The Ultimate Guide on How to Sew Leather

Are you thinking of creating leather items? Putting the piece together can be really easy, and you can make an overall fabulous product. You can sew leather handbags, jackets, torn car seats, and many more.  However, you must first learn how to sew leather properly, as this may seem a little different than your regular sewing at home.

With no sewing skills and experience, leather sewing can be challenging, but no worries, as it is not impossible. If you’ve got the right tools, you are good to go. Whether hand sewing or sewing leather with a machine, it is essential to create clean stitches for those excellent products you make.

With precise sewing holes placed across the leather evenly, a whole lot of attention is needed for this process.  So, you can grab your sewing materials and focus on this guide to helps you through the excellent sewing process.

Required Tools and Materials

Working with leather implies that you are not working with your regular sewing material, as they are thicker and are of heavier skins. Freight not, there is thin leather, as well. You need to pick the right leather materials too. There are various options, and it would be helpful if you select quality leather for sewing.

However, the tools for sewing leather vary; you can comfortably get a leather sewing kit with a number of these tools. A handful of these tools are also present in many leather repair kit. Some standard instruments needed for sewing leather include;

types of leather stitching

Tools for making and aiding cuts

  • Trim knife
  • Utility Knife
  • Leather punch for hand-sewing
  • Scalloping shears
  • An awl
  • Pattern weight
  • Punch edge
  • Metal edge grid ruler

Tools for Pressing

  • Pressing tile
  • Miniature anvil
  • Rubber mallet

Adhesive Materials

Making and aiding Stitches

  • Leather sewing machine
  • Leather needle
  • Waxed leather thick sewing thread
  • Groove
  • Overstitch wheel

Asides from these tools mentioned above, you have the Rivets, Setter, and Anvil as a perfect alternative for a leather sewing machine. You can also get the Snaps and Snap setter to get in action.

How to sew leather Step by step guide:

Sewing leather can be relatively easy, but it requires more precision and care, unlike the regular sewing process. Whether you sew a new leather piece or repair a leather sofa in your home, this knowledge would be beneficial. Here are simple steps on how to sew leather.

Hand Sewing Leather

how to sew two pieces of leather together

Get some quality leather material.

You can get processed leather materials from various craft stores out there; they come in various types, thicknesses, and colors.

Get your adhesives in place.

Using leather glue, join your leather piece together by applying some glue drops at the material’s edges. This action helps hold the pieces in place to ensure you sew with ease and make precise stitches. Alternatively, you can apply a light coating of leather cement or use the two-sided tape.

Use your groove in making a stitch line.

Since leather sewing involves precision, you can use the Grove to create a straight line that stitches would run through. Work with the groove by digging it onto the leather, and create a straight line.

Start marking your stitch spaces

Creating stitches with even spaces would help if you use an overstitch wheel to make the spaces that your sewing thread pass through. Do so on both sides of the leather pieces. Placing it at the beginning of the material, move gently towards the end.

Please note that overstitch wheels come designed having different sizes, which helps create varying sizes. Thus, you can choose an overstitch with the perfect size to make your leather’s desired spacing length.

Start creating holes using an awl

Many persons are keen on knowing how to sew leather with an awl, and this is simple. Get an awl and start punching holes on the leather material through the straight lines created by the groove. Please know that the awl into the stitch marks made by the overstitch wheel. With holes on the leather, you can sew with ease.

Note: You can skip steps 4 and 5 by using the leather punch for hand sewing, as this automatically creates a hole and spaces them. This leather punch comes with prongs that have spaces in between. All you have to do is place them on the leather and create multiple holes.

Cut and fix your waxed thread into the sewing needle.

Get your threads and pull them some inches through your leather sewing needle; try pushing the tip of the thread through the center of the needle. Then, drag the other end of the thread to achieve an eve length. Continue by locking the sewing thread using a simple knot. Please note that you can use regular strong sewing threads without waxing, but making stitches might be more challenging.

Start Stitching using the thread and needle

From the first hole on the leather pieces, start stitching through to the end. There are various types of leather stitching, and the most common type is the saddle stitch. To sew the leather with a single needle, push in the sewing needle from the top part of the leather piece to the other end of the hole. From the bottom, pass it into the second hole at the top and then return to the first hole.

Move to the second hole and continue with the same process. Keep sewing forth and back till you can sew it up completely. Using double needles, fix in the threads, and pass one sewing needle through the first hole. Drag the thread, leaving it at the middle by making both needles appear on an even length.

With the first needle at the bottom, pass it through the second hole. At the same time, pass the second needle through the second hole from the top. Continue gently till you get to the end of the seam. In the end, tug the thread and repeat the process (back-stitch), making the stitch stronger. In the end, pull the threads tightly and cut the extra sewing threads with scissors.

Get started with the finishing process.

After sewing your leather piece, you can continue with the finishing process to make it appear more alluring. You can burnish leather edges to make them look clean and presentable. Also, waterproofing leather can make the sewn product last longer.

Tips on how to Sew Leather on a Machine from the Comfort of your Home

how to sew leather on a machine

You can use these tips below to help you sew your leather effectively.

  • Before you think of sewing leather on your machine, ensure that you get the right sewing thread. The regular cotton threads would not last for a long while; thus, you can consider some heavy-duty stitching thread.
  • Also, get a stronger new needle; heavy-duty sewing needles are sturdy and suitable for sewing leather materials.
  • Get a Teflon or roller machine foot instead of using your regular machine foot to prevent the leather from sticking to the foot.
  • Employ a longer sewing length rather than the regular stitch length; you can any longer length you desire.

With these steps, you can sew leather effectively, sewing leather to fabric or just leather to leather. Thus, you can get started on sewing and repairing various products. Some persons ask questions on how to sew leather jackets and how to make the designs. You can learn some excellent tips to create a superb leather coat. Furthermore, you can also get some special tips on thin sewing leather.

Note: After stitching to repair a leather car seat, try to use a suitable product to clean the leather couch, and use a leather conditioner.


What do you use to sew leather?

One can comfortably sew leather using the standard leather machine designed to sew leather pieces of different thicknesses. However, you can sew leather using some excellent tools like your needle, thread, awl, groove, and over-stitch wheel. Using your regular sewing machine to sew leather is not a bad idea, but you may need to get stronger threads and needles and change your stitch length.

Can I sew leather on a regular sewing machine?

Yes. Sewing leather with regular machines can be quite challenging but not impossible. To get started, you must first get some new sets of sewing needles. There are various heavy-duty sewing needles available in craft stores.

Then, you should get stronger threads and avoid using the regular cotton threads. If you use the traditional sewing threads, they will wear out quickly, causing stitches to become loose. Furthermore, it would help if you change your machine foot and use the Teflon machine foot.

How do you start a leather stitch?

Starting a leather stitch, you must first make sure that all needed tools are made available. Then, gather your leather pieces and place them together to create a seam. Since leather surfaces are slippery, it would help if you keep them in place using suitable adhesives.

Using the groove, create a straight line and mark ports for stitching using the over-watch wheel. Then, generate stitch holes using an awl, and start sewing with a needle and thread.

Can you sew leather by hand?

Yes. Hand sewing leather is one of the many useful means of sewing leather. Although it may not be suitable for sewing bulky leather pieces, it is an excellent means of creating various leather products at home.

Whether you are sewing to make a new product or repair torn leather products, it is beneficial. However, it requires great care to ensure a high level of precision and make the stitches look great.

What kind of sewing machine do I need to sew leather?

There are standard sewing machines for leather that comes in various designs and features. With these sewing machines, you would have no further complaints about leather sticking on the machine foot.

They come with excellent needles that can withstand the leather thickness. These machines can handle bulky leather, and they are faster. However, you can use regular sewing machines after making some useful adjustments.

What needle do I use to sew leather?

There are specific heavy-duty sewing needles for sewing leather. They come designed strong and durable, having a spear shape with excellent abilities to pass through the leather. Regular needles can break easily, as leather is not as soft as fabrics. Please note that these needle for sewing leathers comes in various sizes. Some needles are more suitable for heavy leather projects and others for simple projects

Final words

Sewing leather can be fascinating as you create new excellent products or repair other leather products. However, you would need proper knowledge of sewing leather to get it right. Thus, it would help if you learn how to sew leather properly. You can check out this guide for first-hand information on the simple steps involved in sewing leather. So, get ready and have an incredible leather sewing experience.


I am an Architect Engineer by profession with great interest in web and content creation. I have used leather products for a long time, which has increased my enthusiasm, knowledge, and understanding of leather. I am here to shed light on the leather and guide you on choosing the best leather products.

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