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January 27, 2023 3 min read

by Monique Youzwa

Monique has been a full-time freelance writer for over 5 years, plus has a few fiction credits under her belt and is currently working on a novel. When not writing, she spends her time reading, playing video games, hiking, and camping with her husband and daughter.


Leather has been used for centuries to create clothing, shoes, bags, holsters, and saddles. Though leather pieces can be joined with regular thread, using leather laces adds a decorative touch while increasing durability. As well as various leather lace types, several stitch options alter the appearance of the finished product. If you’d like to try this technique at home, check out our leather lacing tips and tricks for the perfect look

Tools For Leather Lacing

Leather lacing is similar to hand sewing, but a regular sewing needle is far too delicate for the task. A lacing needle is designed for working with leather and features prongs on one end to hold the end of the leather lace. These come in a few sizes to match the varying lace thicknesses. You’ll also need a set of pliers to secure the prongs of the lacing needle.

Lacing leather also requires a leather chisel to punch holes in the leather. Chisels come in several sizes for varying hole diameters. A small mallet is used to strike the chisel during hole-making and flatten the leather laces when your project is complete. Most importantly, you’ll need leather laces, which come in several types and thicknesses.

Making Holes

The first step in any leather lacing project is making holes in the leather pieces you’ll be working with. Place the leather chisel near the edge of the leather and hit it with your mallet. Check that the holes have gone through the leather piece completely. Create as many holes as needed to fully lace your piece, spacing them as evenly as possible.

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Prepare Your Lace And Needle

Measure the length of your lace depending on the stitch you plan to use. Some patterns require more lace material than others, so it’s better to be too long than too short. Of course, you can always splice more lace in if needed, though this isn’t the ideal choice.

Trim the end of the leather lace to create a point. Then open the pronged end of the leather needle using a fingernail. Slide the lace end between the prongs, close them, and use pliers to tighten them over the leather lace.

Start Lacing

Begin by pushing the lacing needle through the first hole in the leather, pulling the lace through until there is a ¾-inch tail left behind. This tail will be tucked beneath the lace as you continue your stitches along the length of the fabric.

Use any stitch pattern you like depending on your skill level and design preferences. Most stitches are easy to accomplish, like the running stitch or buckstitch, while others are more intricate, like the double loop.

Finishing The Piece

After lacing the entire piece, tie off the end of the lace so it is hidden beneath other stitches. If you want flatter stitches, gently hammer the laces with the mallet. You can also add leather conditioner to the laces for increased softness and flexibility.

Lacing Leather

Final Word

Leather lacing adds a decorative touch to any leather piece that regular thread can’t compare with. As well as an aesthetic appeal from the various stitch options, it also adds strength, ensuring your well-used leather items last for as long as you need them.

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