Let’s just start by saying that Leatherwork is an expensive hobby if you don’t transform it in an income.

Working with leather requires a lot of tools and since a lot of them had a high pricetag, the best option would be to create a kit by buying high quality tools slowly over time. If you think your leatherworking obsession will still be there over the years, this is the best way to go.

What tools you need for traditional leatherworking largely depends on what you're going to make, but at the most basic level you're going to need a few basic tools. 


1. Stitching Chisels

Stitching chisels are like little forks with multiple tines and these tools are necessary to use if you want to get those perfectly slanted stitches. 

Stitching chisels are similar to pricking irons, in that they’re used to make your stitch holes prior to saddle stitching. The difference between stitching chisels and pricking irons is that the irons just mark the stitch placement and don’t usually make a hole that goes all the way through. 

Stitching chisels are a key element in creating the classic and beautiful slanted stitch which is one of the telltale signs of luxury leather goods.


2. Wing Dividers

Wing dividers are used to create a stitch mark guideline along the edge of your project. Once you've created this line by running the wing dividers down the edge of your project, you're ready for creating your line of stitch marks with the pricking irons.

Schermata 2022-03-28 alle 11.02.41

3. Saddlers Needles

Saddlers needles are obviously a must. These are strong needles with a rounded tip.


4. Linen Thread

Thread type is very important when creating beautiful rows of saddle-stitching. Thread choice can make a huge difference in the quality of your work. 

Linen thread does not stretch or give over time, it is very strong and durable, and due to the natural fibers and the way that they're twisted together in the manufacturing process, it knots very well.


5. Stitching Clam

The last tool that I recommend for traditional leatherworking, is the stitching clam. 

The stitching clam is a simple tool that holds your work in place, while you sew. Used by placing the leather piece that you're sewing between the jaws and with one leg swung over top of the clam, the pressure from your leg keeps the jaws tight on the work.


The leather working tool world is wide so my advice to you is to get the best quality tools rather then a large quantity of tools. 

So don't let the cost stop you from exploring traditional leatherwork.