The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Leather has its own personality - and a freebie for fun

In my last blog, I made mention of the fact that it is a good idea to do the basting around designs that have an outline and even designs that don't have an outline can add some slippage causing registration errors.

There is no rule that says basting has to be on the outside of your project. Setting the basting stitch a short distance inside the design works too.

There are instances basting is a very bad idea. Those types of projects would be fabrics that would leave the hole created by the needle. Those would include paper, plastics, leather, pleather, a relatively newcomer to the market, and other items where the fabric is extremely delicate. 

I am basically speaking about designs to avoid and why. You already know that cotton, most rayons, polyester and combinations are very forgiving. After the needle has penetrated the fabric, the hole will relax and disappear. You also know that just about any of those will work with nearly all designs. Here are a few tricky stitches that you need to watch out for when sewing the 'leather' group.

  • Dense stitching, such as fields, sky and large objects. The first patters is 2.44" x 3.29" and 15,948 stitches. From a density stand point, it is about 8" square and nearly 2,000 stitches per square inch. It may be obvious that this design would destroy most leather goods. The horse and rider is 3.33" x 3.87" with 6,663 stitches. With nearly 13 square inches, the 6,000 stitches stretch out to a little over 500 stitches psi. These may be obvious, but there are stitches that could be hiding a little something.
  • The next design is an outline stitch like the horse but with one difference, it uses a 'candlewicking' stitch. You can see more information in my blog on this beautiful stitch. This particular design is 5.10" x 5.64", nearly 29 square inches, with 16104 and comes to 555 stitches psi. That may sound OK, but the candlewick stitch's layout makes it unsuitable. Candlewick creates a six-pointed star in a very small place creating a very weak spot. The hole may remain in the leather, but the thread would likely drop through the fabric.


  • Another stitch that is probably likely to be difficult for leather goods would be the satin stitch. This stitch lands very close together creating a possible issue with not having enough room to have fabric between the stitches.

I have attached a ".pdf" file that gives information on stitches. I know you will find it to be interesting.

CommonEmbStitchMatrix-2-11-10.pdf (389.6KB)

Here is a little something that I am going to snap up fast!!! It is a Marc Jacobs purse and at a mere $5,500, it screems "take me home." Just something to knock around in at the beach or drive thru for fast food. . .

To start you on your way to create a wonderfully embroidered purse or tote, here is a design that is often found on these types of creations. They are always so eclectic! 

Card Deck (149.4KB)  

It is nearly cookie baking time again and I wanted to remind everyone of the "NO WORK" cookie sheet cleaner (even those that have gunk from 10 years of use.) It is in this blog from 2014 - how time does fly!


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