///Crafting a Two Piece Watch Strap
Crafting a Two Piece Watch Strap 2017-03-02T21:05:57+00:00

Crafting a Two Piece Watch Strap

This is a traditional style two-piece watch strap with two keepers, one statitionary by the buckle and one free moving.

A leather insert is added for durability, strength and aesthetics.


The Leather

The leather used should be as thin as possible, around 1mm.

Nude Kangaroo Leather

The Thread

Choose the appropriate sized thread for your stitching. Quality thread will help ensure the longevity of an item.


This depends on how you want to finish your edges, whether that be through edge paint or burnishing. This guide shows the burnishing route which requires gum tragacanth and beeswax.



Leather glue or cement is essential in ensuring the leather forms a strong and solid bond.


Japanese Leather Skiving Knife

This knife is used to cut and thin (skive) leather. The shape of it is designed to pull towards you, allowing ease while free-cutting and giving better control.

Japanese Leather Skiving Knife

Edge Bevellers

Edge bevellers are used to round the edges of the leather. This gives an item a slicker look and can make it more confortable to handle.
Edge Bevellers

Saddlers Harness Needles

Needles used in hand-stitching leather have blunted tips so as to not pierce the leather unwantedly (the holes are already made using the chisels).

Saddlers Harness Needles

Scratch Compass

Used to mark a line on leather for cutting or stitching.

Scratch Compass

Bone Folders

A smooth tool to flatten, press and crease leather without leaving a mark.
Bone Folders


Step 1: Cut Strips

Step 1: Cut strips

The bottom piece is cut to the width of the strap. This piece should be made of a more durable leather (like kangaroo) to help prevent warping over-time.

The top piece is cut to 4mm wider than the bottom piece (this is to accodmate the leather insert).

Step 2: The insert

Step 1: Cut strips

A leather insert gives the strap a raised look as well as providing additional durability and strength.

It is -5mm to -7mm thinner than the back strip (depending on how far out the stitching will be).

A smaller insert (-7mm) allows space for edge creasing.

Step 3: Prepping the top

Step 1: Cut strips

The tips of the top pieces are skived (thinned) to allow a flatter/lower profile when it is folded over.

One end must be trimmed (to the bottom piece’s width) to fit through the keeper.

Step 4: Joining the pieces

Step 1: Cut strips

The top and bottom pieces are glued together.

The sides are creased using a bone-folder to accent the middle insert.

Step 5: Edge finishing

Step 1: Cut strips

Excess leather is cut away.

Creasing the edges is a delicate step. It is done decoratively to give an item some detail.

The edges are trimmed with an edge beveller which rounds the edges, giving the strap a sleeker look while making it more comfortable to wear.

Edges are slicked (burnished) with gum tragacanth before being sealed with a mix of beeswax, paraffin wax and oil.

Step 6: Prepping for stitching

Step 1: Cut strips

Fit test with a buckle and keepers.

Holes are punched using Japanese diamond chisels (9 stitches per inch).

Step 7: Hand-stitched

Step 1: Cut strips

Saddle-stitching uses two needles and one long run of thread to produce an even slant on both sides of the leather.

This is a unique method of stitching is unique to leatherworking, and produces the strongest known stitch that cannot be replicated by machines.

Step 8: Keepers

Step 1: Cut strips

The keepers are made using the same steps as above, excluding a leather insert.

Two pieces of leather are stuck and sewn together, fitted to the straps.

Step 9: Finishes

Step 1: Cut strips

A bespoke made-to-order strap allows a single hole to be punched, further personalising the creation.

Initials are monogrammed onto the outward facing strap.

Queries and feedback are welcome.

Leave a comment, head over to the contact page, or email directly at hello@kinzleather.com

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