How to Sew Leather by Hand – Expert’s Guide

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Wanted to tie off a perfect leather stitch without using a machine? Have you ever tried to create perfect seams on leather patches but failed to do so? Well, it is not impossible or difficult to do so.

Leather is a high-end material that necessitates concentration and precision to produce a high-quality product meeting consumer demands. Therefore, you must stock up on the right leather sewing tools before you get started with your indie business. Many leather artisans use hand stitching to bring value and perfection to their products. Consumers have traditionally valued handcrafting since no one can match human abilities. Hand-stitched leather bags and jackets have been in great demand in bespoke tailor’s ateliers.

For this reason, I have put together a complete guide on how to sew leather by hand and what techniques must be used for each type of leather stitching. But if you want to get your work done fast you can also use the best sewing machines for leather.

Before getting down into the deep information regarding sewing leather by hand must have a look at our top recommendations best manual leather sewing machines and the best serger sewing machine.

leather sewing tool

How to Hand Sew Different Leather Types

While stitching leather, make sure to use a couple of different techniques for a better outcome. Stitching leather in various methods will help you achieve a more distinctive look.

However., it is not always feasible to use a professional sewing machine to stitch through the leather. You can sew pieces of leather by hand with an aesthetic touch to them. You can hand sew a seam by either creating a single stitch or a Z stitch.

How to Sewing Thin Or Soft Leather

Most individuals use rubber cement to begin sewing soft leather by hand. This is mainly because it holds the cloth together while stitching and is light enough to give you a fair chance to align things up perfectly.

Sewing Soft Leather


  1. First, you need to spread a thin layer of rubber cement on leather pieces and push them firmly when it’s almost dry.
  2. Next, using a stitching groover, create a hole in the leather. This tool provides a powerful horizontal line to sew on while also removing a tiny quantity of leather to create a trench. It is where the stitch can descend and preserve the thread.
  3. The next step is to drill holes in the leather for stitching. The primary tool for this task is a stitching awl. While using it, penetrate each of the dots formed by the overstitch roller through the leather.
  4. When penetrating the leather, hold the awl at a 90-degree angle to guarantee that the distance is uniform on both sides.
  5. Sew through the first opening to start your stitch, working to ensure that the thread length is equal on both sides.

By following the procedure mentioned above, soft leather can be hand-stitched with utmost ease, and the resulting product will be nothing less than a masterpiece.

How To Sew Leather Upholstery by Hand

Leather upholstery items such as a couch are stunning and opulent additions to any space, but they can tear off with daily usage. Instead of changing a leather couch or other similar upholstered items, you can hand stitch the tear.

Sew Leather Upholstery by Hand


  1. Cleaning and drying the torn area using a leather cleaner is the first step in hand sewing leather upholstery.
  2. With a set of sharp scissors, clip away any tricky spots.
  3. Pull the edges together and squeeze them so the sides lie facing up.
  4. Use alligator clips to fix the edges. These clips will keep the borders secure as you operate, making hand stitching more effortless and faster.
  5. Now, you can easily stitch and repair the tear or even create a new stitching design for any upholstered style that you prefer. Use needles suitable for hand stitching leather and you are good to go!

How to Sew Faux Leather by Hand

In my beginner sewing career, I used to have a fear of sewing with faux leather. Initially, it can be daunting to sew with fresh material, but you’ll be astonished at how simple it is to stitch faux leather by hand.

Sew Faux Leather by Hand


Although faux leather is much easier to handle than genuine leather, certain holes left by mistake may appear prominent. You’ll need to bear that in mind when you assess your fabric’s official outcome. Unlike real leather, you do not need to punch through it first before sewing it.

Moreover, ordinary needles have a hard time penetrating the fabric when it refers to hand-stitching. Alternatively, you can pierce the faux leather with a Leather Hand Needle, which has a triangle point. Instead of using pins, clip the fabric as it is light and does not wreak havoc on your clothes.

You can use a double stitch or leather tape to hold the seams in place perfectly. By following these steps and taking care of the faux leather, you can undoubtedly complete the biggest tasks without any hassle.

How To Sew Patches on Leather Vest by Hand

Embroidery patches are an excellent method to distinguish your leather vest from the crowd. Stitching patches onto leather vests is simple, and doing the process by hand is ideal.

Sew Patches on Leather Vest


  1. To begin, wrap up a piece of adhesive and place it on the underside of the patch.
  2. Fold a piece of tape into a coil with the sticky edge facing out.
  3. Apply the tape on the patch’s backside. As you stitch the patch on, this will hold the tape in position.
  4. Then, on the vest, apply the patch where you’d like it to be. The patch can be positioned on both the front and back of the garment. Sewing by hand enables you to create a hole in the fabric for your hand to pass through.
  5. Remove the stitching on the lining around where you applied the patch with a seam ripper.
  6. Punch a hole wide enough to accommodate your hand easily.
  7. The next step is to select an appropriate thread. Ensure the thread is made entirely of polyester or nylon.
  8. Thread the needle up through, sew to the backside of the leather, and slightly inside the embroidered edge of the patch as you begin.

You’ll finish your initial whipstitch and be able to produce a thousand more using the simplest technique and tools, all from the comfort of your own home.

How To Sew Leather Car Seats by Hand

Car seats made up of leather give any vehicle a luxurious vibe. Not only would installing leather seats improve the car, but it will also strengthen the car’s selling value.

Sew Leather Car Seats


  1. To begin, use the measuring tape to figure out how many leather pieces you’ll need.
  2. Merely two parts of round leather are required for a modest seat cushion.
  3. You’ll need a compass to achieve the best circle outlines.
  4. Pull the cloth from the existing car seat after that. For this job, you’ll need a seam ripper.
  5. Create a pattern out of the old car seat cloth with rotary cutters.
  6. Then, stitch the leather parts together using the initial seat photo as a guide. Sewing numerous pieces together will be possible, and you can easily hand sew the best leather seats for your car.

How to Sew Thick Leather by Hand

Sew Thick leather by Hand


  1. The first stage in sewing thick leather is to bind the pieces together. This makes sewing easier because you don’t have to think about unparalleled stitches.
  2. Use any leather glue you can get your hands on easily.
  3. If the leather is exceptionally thick, do not fret. Instead, use an awl to punch holes in it.
  4. Always keep it straight and avoid piercing the leather at an inclination.
  5. To keep the stitches more even, ensure that the needle piercing is beside the thread after drawing the needle through the hole.
  6. When you have finished, it is vital to back-stitch all the possible loopholes, to prevent any hassle.


Which is the best hand sewing needle and thread for leather?

Using the right thread for hand sewing leather will do justice to your crafts. The bonded nylon thread is an excellent choice for your leather work. It is a strong and durable thread that comes in a variety of weights depending on the type of leather.

You can go with any brand for needles, but keep in mind to choose one with an extra-long eye. This helps to thread the yarn easily. Needles designed for hand sewing leather are made of stainless steel. Hence they are sturdy enough for tough leather projects.

Is it hard to hand sew leather?

Hand stitching through leather may seem hard at first glance. But using the right technique and tools will make things easier. Since hand sewing is the most suitable for traditional projects, it is better to learn the basics. To start, you need to know how to tie off a stitch by hand. Learn ways to saddle a stitch, and you are ready to create your leather masterpieces.

What is the best way to sew leather?

Well, there is no hard and fast rule in choosing the best way of sewing leather. Depending on the type of project, you can either select hand sewing or machine sewing. Hand sewing is feasible for customizing many leather projects. Leather sewing machines are typically used for large-scale production or different leather crafts at home.

What do you need to hand sew leather?

Apart from some basic techniques, you will also need proper gear for hand sewing leather. The gear most notably includes good quality leather, needles, pre-waxed nylon bread, and an awl to make holes on the leather. Nice sharp scissors and some pins are also crucial in the leather stitching process. All these tools are essential if you want to become a leather sewing expert.

Is hand sewing as strong as machine sewing?

Most people prefer machine sewing leather over hand sewing. But hand-sewed leather can be vital if done by an expert using the right tools. With experience and the right stitches, you can get professional seams in your leather crafts by hand sewing. While being one of the oldest textile arts, hand-sewing leather still has a clientele consisting of entrepreneurs, political figures, and other higher individuals.

Bottom Line

Hand-sewing leather can be more of a challenge sometimes as it requires hard work and techniques. But learning and practicing will help you get along with it. Familiarize yourself with the right tools and stitches and create a masterpiece on your own.

In brief, you must complete the tools and follow the steps mentioned earlier before beginning the leather stitching. Leather crafting is a great hobby as well as an excellent business for passionate leather people. So, if you’ve got the skills, go ahead and start crafting your old leather items.

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