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28 Aug 2013 - 16:20106616
Leatherwork help
Greeting and salutations fellow cosplayers!
I'd like to attempt a cosplay in a field I haven't worked in before. The main component is a rather elegant ankle-length leather coat.
Basically, I'm looking for a comprehensive idiots guide. Any and all assistance, including links to tutorials, would be much appreciated.
For example, what brands of sewing machine would be sturdy enough, how to tell different kinds of leather apart, best ways to give effects off, applicable adhesives etc.


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28 Aug 2013 - 20:11106621
hot glue is your friend I'm sorry, i wish i could give better advice xD


28 Aug 2013 - 21:00106625
A friend of mine is a professional cordwainer and hive been to his studio before working on personal projects. The type of glue that we used was specific leather glue and we used a heavy duty factor sewing machine. Depending how thick the leather is you will need to use strong and thil needles and thread. There are many effects that can be done in leather: embossing, painting ect, and their effects varie. I would erase arch it more. Also you will want some good scissors/ a knife. I hope this helps.



Last edited by SaffronJay (28 Aug 2013 - 21:02)
28 Aug 2013 - 21:51106629
It's much easier to use something like leatherette/pleather than real leather. Any decent sewing machine should be able to work with it, though you should buying some leather sewing needles.

Aside from that, it's really like any other fabric, just a bit thicker. Take your time with it and you should be fine =]


28 Aug 2013 - 22:05106631
Are you determined to use real leather? I've started using it pretty frequently, and it's got definite advantages, but for a full length coat you'll run into certain problems, most notably finding hides large enough to cut pieces for the coat from. I'd estimate that you'd need 2 to 2.5 full cow hides, and for garment leather that could get very pricey indeed, whereas faux leather/leatherette will be considerably cheaper and comes in a continuous piece, minimising wastage like you'll have with real leather. I've only ever used lambskin hides for garments, but those won't give you enough square footage for the pieces for a full length coat, so you'll have to go for cow.
Because leather is a natural material, and also due to the nature of the skinning and tanning process, your leather may have marks, brands or holes which you need to avoid when cutting.

Sewing leather will need leather needles (which have a small blade at the bottom) for both machine and hand sewing. You'll also want a teflon foot for your sewing machine, really, to stop the leather from sticking, and you should probably use upholstery thread. (That all applies for faux leathers as well, but less critically). Bear in mind that once a hole is punched in leather, i.e. a stitching hole, that hole is there for good - it's not like woven fabrics where the needle goes through the weave. So you really need to be sure before sewing.

Working with leather also really dries your hands out. Use a lot of moisturiser. But honestly, if you're inexperienced with sewing, I would really suggest using fake leathers until you're very confident.

This is a good guide to basic leather types and their applications.


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