5 Tips that will help you improve the Saddle-Stitching technique

3 minutes reading

One of the best part of traditional leatherwork is the hand saddle-stitching part. Most people don’t get into traditional leatherwork if they don’t like to hand-stitching because it’s very time consuming and is pretty hard.

The quality of a work is determined by the details and stitching is one of key factors to accomplish the auspicate result.  But first what is saddle stitching?

Saddle stitching is the action of sewing by hand with needles and thread in a way that creates two rows of stitching in one single row of holes.

If you are someone that is not convinced yet about the saddle and stitching operation is probably because you still don’t master this technique and you don't feel confident about it.

Saddle-stitching can make you feeling frustrated and desponded if you’re not using the proper tools and techniques. Don't worry, you are not alone, many people can relate to that.

So we thought about 6 things that can help you with saddle-stitching.

leather stitching

1 - Make Proper Stitching Holes by Using Stitching Chisels or Pricking Irons

One of the biggest reason that your stitches might look disorganized is the use of no proper leatherworking tools like stitching chisels or pricking irons. This is a must if you want clean and precise stitches.

Using a fork, a nail or some other non-leatherworking tool won't guarantee an professional look. You’re not going to get perfect stitches that's for sure.

Your stitches can only look as good as the line of stitching holes that you make before stitching so make sure you get this step correctly.

2 - Use Saddlers Harness Needles

Specific needles are important.

Here is why: Saddlers harness needles have a blunt tip making it easier to saddle-stitch and not puncture your stitching thread.Additionally you need the eye of the needle to be small enough to pass through your hole.

3 - If Your Leather is Too Thick

If this problem occur, skive some leather

Another common mistake that can make saddle stitching physically very hard to do is when you use a very thick leather. When using leather that is thick, you need to skive the edges.

4 - Using a Stitching Pony to Achieve Consistent Stitch Tension

Inconsistent stitch tension is red flag that you want to avoid when saddle-stitching. (Stitch tension: how tightly you pull your threads after each stitch)

If the tension is inconsistent, some stitches are tighter than others, then these differences are going to show up eventually in your work.

To achieve a great result make sure you are pulling with the same gentle force each time and that each stitch is consistent.

5 - Use Blunt Tipped Needles

stitching 2

When you’re saddle-stitching, make sure that you are using blunt tipped needles (not sharp) that will not easily pierce or puncture through the other thread.

You want them to collaborate as they pass by each other.


If you’ve ever felt discouraged by the end result of your saddle-stitching thy to follow these little tips and let us know if we were able to help you achieve a better result.

Use the proper traditional leather working tools and techniques to become a Pro in this process.

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