Regarding elasticity . . . .?

I frequently need leather of a certain thickness that is pliable and soft, but not stretchy. I have always found it hit and miss. Is there a particular portion of the hide that is less stretchy, or any other particulars that would help me buy on-line without the luxury of feeling the leather in person?

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MikaelaHolmes9 months ago

Oh, this is a tough one! I have not found a great way to tell this universally without feeling the leather in person, but generally "pigmented" or "finished" leathers that have been given an artificial grain will be less stretchy than the higher quality aniline dyed leathers. Leather with a metallic finish, or motorcycle leathers that have been treated to be extra durable will often be less stretchy. I would suggest, if you can, going into a store somewhere, and testing all the leathers and making notes of which are stretchier and why for future reference. I would also try calling any leather supplier you are working with to ask their advice about their current stock.

deuce13136 months ago

Leather closest to where the spine of the cow was tends to be the firmest part, getting more stretchy as you near the belly.

Something a lot of leatherworkers do is to sandwich plastic or nylon strap between two pieces of leather to prevent/slow down stretching (Saddleback Leather does this, as do most major manufactures of belts and bags).

How are you planning on using the leather you end up getting? I might be able to help with some ideas to minimize/stop the stretching.

Hope this helps!!

fargosmom (author)  deuce13136 months ago

This does help! I make dog collars, but they need to be pliable, for dogs with soft thin skin . . . so I try to use hide that is somewhere between rigid and too stretchy. So far my best success is with touch-n-feel buying. Some of my components are single thickness hide, so sandwiching anything in between is not always possible. Still, a great suggestion. Thanks!!!

I don't know where you are in the world but if you can get kangaroo leather it is very strong and supple. It comes with and without fur.

celtwulfe6 months ago

Also, be watchful of the belly portion of the leather. It is normally more stretchy than the rest of the hide.

fargosmom (author)  celtwulfe6 months ago

Thanks! That does really help.