The art of leatherwork

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3 years ago

SHOULD YOU prosper by making money? In this time of rising costs and widespread unemployment, more and more people are looking for work or opportunities to raise their wages. Others seek satisfying relaxation in their daily lives. Leather goods offer a profitable job that can be done at home and is fun for the whole family.

The skin suitable for sculpture must be vegetable tanned. This leather easily absorbs moisture and can be cut, stamped, stained or give a shiny surface. However, chrome tanned leather cannot be used.

To cut or treat leather, you must first wet it or "loosen" it. Rub a damp sponge into the skin on the side of the meat. When the leather returns to its natural color, it is ready to be molded. You can add extra moisture if needed, but avoid unnecessary padding as this will darken the skin and make it tough. Always use glass or porcelain containers for the water used to moisten the skin. Water in metal containers can permanently discolor the skin.

Never use pens or pencils to transfer a design to leather, as they will leave indelible marks on the product. By tracing the wet or lined skin with a blunt tool, you can transfer a design from the paper to the skin. Then cut the outlines of the pattern with a rotary knife that cuts about half of the skin. Then various embossing tools are used to hammer the background to bring out the reflections of the design and make it look three-dimensional. Leather to be printed should be placed on a hard, flat surface such as marble, and punching tools should be struck with a wooden or rawhide stick loosely held in the hand.

Punch tools are generally divided into the following categories: camouflage or comb, shadow, bevel, grain, seeds, background. Additional tools may include rotary pliers used to punch holes for leather bandages, a good sharp knife with a short blade, bulkheads, squares, knitting needles, awls and rivets, and rubber concrete. In addition, a small pair of sharp metal pliers is very useful for cutting leather.

With practice of using punching tools, it is possible to develop a rhythmic punching motion that will give the best results. Practice with small pieces of skin to gain skill and experience in determining the appropriate moisture level for the gash.

Your seam can be stitched together using different lace methods, or the pieces can be sewn by hand. Commercial laces can be plastic or genuine leather. But a person may want to try ropes made from nylon fishing lines, single ropes made from synthetic rope, or fine leather cut into tight strips of mesh. Some items can only be assembled with rivets.

With practice and careful thought, some people have developed their own style and technique. Pleasure and satisfaction in processing leather lies in creating something attractive and useful with your own hands. Whether you are looking for a profitable job or a relaxing hobby, leather crafts can meet your needs. As with other jobs and hobbies, you need to control this work and not let it control you. Know that this is only a means to an end. When working with leather, you may find that your pleasure can pay off in several ways.

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