Introduction: A Basic Guide to Stitching Leather

About: || Gold Bark Leather is all about helping the beginner become a skilled craftsman in the art of leatherworking. Leatherworking has become a passion that fuels an enthusiasm for life. And I …

Okay, so I've said a few times, in previous Instructables, that stitching deserves an Instructable of it's own. And instead of continuing to say that, I figured it was time to make one. However, as I got started writing, I realized that it would probably be more beneficial to just make a video guide. So I pulled out the camera and made a tutorial. This is my first video, so I'd love it if you could give me some feedback (good or bad) in the comments below. Alright, enough of that, let's get started!

What You'll Need:


I use .8mm 'Tiger Thread. It's great because it's shape helps your stitching look clean and it's crazy durable. If you're brand new to stitching, I'd suggest getting something cheaper while you learn.


I use John James Saddlers Harness Needles. They're durable and inexpensive.

Prepping the Thread:

There's nothing hard about prepping the thread. But, it's good to make sure that you have enough thread for you entire stitching line. That way you don't have to come back with another piece of thread.

In most cases, all you need to do is multiply the length of your stitching line by 3.5 and that will be enough thread with a little extra. However, on small projects where the stitching line is less than a foot, it's good to multiply by 4 instead. This is to take in account the amount of string that is used when threading the needle. Speaking of threading the needle, let's get to it.

Step 1: Thread the Needle

Threading the needle is also pretty simple once you've seen it done. Here's a quick explanation of the process:

1. Pull the string through the eye of the needle. Continue pulling until the thread rests 1 to 2 inches beyond the end of the needle (See the first picture).

2. Keeping 1 to 2 inches of the thread beyond the point of the needle, pierce the thread with the needle. Try to make sure that the needle has an equal amount of strands on either side (See the second picture).

3. Pull the thread that was just pierced back beyond the eye of the needle. This will create a knot (See the third picture)

4. Pull from both sides of the thread to finish creating the knot, making sure to pull tight so the knot is secure (Don't see the forth picture... just kidding, I just needed to mix it up).

If you're thread and needle look like the last picture, then you're good to go! Time to start stitching.

Step 2: Watch This Video and Learn to Saddle Stitch

In my opinion, saddle stitching is the way to go when you want to stitch leather. It creates really clean stitching lines that look distinct from a machine stitch. Even better, it's a really durable stitch. It creates a knot in each hole, which means if the thread breaks somewhere, it's not going to unravel.

This video assumes you've already created your stitching holes. And since this tutorial is for stitching, not punching holes, I don't want to talk about it much here. But if you're looking to improve your stitching lines, here's a few links that will help you make sure you create your holes the right way for stitching:

As I mentioned earlier, this is my first video tutorial, so please let me know in the comments below if/how it could be more helpful! Thanks

Step 3: Pick Out a Project

Now that you know how to stitch, go get some practice and make something awesome in the process.

If you're having trouble thinking of something, you can check out some tutorials I've made here on Instructables!

Currently I am working on making a watch strap for my next tutorial. If you'd like an email to let you know when that's done, you can sign up for the newsletter on my blog.

Thanks for checking this out and don't forget to share anything that you've made with your new stitching skill.