Lacing is a highly decorative method of sewing leather projects together with lace of the same or differing colors for the desired look. Leather edge lacing is often used with tooled leathers as the combination of styles complement one another for a professional looking finish for your handmade leather goods. With instruction, and a little practice, your technique with lacing may develop in to one of your favorite finishing methods.
Although many different types of lace are available, leathercrafters can also cut their own lace for specialized colors or to save money. By using scrap leather and the Craftool Lace Maker, you can cut your own lace from a circle or square of scrap leather!
The Single Loop stitch is best suited for lacing the edges of lightweight leathers or single thickness of leather, as little lace is required to cover the raw edge. This is great for projects like a key fob or small coin purse.
The Double Loop stitch covers a wider area and is used on heavier leather for projects such as wallets, purses, or small bags. It covers a wider surface especially where two thicknesses of leather require more lacing to cover the edge.
The Triple Loop stitch can be used with thicker leathers or when you want a thicker accent on projects such as belts and large bags. This stitch is used where two or more thicknesses of leather require additional lacing to cover the raw edge.
NOTE: When lacing, it helps to have the front side of the project facing the lacer.
George Hurst also had a few lacing tips he wanted to contribute as well:
Condition Lace– Your leather lace will glide through leather smoother and mold to the edge of the leather better when treated with leather conditioner. Dr. Jacksons Leather Conditioner or any other conditioner should work for this, simply apply to the lace with a sponge, sheepwool remnant or soft cloth. Allow a few minutes for the conditioner to penetrate the leather and then wipe excess with a soft cloth.
Protect Leather Lace – When lacing through leather, be sure to pull the lace straight through each hole. Pulling it up or down will cause wear on the lace and weaken it.
Lace Length Requirements – The follow will show you how much lace will normally be required to complete a project. To preserve the strength and quality of the lace, the amount used should be no more than 2 yards with splicing as needed.
Running Stitch – 1 1/2 times the length to be laced
Whip Stitch – 3 1/2 times the length to be laced
Single Loop Stitch – 5 1/2 times the length to be laced
Double Loop Stitch – 7 times the length to be laced
Triple Loop Stitch – 9 times the length to be laced
Finishing Touch To Double Loop Lacing – After lacing is completed, tap lightly with a mallet to flatten it. Apply a leather conditioner and smooth with a wood edge slicker, canvas or denim.
More resources for learning about lacing:
Double Loop Applique Lacing, Two-Tone Double-Looped Lacing and Triple Loop Lacing videos available as part of membership with the Leathercraft Library.