“Leather crafting is a standalone art also used in many other hobbies according to leather craftsman” Cory Carnley
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, March 21, 2022 — The increasing notoriety for niche crafts fueled by TikTok and months of COVID-19 isolation continues via social media. With the uptick, Cory Carnley, a leather crafting hobbyist, has noticed an increased awareness of leather crafting for other projects.
By association, these trends, such as creating fashion pieces of all sizes, stationery goods, electronic accessories, and embellishments, have helped create a renewed in the art of leatherwork. For those considering starting on any other hobby with a need for leather crafting or working with leather independently, the use of leather and the initial investment in equipment varies.
Many craft videos popular on TikTok feature close views of highly detailed work on a small scale. From miniatures to fashion dolls and detailed embellishments, a lot of the jobs hobbyists pursue lend themselves to another hobby.
For example, a miniature enthusiast may need to make leather accessories for a miniature home. According to Cory Carnley, these include shaping furniture covers, straps, books and using leather to create unique textures for other components of a display.
In fashion dolls, many creators build a new character from the ground up and need to craft miniature accessories, tools, and clothing articles from leather to lend authenticity and replicate real products crafted of leather.
Leather embellishments are possible to craft in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be layered on other leather goods or added to other textiles or products to lend a unique look. In either instance, the tool needs to increase from basic crafting on a smaller scale or working with leather alone.
While the beginner leather crafter may want to jump into crafting with a comprehensive kit, particularly one marketed to beginners, Cory Carnley advises the kits often contain items a beginner may never need. To maintain a low price point, the manufacturing quality may also be inferior, and when this happens, the process of creating a specialty item can be frustrating.
The tools needed at the start of crafting can be project dependent and purchased solo to build up a quality assortment over time.
Basics for getting started include a cutting device, such as a utility knife, precision cutter or a rotary cutter, and a cutting mat. Investing in more than one cutter is generally recommended for those working with multiple leather sizes. For example, a utility knife or precision cutter can work with small leather pieces, but a larger rotary cutter can help streamline preparation
Cory Carnley advises a scratch awl is a multi-purpose tool for leather crafting and a tool kit essential. It can be used to punch small holes and to scratch in lines for marking. The small holes can be used to prepare for sewing, and the awl can help guide the needle and thread. For tiny projects, the awl can be sufficient for punching holes for various embellishments, such as snaps.
Larger projects require a separate hole puncher to prepare the leather for accessory application. A mallet is also a good investment for embellishment-heavy projects. For bonding layers of leather, leather cement is a solid option, particularly when needlework skills are still developing.
Projects with larger sewing needs can also benefit from a leather groover to create a subtle indent for needlework. The groover also gently alters the surface of the leather, making sewing a bit easier. A diamond chisel also helps when more sewing is required as it can create smoothly, evenly spaced holes for sewing in small batches.
Embellishers and artists will also appreciate an edge beveling tool to soften the sharp lines of projects, and leather tooling stamps and swivel knives are essential for the tooling and carving needed to create intricate patterns and designs.