What Tools Do You Need To Start Leatherworking?


Widely gifted between husband and wife on their third wedding anniversary, leather has an elegant and durable quality that never goes out of style. People cherish any leather goods that they have for years upon years.

Many people are drawn to leatherworking and the allure of making their own timeless pieces that others will cherish. This art is not as simple to get into as something like sewing and embroidery as the leatherworker requires a lot more specialised tools than the seamstress does.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the basic set of tools that any novice leatherworker will need to purchase before they get started.

The Basics

The first things that should be on the shopping list are leather, thread and needles. It is recommended that you go for synthetic thread as opposed to natural fibres such as cotton because synthetic thread doesn’t disintegrate over time while natural thread does.

In terms of needles, those used for leatherworking are blunter than those utilised for dressmaking. This because the needle needs to penetrate the fabric in sewing while it doesn’t in leatherworking. It only needs to pass through the hole that is made with the diamond chisel and mat. So when you’ve decided on which aspect of the leather you want to stick you’ll create the necessary holes with the chisel and mallet.

Cutting The Leather

The next things which should be on your list are a mat and knife. The mat is there to protect your workbench and to stabilise the pieces of leather that you’re cutting.

In terms of the cutter, there are five varieties that you can choose from. No one knife is better than the other – it merely comes down to a person’s preference. Knife varieties are the following:

  • Standard Utility Knife
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Round Knife
  • Xacto Knife
  • Box Cutter

Other Items In The Toolbox

There are a number of other leatherworking tools that you can add to your collection. The top hits for you to enjoy and the tools you need are:

  • Stitching Awl
  • Skiver
  • Edge Beveller
  • Slab
  • Edge Burnisher
  • Hole Puncher

The items that you 100% need to get started are the leather, thread, needles, knife, cutting mat, diamond chisel and mallet. The other things you can build up over time as they will make your leatherworking experience that much better and will allow you to produce exceptional-quality pieces.

In today’s world of instant gratification – where bags, handbags and belts are churned out 19 to the dozen – a beautifully handcrafted leather item becomes a lot more valuable. This is because the person making it has taken the time to lovingly craft and create it. If you’re this type of person then leatherworking is for you!