//Classic Bifold with Blue Accents

Classic Bifold with Blue Accents

Ordered as a gift, this client had a very specific design and colour scheme in mind. It was the first time I had done angled pockets (and considering how it turned out, definitely not the last).

Classic Bifolds are not the most interesting items to craft, but I hadn’t made one in quite a long time, and it was nice to make use of new techniques I had learnt and new tools I had acquired on a timeless design.

Materials

Kangaroo Leather

This piece was made using a combination of vegetable tanned black kangaroo leather and hand-dyed, vegetable tanned blue kangaroo leather.

The blue was created by mixing Fiebing’s Royal Blue and Turqoise pro dyes.

Amy Roke Polyester Thread

Hand-stitched at 9 stitches per inch (3mm) with black thread P45 (632 – 0.45mm)

Sodalite blue thread was used as an accent.

Finishes

The leather had an acrylic finish and wax finish put on.

The edges are painted on with black Vernis edge paint.

Step 1: Scratch Lines

Step 1: Scratch Lines

A scratch awl is used to mark out the cutting line on the leather.

Step 2: Cutting

Step 1: Scratch Lines
Step 1: Scratch Lines

Pieces are cut with a Japanese skiving knife. These knives are made from hardened steel and are used in cutting and skiving (thinning).

All the leather that will be used in this item is laid out (the blue leather is hand-dyed and from an older project).

Step 3: Stamping

Step 1: Scratch Lines
Step 1: Scratch Lines

Custom initials and my maker’s mark are stamped. At this point the leather still has not been “finished” and is therefore more susceptible to being marked.

The pieces are layed together in its final shape

Step 4: Acrylic Finish

Step 1: Cut strips

An acrylyc resolene is rubbed on to help prevent dye rub-off.

Step 5: Wax Finish

Step 1: Cut strips
Step 1: Cut strips

A combination of beeswax, paraffin wax and oils are buffed into the leather. This adds adds water-resistance to leather and helps it resist scratches

(left waxed, right unwaxed)

Step 6: Skiving (Thinning)

Step 1: Cut strips

The edges of each piece is skived (thinned). This will help give the overall impression that the item is slimmer.

Step 7: Edge Creasing

Step 1: Cut strips

This is an aesthetic detail that I put on all my items.

Step 8: Edge Finishing

Step 1: Cut strips
Step 1: Cut strips

All edges have black wax put on them. Finishing edges creates better protection against moisture and clean smooth edges are a sign of a skilled leather craftsman. This is a particularly tedious process as several layers are needed to get a smooth even finish. Each layer is sanded down and heated in-between, before having beeswax melted and rubbed into it.

Black Vernis edge paint is used for this item.

Step 9: Stitch Lines

Step 1: Cut strips

Stitching lines are marked. These will be used as a guide to punch stitching holes.

Step 9: Stitching Punches

Step 1: Cut strips
Step 1: Cut strips

Holes are punched for stitching using a diamond shaped stitching iron.

A groove is cut into the back of the pockets for the thread to sit.

Step 9: Main Piece

Step 1: Cut strips
Step 1: Cut strips

All holes are punched and edges creased.

Step 9: Cement

Step 1: Cut strips
Step 1: Cut strips

Pieces are cemented together and await stitching.

Step 9: Stitching

Step 1: Cut strips

I am using Atelier Amy Roke’s Black 632 thread, stitched at 9 stitches per inch.

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

Step 9: Final Touches

Step 1: Cut strips

Lastly a wax finish is buffed into the leather which helps smooth and even everything.

Carnauba creme is used as the final protective layer and is buffed to a high-gloss using sheep’s wool.

Queries and feedback are welcome.

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

By | 2017-03-26T13:45:13+00:00 March 11th, 2017|Project Builds|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Keith 14 March, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Such detail, care and finesse. Great write-up.

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