Making Leather Sheaths - Part 2
Slowly, and unsurely, the work continues. The sheaths are finally sewn and in the process of dyeing.
Before final assembly
and sewing, it was necessary to emboss the outer layer. The leather
needs to be thoroughly soaked by submerging it in water and
subsequently slightly dried at room temperature. Too wet leather has
a tendency to spring back and the stamp impressions are not very
crisp. Too dry leather is too hard and the stamp impressions are too
shallow. In the current weather, I soaked the leather in the morning and
stamped it in the afternoon.
Once the outer layers
were embossed, I could glue everything together. Gluing is not,
strictly speaking, necessary. It is possible to punch/drill holes in
all pieces and only sew everything together. But gluing it first and
drilling holes in the assembly is slightly easier and faster, plus
the glue does improve the overall strength. In the picture, you can
see the outer layer with the back and belly strips glued on, with a
gap near the tip. That gap has two functions – it allows to easily
conceal the knots at the end of sewing and it allows water to escape
if, for example, the sheath falls into water or gets rained in. The
slightly darker color on the inside of the sheath is because I
applied dubbin to it before assembly.
together is not an entirely easy and quick process because the outer
side deforms due to soaking, drying, and embossing with stamps.
When everything is finally glued together, however, it is possible to
finally cut grooves and drill holes for sewing. The grooves allow the
thread to sink under the leather surface, thus it will be more
resistant to getting damaged by friction against clothing, etc. Also
now is the time to sand the contours on the belt sander.
I am using the
two-needle technique for sewing. First I measure the appropriate
length of thread depending on thickness 6 to 8 times the length of
the sewn part) and I thread it through a needle on both ends. That
way I can pull it through a hole with one needle and on the opposite
side wrap the thread around the other needle and pull that through
the same hole in the opposite direction. That way each stitch is
also essentially a knot inside the hole. It is a very slow technique
but it leads to the best results. Even if the thread gets damaged at
one point, it will not unravel and the product stays together.
The next time will be about dyeing and, hopefully, finishing.