Pieces of leather are skillfully joined to produce leather items. The ways are varied and they are dependent on the particular leather item to be produced. Therefore, the Leatherwork designer must equip himself/herself with knowledge on how each of them is carried out. Some of the joinery techniques are described in this article.
1. Plain seams
Plain seams can be stitched, laced or riveted with wrong sides of the leather together or for thin leather, stitched with right sides together and turned right sides out at a later stage. On thin leather, a plain seam can be pressed oven in various ways. With the aid of glue and a mallet, and sew and emphasized with top stitching or lacing.
2. Overlap seams
This is where two parts of the leather are overlapped and joined by stitching, lacing or riveting. The thickness of the leather and the function of the article being made usually dictate which method is the most suitable.
3. Abutted seams
Abutted seams are often backed with a striped of leather or cotton tape, glue and backing strip to one edge first, then buth the second edge against the first, slap the backing if you decide to stitch or lace to and from across the join.
4. Recessed seams
This is called hidden seam. These are primarily a feature of soles. The stitching sits in a specially cut groove to prevent it from rubbing and fraying. This is especially useful on hide belts and bags. It is the edge groover that is used for this work.
5. Piped and fringed seams
This seam method involves piping, with or without piping cord inside it, can be sandwiched into a plain or overlap seam for extra emphasis. Strips of fringe conventionally piped of fringed seams are stitched, but there could be occasions when lacing or riveting would be functional.
The edging process is carried out with the aid of an edge creaser. It is used to depress lines along the edge of the leather. The leather is first moistened. Place the leather on a hard smooth surface such as a marble slab with the flesh down. The edge creaser is pulled along the edge of the leather with a firm grip producing a deep crease line parallel to the edge. The edge creaser is pushed back. The process is repeated until a desired depth of imprint is obtained.