Monday, April 9, 2012

Leather and Vinyl Faux Leather

This week I'm going to be trying something very different and out of my comfort zone. I will attempt to sew leather bags as well as some beautiful vinyl "faux" leather bags. Anyone who has followed me since I first started my Etsy shop knows that I am always changing the styles of bag I sew as well as the materials I use. I was not looking to start using leather but let's just say that these hides sort of fell into my lap. I have been hesitant to use leather because I am an animal lover myself so I will have to try not to think of what I am sewing with.

I have 4 half hides (I believe they are cow hide but again, trying not to think about it too much!) in a very, very soft black, a red, a dark charcoal grey and a medium brown that has this fabulous texture. I believe I will have enough to make one bag in each and 2 in the dark grey but I can't make any commitments here since I have not examined them closely for flaws yet. Plus, I will likely make mistakes!

They all feel rather soft to the touch, especially the black hide. The brown one has almost a patent leather feel to it so I will need to chose a style of bag that will work with its stiffness.

I also found some great vinyl faux leathers for those who are not interested in leather. These are the same price as canvas for me so the cost of these bags will likely be very close to what I am charging for my canvas bags. I picked out 4 colours and textures that I found most interesting and appealing. These are great because they are durable like leather but the cost is much more reasonable and they are easier to work with.

Top to bottom I have a reddish brown with this great pebbled texture, the black has a basket weave pattern, the medium brown looks like standard leather grain and the blue/grey (steel blue??) also has the standard leather texture.

I have a custom doll to sew and then I am starting on some tests. I have already determined the perfect stitch length, thread tension and needle for my machine. Next I will be designing some patterns that are a bit more suitable for working with these materials. I am so excited!!