Making Leather Sheaths - Part 1


Unfortunately, I did not manage to do as much as I wanted to because other duties get in the way, but the work on the sheaths did progress somewhat.

The first step in manufacturing sheaths is to cut the pieces out of leather. In this case, it is seven pieces:

Base, outer and inner ring for the collar, a wedge, back and belly stripes, and the outer layer.

After that, I make the collar. That starts with riveting the fasteners – the outer part through both layers, the inner part only through the outer layer (see the first picture, center down). Approximately in the center of the outer layer is a small hole in which I insert one half of a leather rivet and I sew both strips together.

If it is possible to make the collar out of a single strip of leather, it would be easier and faster. But this way there will be no direct contact between the metal rivets and the handles, preventing wear and scratching. Plus, it looks better.

As soon as the collars are sewn together, it is necessary to soak them in water, snap them onto the handles with a bit of padding, and let them dry there. That way they will have the right fit – not too tight, not too loose.

While the collars were drying, I also prepared the bases – the future belt loops needed to be formed when wet and left to dry too. Once everything was properly dried, I could rivet the collars to the bases and glue and sew the belt loops.

All these works do not progress at the same pace for all three sheaths because two sheaths use a combination of several colors and for the best results it is sometimes better (or even necessary) to dye the leather first. Thus a lot of time is spent waiting for the dyes to dry.

Whilst the collars are made from thin leather and I could make the holes for sewing using a punch and an awl, the base is from thick leather and the easiest way to make the holes for sewing is to use a 2 mm drill.

You can see the direction of sewing for the belt loop in the picture. About the sewing technique itself, I will say a bit more next week.