August 18, 2023
Unleash your inner artisan with our guide on leatherworking. Explore the tools, techniques, and knowledge necessary for crafting timeless leather goods, including archery equipment.

As we meander through the intricacies of leather and its craft—is going to be a wild ride! We'll delve into the fascinating world of leatherworking, a craft that’s been handed down through the ages, a tapestry woven with threads of history, tradition, and accentuated by the sheer palpable pleasure of hand-crafted goods.

It's really quite impossible to overstate just how compelling a craft this is! We'll talk about those interested in leatherworking in its own right, and those intrigued by its nexus with archery to create iconic pieces like quivers, arm guards, and bow grips.

Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a novice looking to gain a new skill, we promise this guide will leave you better informed, more skilled, and neck-deep in a profound appreciation for leatherworking.

Specific leather types (such as vegetable-tanned leather), while others are more universal. Oil helps to nourish, hydrate, and re-soften leather that might be getting hard or dry.

Good choices include mink oil, neatsfoot oil, and leather honey. Each has their own unique properties, smells, and results. It’s generally good to test a small area of the leather first to make sure the oil will work as expected.

Leather Cream

Leather cream is another type of leather conditioner, that helps to revitalize and restore suppleness in old, dry, or worn leather. Other than oils, creams have added waxes or fats to restore shine and add a protective layer to leather.

Choose from an array of creams, like mink oil cream, neatsfoot oil cream, and leather honey cream. Always use small amounts initially and verify its suitability on the specific type of leather before full application.

Leather Working Dressing Tools

Dressing is a process to hydrate and condition the leather. A good dressing can do magic to feed and rejuvenate old, stiff leather, while protecting it from water, fungus, and sun damage.

They usually contain oils or fats, like lanolin, mink, jojoba, or neatsfoot. Ideal dressing isn’t greasy or sticky to touch, and doesn’t darken the leather color much. Notable examples include Fiebing's Golden Mink Oil, Pecard Leather Dressing, and Huberd’s Shoe Grease.

Leather Working Glue

Leather glue is essentially a high-strength adhesive that bonds leather together. Different types of glue are available and each type serves a different purpose. Super glue can work well on very small pieces or edges.

Contact Cement like Barge All-Purpose Cement or Masters Quick Dry All-purpose Cement works great on larger surface areas and provides a long-lasting bond. Water-based leather-working glues, like Eco-Flo Leather Weld, offer a safe glue option with an easy cleanup process.

Leather Working Stitching Tools

Stitching leather is an essential task in leatherworking. To accomplish this, a variety of tools are key.

Sewing awls are used to make holes in leather so that the needle can pass through more easily. Opt for a diamond-pointed awl, as the diamond shape makes a hole that's easier to stitch through and leaves a hole that can lie more flat once punched.

Harness needles are specific to leather sewing. They are heavy-duty and often have a triangular shape, making them ideal for stitching through thick leather for harnesses or saddles.

Waxed thread is used for stitching leather because it's strong, doesn't fray or break easily, and the wax helps to prevent the thread from tangling.

Pricking irons or stitching irons are used to create even holes in leather for stitches. These come in different distances between the prongs, known as Stitches Per Inch (SPI).

Sewing machines for leather are a worthwhile investment if you're going to be producing high volume or using particularly heavy or multiple layers of leather.

Leather Working Cutting Tools

Cutting is another fundamental element in leatherworking. The variety of tools in this category range from simple knives and punches to die cutters for more intricate designs.

Cutting mats: A good quality, self-healing cutting mat is essential in protecting your work surface from damage during cutting and punching.

Leather cutting knife: The blade style of a leather cutting knife can vary from a simple swivel knife, round knife or head knife ideal for intricate designs, to a straight leather cutting knife that is great for making long, straight cuts.

Leather utility knife: This is a general use knife, capable of handling most cutting tasks. A utility knife is versatile enough to be used for cutting shapes, skiving, and trimming leather pieces.

Punches: Leather punches make perfectly round holes in leather. They are often used when making belts, straps, or attaching hardware.

Leather skiver: A skiver is used to thin out the leather, usually at the edges to make stitching easier, or to decrease bulk when layering multiple pieces of leather.

Die Cutters: These are used for cutting intricate or repeat patterns in leather. They require a die (a blade in the shape of the desired pattern), and a press.

Leather Working Hammer / Maul Tools

Anyone working with leather will need a good hammer or maul. The aim is to have an impact tool that won't mark or damage the leather.

Leather maul: A maul, sometimes called a cobbler's hammer, has a slightly rounded head made of rawhide, plastic, or wood.

Leather hammer: A hammer has a flat metal head and is used to set rivets, snaps, or grommets into leather.

Leather Mallet: A mallet is similar to a hammer, but it has a larger, usually cylindrical, head made out of rubber, leather, wood, or a rawhide cover over a metal core.

Leather Working Marking Tools

Different marking methods and tools are used, depending on the type and color of the leather, and the permanence of the mark desired.

Marking pens: Felt-tip and gel pens that use water-based ink are safe for most types of leather.

Tracing film: It's a great tool used to transfer patterns onto leather.

Bone folder: Used to score leather, a bone folder is usually made from cow or deer bone. Beyond marking, it's also used for folding, creasing, or smoothing out leather.

Leather Working Stitching Groover Tool

A stitching groover tool makes a predetermined groove in the leather to guide the placement of stitching holes and to allow the stitches to sit flush with the leather. This not only provides a pleasing aesthetic but also increases the durability of the stitches by protecting them from wear.

Leather Working Stamping Tools

Leather stamping tools create designs in leather by imprinting patterns and textures. They can be broken down into geometric, floral, border, camouflage, backgrounder, pear shader, veiner, seeder, and beveler stamps.


Leatherworking is a rewarding craft perfect for anyone interested in creating functional and timeless goods. One of the most intriguing inclinations is towards archery equipment, such as quivers, arm guards, and bow grips, which harken back to centuries-old tradition of hand-crafted items.

Though the tools and techniques have evolved over time, the essence of crafting with one's own two hands remains the same. The consideration of selecting the right tools and techniques for different types of leather is crucial. Always remember, the journey of learning and crafting is just as important as the finished product.

Well, that's all, folks! I hope you're as excited and filled with anticipation as I am at the prospect of embarking on your own leather crafting journey. Leatherworking isn't just a hobby, it's an ode to our shared history, a heartening homage to the craftspeople of yesteryears, and, above all, it's a testament to the enduring allure of hand-crafted items.

Whether you're crafting a quiver, an arm guard, or a simple wallet, never forget the soul of the craft—each stitch tells a story, each crease a shared secret between you and your creation.

Hone your leatherworking skills, understand your way around the tools and types of leathers and prepare to get lost in the rewarding endeavor that is leather crafting. Remember, the only thing that outlasts the beauty of a hand-crafted leather piece is the memories and skills you accumulate along your leatherworking journey. Now get out there, and get crafting!

Some other posts you may like

Enhance your archery skills and knowledge with our inclusive guide to full arm leather bracers. Discover how leatherworking can elevate your archery experience. Let's craft together!

Exploring Full Arm Leather Archery Bracers: Advantages and Usage

You're ready to dive into the world of leatherworking in Archery. This comprehensive guide provides …

August 18, 2023

Read More
Delve into the intricate world of leatherworking and archery as we explore the craftsmanship of creating leather wrap-around bow grips. Learn how to improve your skills and embrace the history and versatility of leatherworking.

Unveiling Wrap Around Bow Grips: Importance and Impacts of Leather in Their Creation

The fusion of leather crafting and archery reveals itself most elegantly in creating wrap-around bow …

August 18, 2023

Read More