Hell Bent For Leather

I’ve been getting into leather.

In the right way.

I’ve been making leather everything. If it can be leathered then I’ve leathered it. But what I thought I’d put up here was how I made a small leather pouch for a folding lock-knife.

I used some 3mm natural veg tan leather.

The first thing I had to do was make a former. This is done by a process known as wet-forming. What you have to do is get a bit of leather big enough and soak it in hot water for 20 minutes or so. This makes the leather very soft and stretchy. I tacked it along one edge and then got a bit of wood (of the same size as the folded knife the pouch is for) and stretched the leather over it and tacked that down. When the leather dries it sets hard and holds the shape of the wooden mold.

            I cut small triangles out of the corners of the leather so that it stretched around. Otherwise you end up with folds in the leather. Well, I do.

            While that’s drying what I do is stitch the belt loop on to the back of pouch. And I also fitted a press-stud as well.

            When the front of the pouch is dry I then stitched the two halves together, and attached another press-stud to close the pouch.

            The kind of stitching used is called a saddle stitch. The thread I used was a linen thread that had been waxed. You then put a needle on either end of the thread and pass the two needles through the same stitch hole, weaving back and forth all the way around the pouch. The leather, however, is very tough and it takes a lot of work to push the needles through. So what you do instead is make a hole with an awl first, before you pass the needles through. With two layers of leather this isn’t hard to do. But with three (such as you may find on a knife sheath along the knife’s cutting edge) it is easier to drill small holes first with a Dremel.

            So, once all stitched up I neatened up the edges. Then I dyed the pouch medium brown. Once that had dried I then gave the whole pouch a going over with wax. I used normal brown shoe polish.

            And that was the knife pouch complete!


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