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About Narvi

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  1. Very nice work again, Ken. I got inspired by one of your wallets to try the Mexican Round Braid, and then I found your videos on Youtube. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.
  2. That is beautiful work! How long does it take you to do the lacing on a piece like that?
  3. 3/4 Hermann Oak folds over fine, 4/5 OK, 5/6 too firm. Hermann Oak in general is very firm, but the lighter weights are easy to work with. I'll put in a plug for my local supplier, Golliger Leather in Ventura, CA. Good prices on Hermann Oak and always have A Grade in stock. Give 'em a call.
  4. Cut little 1/4 inch slits in the bottom of the zipper tape to facilitate the curve, then fold over any excess into pleats to get it to lie flat. I pin the zipper tape down to a cork board with push pins to get it good and tight, then glue the leather to the zipper tape before sewing. Using this technique, you will need to use a lining to hide the awkwardness of the pleats.
  5. I have the same machine. Any feet that will fit the ubiquitous consew 206 will also fit the 227. A right zipper foot set is a must for edge sewing, it's what I leave on my machine by default. If you're sewing leather make sure to get a set with a smooth bottom. If you don't have a folding edge guide on your machine, you can get a zipper foot with a built in spring loaded edge guide. You can also get a welting foot to sew piping.
  6. I like them. It's not easy to do a turned edge binding on a wallet, so good job. I think the wallets would benefit from smaller thread. Royalwood and Maine Thread are good suppliers.
  7. I don't know if there's any way to firm it up too much. You might try a clear coat that hardens leather like Resolene or Tan Kote. That will have some effect. Finding the right leather to make bags isn't easy. Chrome tanned is too soft and veg tan is too firm, so what can you do? There's not a lot in the middle that you can buy off the shelf. Commercial products use stiffeners and design tricks to give shape to their chrome tanned products. It's a matter of experience and trial and error.
  8. You can view stitch tension as a kind of tug-of-war between the top and bottom threads. If the tug-of-war is even, the knot, or more properly, loop made by the hook will get pulled up between the two layers of leather and be invisible to view. Sometimes, one or the other of the threads will be wining the war. If the upper thread is winning, the loop will appear on top of the hole made by the needle, and very ugly it is too. In this case, the upper thread needs to be handicapped by loosening the upper tension mechanism. If the lower thread is winning the tug-of-war, the loop appears on the bottom of the material, so the upper thread needs a stronger hand. So the upper tension must now be tightened. Since the upper tension is easier to adjust, the lower tension should only be messed with if the upper tension is maxed out in one direction or the other and problems are still occurring. Under ordinary circumstances, this should not be the case. Try re-threading the machine and changing out the bobbin before messing with the lower tension. All things being equal, more upper tension will be needed the thicker the material gets. As a rule, if you start sewing 4oz leather on a machine that has been sewing 9oz successfully, you will get knots on top of the material. The upper tension will have to be loosened to get a good result.
  9. Yes this is machine sewn on my new Consew 227R. Hand sewing this kind of bifold took me 5+ hours, involving 8 separate threads and 16 needles, a real pain. The machine cuts 1 1/2 - 2 hours from production and still looks pretty good, I think. As per Michelle's suggestion about hole size, I may try a smaller needle or use 207 thread on the top side. I'm still dialing these things in, but overall pleased with the new machine.
  10. Even though Dublin is a veg tan leather, I have not had much success burnishing it. For now I've settled on sanding with 600 grit wet/dry and slicking with gum trag. My usual water + saddle soap + canvas routine doesn't yield good results. Maybe someone else had better success with this leather?
  11. 7 pocket bi-fold. Exterior is Horween Dublin, interior is Hermann Oak strap.
  12. I think size 8 is equivalent to size 92 and size 5 is equivalent to size 138. You should have no trouble sewing size 138 thread on that machine top and bottom using a size 22 needle.
  13. When I had a similar problem it turned out the needle was inserted backwards (concave part should face to the right.) Just a thought.
  14. I wax it and then tuck the ends in the hole with an awl after a few backstitches. Then a dab of white glue to secure everything. shows the process.
  15. Golliger leather in Ventura, CA has what they call a moccasin leather, which is basically a top grain bag leather with medium temper that runs 4-5oz. Lots of colors to choose from and reasonably priced (either $5.50 or $6.50 a sq. ft, I forget which). They have it tanned to their own specs by a U.S. tannery. Their website is pretty basic, so you have to order over the phone, but Carlos, who runs the place, is a very nice guy and patient with newbies. I've been to their warehouse many times and it's clean and well run.