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How to Saddle Stitch

How to Saddle Stitch

Saddle stitching is an age-old technique

Saddle stitching is a time-tested way to affix two pieces of material together.  It's secure, durable, and relatively simple.  Saddle stitching is great for repairs, small leather goods, and, quite obviously by its name, saddles.  Most of our products at Craft and Lore are created by saddle stitching pieces of leather together.  We find that it not only does the job well, but also has a clean and simple look.

The only things you will need to get started stitching are thread, a heavy duty needle, a lighter, scissors or a knife, and whatever thing you will be sewing!

To get started sewing, simply thread your needle.  We prefer to do this by piercing the thread, and then inserting the short end of the thread through the eye of the needle.  This allows you to more easily remove the thread after you're done stitching.

 Once you have threaded your needle, it's time to prepare your leather for sewing.  The best way to do this is with a saddle horse, which allows you to clamp together the two pieces of leather, making them easier to keep aligned and therefore speeding up the sewing process.  If you don't have a saddle horse, you can cover the jaws of a vice with a rag and secure the product inside, or just freehand it.

To start saddle stitching, thread the first needle through the hole and make sure that each side is even.  Then, one needle at a time, criss-cross the thread through the holes in the pattern of an 8.  Follow the gif to see the pattern we use for sewing quickly and efficiently:

Once you start repeating the pattern as you sew, you will develop a nice routine that will allow you to sew faster and faster.  One thing to be careful about is the tension that you put on the thread as you sew.  Be sure to pull the string tight enough to create a tight seal between the two pieces, while avoiding creating so much tension that your leather creases and buckles under the pressure. 

Once you have finished the line you are sewing, you will want to finish and seal the stitch.  You can do this by back stitching the last two holes, using scissors to snip the ends of the leather, and melting the end of the thread with a lighter.  If you used a nice wax-coated thread, you should be able to simply press down the end of the thread while it's still hot to create a nice seal.

Once you've completed these steps, Congratulations! You've just learned a very useful skill.  Not only is saddle stitching great for creating new things, but it also comes in handy for quick repairs.  

If you would like to get your hands on some high quality, saddle stitched products, just check out our wallet lineup.


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