Introduction: Leather and Felt Bag
This is my first make it procedure on Instructables. So as a student of National Institute of Design, in our second semester, we have a module of our own selected interested. So here is what grabbed my interest through my make it list. Before that let's have some small intro about my elective. The elective I chose is "It's Time To Make It", it is basically inspired by the maker's movement. So we were given the assignment to make stuff that takes your attention or something that we want to explore or to make something for our own self. So there was a big list of what I wanted to make, amongst that I chose three things to explore.
1. I had too much of felt scrap
2. Wanted to explore leather
3. Kintsugi grabbed my interest
So, combining all three I decided to make a felt and leather bag inspired by kintsugi art (embroidery).
Therefore lets begin Making of the Bag.
1. Felt (of your colour preference)
2. Embroidery thread (preferred golden one)
3. Cotton cloth (for inner lining)
4. Foam (3mm thick)
5. Normal thread
8. Nylon Thread
3. Leather punching tools
4. Needle (embroidery and leather stitching)
6. Cutting Mat
7. Silicon pad
1. Stitching Machine
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Step 1: Starting With Felt Cutting
Here I am using a grey colour felt for my outer surface you can use any colour of your choice. After selecting the felt use your laptop for measuring how much felt area is required and cut accordingly(as shown in picture).
Cut at least 5mm extra offset from the edges for further stitching. I have stuck two felt surface together to get a thicker felt fabric, you can buy a thick one at the start itself.
Step 2: Kintsugi Inspired Embroidery
1. Make the pattern of breaking (same as cracks in ceramics) using a pencil on the outer surface of the felt.
2. Take golden embroidery thread and start the "fill" stitching, so that it will get the effect of being bulged out.
3. Make sure the edges are closed by while stitching or else the joining (kintsugi) effect wouldn't stand out.
Make as many patterns you want. I used hand embroidery which was little time-consuming. If you know machine embroidery opt is as a way to do the fill stitch.
Step 3: Padding the Bag for Protection
Cut out the foam and the cotton cloth of the same size that of the embroidered felt. Using machine to stitch all three felt, foam and cotton fabric as in order from all the four sides. Make sure foam is not torn in between. You can even use some waterproofing layer in between foam and the felt.
Step 4: Lets Make a Sleeve for Laptop
Cut a felt piece a little bigger size than your laptop with 5mm offset of stitching. Using hand stitching stitch the sleeve part to the back panel of the bag. Use a temporary stitch because in further steps we will stitch it with sides of the bag. I am using a different colour for the sleeve, you can use as per your convenience.
Step 5: Get You Hands on Leather
1. Fetch leather of size you require from the nearest leather market. Here I am using buffalo leather.
2. Cut the leather of the laptop bag size as shown in the stencil.
3. Use the punching tool to punch holes on the edge of the leather for easy stitching as shown in pictures. Make sure the holes are perfectly aligned.
4. Stick the edges of leather piece to the felt edges so that it won't move while stitching.
5. Use saddle stitch for the stitching through the hole. (prefer machine for stitching if you are not good at hand stitching)
While stitching use thick nylon thread (thickness can vary according to the leather thickness or type)
Step 6: Leather Stitching Using Machine
1. Cut all the pieces according to the bag profile as shown ( two side elements & four strap for handle)
2. Stick the parts to the bag using fevibond and hammer it so that it remains in position while stitching.
3. After sticking all the pieces on their places start stitching mechanically. I took help of the leather tailor.
Step 7: Cutting Threads and Finishing
Cut the excess thread from stitching remains, use soldering machine to cut so that it burns the ends and the thread stays in its position. You can use lighter to burn the ends.
With Bee wax smoothen the edges. After applying bee wax use cotton cloth to rub it for some time.
I kept it open from the top you can use zip to close the top.
Step 8: The Final Product
"Let us get trapped into the flow of the maker's movement"