Leathercraft Project Considerations
To ensure you choose the most compatible leather for your project, read the following topics:
Making One or Many
Whether you are producing a one-time custom job or an ongoing job will have a great influence on the price and type of leather that you buy. Do you own a business and plan on buying large quantities of leather? See if you qualify for wholesale pricing by visiting www.weaverleathersupply.com/wholesale-information.
The total size of your product along with the total number of individual pieces you are making will determine the cut of leather you should use. For example, we recommend sides for products with smaller straps including 12" x 12" patterns and items that need extra length. Backs and bends are perfect for products that require the best cut of leather and the least amount of stretch.
To ensure all your leather has the same weight and finish, be sure to order an adequate quantity of leather including your waste factor. By planning ahead and placing one large order instead of many small orders, you may be able to save on shipping. Do you own a business and plan on buying large quantities of leather? See if you qualify for wholesale pricing by visiting www.weaverleathersupply.com/wholesale-information.
Taking Care of Leather
For products exposed to harsh conditions, we recommend hot stuffed leather like harness, latigo or English bridle leather. If you’re moulding, stamping or using dry leather like skirting, be sure to apply oils, dyes and dressings to help prevent drying out and cracking. For products not exposed to harsh conditions, we’ve found that regular strap, bridle and chrome tanned leather usually work fine. For extra protection and long life, we recommend using leather care and conditioning products on all items.
Stretch and Strength
When strength is considered a major factor, we recommend using full thickness leathers like skirting and harness as well as unsplit latigo and bridle leathers. Unsplit leathers are stronger and do not stretch as much as split leathers because all the fibers remain intact and are not weakened by the splitting process. Please remember that leather is a natural material that’s not intended for use on products that carry a high liability or require a certification of tensile strength.
A dry leather such as skirting, strap or regular bridle leather is your best choice for moulding, casing or stamping leather. Use skirting or strap leather for tooling.
When moulding, stamping or tooling, you’ll usually put your own finish on the leather. If not, you should purchase a leather that’s already been finished by the tannery. The tannery can drum dye or spray the leather in a controlled environment for a professional, consistent finish.
Can you duplicate or improve upon the prototype? Always make sure your customer knows what to expect and be honest about what you can and cannot do. If the job requires tools you don’t have, figure out if it’s feasible to buy them. We invite you to send us a leather swatch to make sure the leather you purchase is correct for your needs.