Introduction: Reinforced Finger Guards for Felting

About: Artist, Poet, Author, from the seaside town of Cardigan in Wales, UK

Having managed to stab my finger several times through my leather finger guard during some intense felt hat making (see my other instructables) I decided to invent a new kind of leather finger guard that would afford me a little more protection. The materials I used were recycled. The leather from a bag of scraps I bought at a car boot sale, the gingham was truly vintage and had sat in the cupboard for years innumerable. The metal reinforcement was procured from my used drink cans. I hope this will help all those avid felters out there to save their poor fingers.

Step 1: Making the Pattern and Cutting the Fabrics

I drew the pattern onto some cardboard that ld saved from an A4 pad I had finished. I like to buy as little as possible for my projects. The process is all a bit self explanatory as you can see in the pictures. Try to use a soft but reasonably thick leather. Old handbags from the charity shop (thrift store) are usually a good source. Any fabric will do that is reasonably thin but I think it’s best to use something that will not make your finger too sweaty, so cotton is my preference. The size of your finger guard pattern depends on the size of your fingers and which finger you wish to cover so you will need to work out your own sizing. This one was for my first finger and is (I believe) a pretty average size.

Step 2: Begin Making!

I used my sewing machine to make this as I don’t (yet) have a leather machine. Use your largest stitch and strong thread. Small stitches tend to make the leather tear. You can buy leather needles for your machine but I used heavy denim needles because I had them already. You could also sew it by hand. It’s such a little project it would take no time at all. Don’t forget to adjust your sewing machine foot to the leather thickness.

Step 3: Reinforcement

You can cut a drink can with a pair of old scissors. NOT YOUR SEWING SCISSORS!!! You need an oval shape that will fit comfortably inside your glove and afford you the most protection without limiting your flexibility. I cut mine 4cm by 3cm. Attach them to the suede side of the leather with double sided carpet tape. It works amazingly well which you will discover should you ever try to remove one.

Step 4: Start Sewing!

First of all, with your project inside out, adjust your sewing machine foot to the fabric and sew the gingham- as in the diagram above. Trim the fabric and then snip into the leather (just a tiny snip) on the line where the fabric is sewn to the leather. See diagram. This helps it to turn through neatly.

Step 5: Sewing the Leather.

Adjust your sewing machine foot and sew the leather together as in the diagram. Don’t forget to use large stitches. When you have completed the sewing, push the gingham back into the finger and trim around the leather. If you find that there is any untidiness on the bottom sewn corner, you can oversew there a couple of times to tidy and reinforce the area.

Step 6: Completion

Well, that’s all there is to it. I might possibly go into production. As far as I have seen, aside from their practicality, they are by far the prettiest finger protectors around. Make your own funky finger guards to upgrade your felting kit and do try to use as many recycled materials as possible! It’s cheaper and it’s greener!

Leather Challenge

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