“The satisfaction of a bag when it's finished.” Follow Lesson no. 7 by Maestro Parrini

lesson N°7

After showing us how to develop our ideas with a paper pattern, select, cut and dye the leather, and make the main parts for the bag. Stefano then shares with us the secrets of a method of stitching which, even after many years in the trade, is still marvellously gratifying to see put into practice.

Dyed border stitching

Dyed border stitching is directly performed on the grain, or surface, of the leather, which maintains all its characteristics, veining and marvellous softness.

The first thing we must do is use the mastic to hold the pieces down. Then, with a leatherworker's calliper, we must mark out the stitching line. With a 5-mm wheel we mark out all the stitches. We now go to our cork work top and with a lance awl we pierce the leather.

Small stitches for perfect seams

After fixing the pieces in the grip, we can now do the stitching.

I advise against using threads of more than your own arm's length. You must touch the needles alone, and never the threads, since you might stain them.

At the stitching stage, the sequence of needles is vital. The needles must be passed always in the same position. On Stefano's instructions, we always insert the right needle first and then the left. With one needle sliding against the other in this manner, the thread will always be in the same direction.

Final stitching

You will need to take great care over the stitching that you'll need for attaching the bag's side to the main body. Stefano explains some of the techniques to adopt to carry out this stage to perfection. You must be very careful about the first stitch. It should never be too close to the edge, to prevent any tearing when you use your awl. The needles must be the same distance the one from the other and your threads must always be of the same length. As time goes by, you'll learn how to pull the needles with the same force so that the thread can penetrate the leather always to the same extent. But for now, we've got our bag. And this, in itself, is something we can be pleased about.

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Gallery

the course of a Maestro in leather

In seven lessons, Stefano shall explain the art of creating a leather bag − with attention paid to each and every detail, in accordance with the most noble traditions of Florentine craftsmanship.

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the programme

the programme

  • 16_04_2014 16_04_2014
  • 23_04_2014 23_04_2014
  • 07_05_2014 07_05_2014
  • 14_05_2014 14_05_2014
  • 21_05_2014 21_05_2014
  • 28_05_2014 28_05_2014
  • 04_06_2014 04_06_2014

Lesson n° 1

The tools of the trade. Tools for cutting, for finishing edges and for preparing the seams. All the tools a true Maestro of leather requires.

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Lesson n° 2

Types of leather. Types of tanning, and their importance for the later work stages. How to choose the right kind of leather and the right piece you’ll need for the various kinds of products.

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Lesson n° 3

From idea to pattern. How to turn inspiration into a set of measurement specifications. Creating and cutting the paper pattern.

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Lesson n° 4

How to select leather and cut it according to the paper pattern. Finishing each cut piece. All you need to know to protect and cherish your leather.

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Lesson n° 5

Dyeing leather. All you need to know to get a uniform colour while also conserving the natural flaws of the leather. Methods for polishing and finishing the edges.

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Lesson n° 6

Bag accessories. Finishing the straps and clasps and stitching them onto the body of the bag. What you must bear in mind before you finally assemble the bag.

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Lesson n° 7

Assembling bags. Stitching the dyed rib. Theory and practice. Using grip and awls. Blocking the starting and final point and adding the finishing touches.

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