Cutting Leather

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Basic Leathercrafting
Basic Leather Carving
Cutting Leather
Dying Leather
Edging Leather
Key LW Techniques


How to Cut Leather

  1. Lay the leather out on a flat work surface. Protect the surface with a rubber mat made especially for leather working. This mat will also help protect your tools from being blunted or damaged by contact with the surface.

  2. Use a pencil and a ruler or yardstick to make the cutting line along the leather's surface. Make very light pencil marks that don't score the leather.

  3. Use a French curve or other rounded edge to trace a curved line.

  4. Place a straightedge, such as a metal ruler, along the drawn line. A thick straightedge provides stability for the cutting blade.

  5. Draw the tip of a razor knife along the straightedge, cutting into the leather as you go. Keep the blade pushed against the straightedge as you cut into the leather.

  6. Cut only as deep as you can while still being able to control the blade. Take as many cutting passes as necessary to cut through the leather.

  7. Cut curved lines in the same manner. If you draw your curve freehand, position your razor so it's perpendicular to the leather's surface. Make several light passes with the razor along the drawn line until the leather is cut.

  8. Use leather shears to cut suede and garment leather.