How to Thread a Leather Needle




About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

Threading a leather needle can be a little tricky when you do it the first couple times, but it gets easier every time. This was one of the most confusing things for me when I started working with leather - I'd never threaded a needle this way for any of my other sewing! Because there are no knots and you're sometimes applying a ton of force to get the needle through the leather, you need to make sure the thread locks in place properly.

My first couple attempts at threading the leather needle were absolutely terrible. I just couldn't get the thread to lock in place! Doing it the way I show in this instructable works perfectly for me, and I hope it does for you guys too.

Check out my other leather ibles for more leatherworking basics:

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Step 1: Things You Need

Step 2: Thread the Eye of the Needle

Cut a length of thread. I normally do about half the length of my arm.

Squish the end of the thread between your fingers so it'll fit through the eye of the needle. Pass at least an inch of thread through the eye.

Step 3: Pass the Needle Through the Thread

Bring the longer piece of thread up to the end of the needle and twist it open.

Push the needle between the strands of thread.

Step 4: Locking the Thread

Bring the thread that you pierced down the needle and over the eye until it's wrapped around thread. Pull this nice and taut - you'll want to play with pulling both ends of the thread to make it work properly.

Once it's in the right place, your thread should look like the second photo.

Step 5: Twist and Repeat!

Once the end of the thread is locked in place, twist it with the working thread. This will make it stronger (and lessen the chances it'll come apart!) and help it pass through holes a little easier. :D

If you'll be sewing a saddle stitch, repeat it on the other end of the thread.

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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Thank you for taking the time - you help a ton

    By the way, here's the saddle stitching tutorial!

    It's basically a stitch that you sew with a piece of thread with needles at both ends. Both needles go through each hole, with makes it nice and strong. :)

    I'll be putting up a tutorial over it soon I hope! I have lots of leatherworking to cover.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    not exactly how a saddle or harness maker would make up a thread, but you have the right idea, and it'll serve the purpose. best to use a tapered thread (done by scraping the end of the thread with a knife), then using beeswax to make the thread sticky, so it won't break loose when pulling through the leather.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting. I've always threaded it like normal thread (with the needle in the middle, double over and knot the ends). I would then do a single back-stitch and loop it just under the knot. It was always "hidden" because I would always knot every stitch (I always saddle stitch for strength) so it can't come unraveled if threads break. This certainly cuts down on threads used though. I'm going to have to use this in the future. Thanks!