Stitching
I try to live by the creed of learning and making something good every day. As we have been pondering the holiday season it seemed a good time to get a jump on some leatherworking projects I've had in mind the past few months. This morning, before getting to work on other chores, I decided … Continue reading Making a Minimalist Wallet
Some things never really change... While looking through my image archive I came upon some leather working illustrations dated to the early 15th century. All but one of the images below is from the extremely informative Mendel manuscript dated 1425 created at Nuremberg, in what is now Germany. Creating leather from animal hides has been … Continue reading Leatherworking Images from the Middle Ages
I realize this isn't the most exiting project of the year but a necessary one nonetheless. My knife sheath for the "regular" camp knife was a sloppily done remake of the original. The knife maker did an excellent job on the knife itself but the sheath wasn't up to the standard of this fine tool. … Continue reading Knife Sheath
I have raved about the Huarache Blog before. Here’s a re-run of the excellent post about how real leather is still made by hand in Mexico.
Unlike most mainstream footwear, Mexican Huarache footwear leather is still vegetable tanned using tree bark. Fewer tanneries in the world still offer vegetable tanned leathers because of the slower tanning process and higher costs of the natural raw materials used.
The natural benefits of vegetable tanned leather are:
1. The organic tanning process is non toxic and has a much lesser impact on the environment and the health of the tanners (chrome tannery workers have a 20%-50% higher chance of cancer risk).
2. The leather maintains some of its natural qualities to stretch and adapt to your foot shape.
A few months ago in a post titled “Taller De Curtiduria González – Vegetable Tanning the Best Huarache Leathers” I introduced Jesús and Antonio González the father and son tanners in Colima, Mexico who still practice this traditional and centuries old tanning method.
The González tannery offers a variety…
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Or what we might call a messenger bag. I finally finished the commissioned bag from last month based on the beautifully proportioned Roman design. As far as I know, this design dates back to at least the First Century C.E. and judging by it's logic, probably much further. I think the true loculus (satchel) utilized … Continue reading Roman Loculus
A small toiletries bag made from a wax-impregnated leather. The design is essentially that of a very small 18th century portmanteau. Included here are some of the basic tools-of-the-trade for scale and perspective. I think leather work is appealing to me, in part, due to the honest simplicity and lack of power tools. Most projects … Continue reading Leather Dopp Kit
Maybe not the most exciting project to document but a vital one. My F-S knife needed a sheath and I've been too busy lazy to make one. Well, I finally got down to business and got it done. Part of the reason to procrastinate this was that I wasn't sure what style sheath to make. … Continue reading Knife Sheath
Father daughter leatherwork studio in Spain. http://vimeo.com/81747704 It's a video I want to rewatch again and again just to see the details of the shop. Kudos to those who Make!
Here's a recently finished commissioned work. It's an open-top carry-all in 8 oz. oak-tanned leather with nickel furniture. The bag as a snap closure on the top and a snap closing security pocket for wallet, phone, keys, etc. Overall dimensions are 16 x 12 x 5" (41 x 30 x 12.5 cm) for about 15 … Continue reading Leather Carry-All
Over the weekend, I was able to design and nearly finish a new leather haversack. I've wanted to make one for a while but I'm always hesitant to start a big sewing project if I don't think I'll finish it in a short time... I hate lingering unfinished projects (not to say I don't have … Continue reading Haversack
Finished up the quiver. It's been unfinished for at least a year and this weekend finally saw some completion. It's a time for closure on unfinished projects.
The Shoemakers' Shop of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia has posted an excellent photo-essay of making a pair of 18th Century Jack Boots. Their leather work is phenomenal and shows real craftsmanship. Any leather worker can appreciate this even if they never intend to make a pair of shoes. This pair is particularly interesting with the fire-tempering … Continue reading Jack Boots