OUR GUIDE TO THE BASICS
The saddle stitch is a popular style used by many premium leather-good creators for its strength, durability, and impressive looks once finished.
It is a simple method that uses a single thread with two needles, and follows a repetitive pattern. Once you have learnt the basic steps you will be able to use the technique with all of our kits.
The step by step guide below, followed by tips on technique will help provide the basics of saddle stitching. Feel free to follow along the steps below on your own kit.
THREADING YOUR NEEDLES
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If you have not had experience with needle work before, view these options for threading your needles.
If you have, you can continue onto the Saddle Stitching Guide below.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
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This guide will help you understand the basics of saddle stitching.
The saddle stitch method is the stitching method that we will use in the instructions for our leather craft kits. Feel free to follow yourself as you go through these steps.
As you will have noticed in the guide above, double stitching is important to keep the thread strong and secure. We've summarised the three main places that you will want to use a double stitch while crafting. Keep these in mind as you craft your kits.
1. At the beginning of stitching
You should begin your first stitch with a double stitch to secure the thread.
2. At the join between two pieces of leather
A good example of this is if you are stitching a wallet with multiple card sleeves, each of the joins should have a double stitch as it becomes a tension point
3. At the end of stitching
When you reach the end, you should double stitch back over the last 3 stitches to secure the thread.
Part of what makes the saddle stitch method look so great is the consistent pattern that the stitches produce along the edge of a piece of leather.
To ensure that your stitches create an eye catching effect, you will want to make sure that each stitch follows a consistent pattern. We've put together the tips below based on the two types of kits we offer.
Round Stitching Holes
Once you have created your first stitch, every time a needle passes through a hole from the bottom to the top it will pass the thread from the other needle in the same hole (which is running in the opposite direction.
To create a consistent pattern, you will want to make sure that the needle that you are pushing through the hole from the bottom to the top passes the existing thread on the same side as the prior holes.
In the example above, we have been stitching consistently by pulling the thread that remains on the bottom side to the left each time we push a needle through the bottom to the top, which causes that needle to pass on the right each time.
The round stitching holes we use in most of our easy to follow kits are the perfect way to learn as they are more forgiving and mean that if you accidentally miss a stitch here and there it wont stand out at the end.
The key to European style stitching is to ensure that the thread on the top side is running the shortest distance between holes. This will be from the bottom of one hole, to the top of the second hole (almost as though you are creating a Z shape).
To achieve this, you will need to ensure that the thread remaining on the bottom side of the leather is pulled to an angle each time that allows the needle passing to the top to come out in the bottom of the hole (as shown in the example above).
This technique will take a little more getting used to, but will become easier after you have practiced a few times.
European Chiseled Holes
If you purchased one of our more advanced kits with European chiseled holes, you will want to pay closer attention to the pattern of each stitch.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
The Saddle Stitching method will become easier the more you practice it. We recommend taking it slow at the beginning, and perhaps practicing with one of your leather pieces before starting to stitch everything together.
We provide more than enough thread with each of our DIY kits so that you can take a piece and practice a few stitches before beginning to assemble the kit. If you choose to do this, you can then take your scissors and cut the thread (on the underside of the leather which will be glued during assembly) once you're finished practicing.
We hope you enjoy your crafting experience!