JustKate

Photo Demo: How To Do Rolled Edges

Recommended Posts

I have noticed a few questions coming up lately about how to do "rolled" or turned-under edges for pockets and other lined portions of projects such as book covers, wallets, and cases. For another approach to linings and pockets, Kevin King posted a great tutorial on his method of making wallet insides. This demo shows another method of rolling inside pocket edges to give them a smooth leading edge, using a French skiving knife.

For this demo, I have a book cover for which I'm making sleeves for the cover of the sketchbook or journal to be inserted into. This is some very light chrome-tanned pigskin split (1.5oz), so it works well to turn the edge under, or "roll" it, to give it more strength and a more professional look. Here's what I'm talking about:

post-14053-037460000 1299173233_thumb.jp

The inside edge is the one that is turned under. With it turned under like this, it won't stretch as much with use, and looks more "finished". Sometimes a modeled groove is pressed about 1/8" from the folded edge to give it a nice trim touch, but this particular piece of leather doesn't take a modeled impression very well. If I was using something veg-tanned, like goat or calfskin, I would do that. The outside edges for this particular item are "raw" (not rolled or turned under), but they are burnished to give them a finished look.

I learned to do this from one of George Hurst's instructional videos, "Rolled Edges", so if you are interested in more detail about this technique, I recommend getting the video. (http://www.hidecraft...emart&Itemid=35)

I start with a piece of leather that is to become the pocket of this book cover. I have the outline of the pocket transferred to the flesh side of it, and have already cut along the line of the pocket where it will face in towards the inside of the book. This is the edge to be rolled. The outside edges I leave uncut for now.

post-14053-087728800 1299173199_thumb.jp post-14053-041996800 1299173200_thumb.jp

First, I use a French skiving knife to start an angled cut along the edge of the leather. A straight edge helps guide the knife and also helps keep the thin leather from buckling as the knife is doing its work.

Note: The knife must be extremely sharp, something similar to that of a head knife, especially on this tough pigskin. The knife in this demo is a Hyde French skiving knife I got from Hidecrafter, and it took some time and attention to get it sharp enough to be useful, but now that I've got it really sharp, it does the job nicely. Leather Wranglers also makes an extremely nice (as in, WOW, beautiful and amazing!) skiving knife that I highly recommend.

post-14053-004955200 1299173201_thumb.jp post-14053-092367800 1299173201_thumb.jp post-14053-058795300 1299173202_thumb.jp

This method of skiving very thin leather can sometimes require a few passes with the knife. With cow hide, I can sometimes cut all the way through in one pass, but this pigskin takes me three.

Once cut is complete, the edge of the leather should have a "feather edge", in other words, the thickness should decrease gradually to nothing.

post-14053-012516400 1299173220_thumb.jp post-14053-018138500 1299173219_thumb.jp

Next, I want to make the fold. To make a nice straight and sharp fold, I need to make a crease along the fold line. Before making a crease, it helps to moisten the leather along the fold line. I use a cotton swab dipped in water to do this.

post-14053-078817300 1299173220_thumb.jp

Next, I use a modeling tool to press a groove along the fold line. This helps the leather fold neatly along that line.

post-14053-052388200 1299173221_thumb.jp

Here, I am applying rubber cement to the fold line to make the fold stick once I fold it. The brush that came with this particular jar of cement is a bit fouled up, so it got a little out of control, but since this surface is not visible, it's not a show-stopper. I do try to avoid that, though, and just put the cement exactly where I need it.

post-14053-021519100 1299173222_thumb.jp

Next, I fold the leather along the pressed groove...

post-14053-028946700 1299173231_thumb.jp

The groove makes it easy to make a perfect, straight, and flat fold. To flatten it more, I sometimes run a rolling pin over it, but with leather this thin, I was able to just press it flat with my fingers. This is how it looks from the flesh side after the fold is done. Notice how the skived and folded edge blends into the back-side of the pocket to form a fold that is smooth and flat.

post-14053-047062200 1299173232_thumb.jp

The pocket is then sewn into the cover. I normally don't trim the outside edges of the pocket until after it's sewn in. This is so I can trim the edges to perfectly match the outer edges of the cover, as the pattern lines rarely match the edges of the outer cover perfectly due to shrinkage and other factors.

post-14053-037460000 1299173233_thumb.jp

Kate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just awesome! Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Kate, a lot of great information.

Moe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic write up! I vote this gets put up there with Kevin King's tutorial or something! wink.gif

In other news, a question: Do you find the rubber cement and getting stitched in at the sides enough to hold the fold securely? I tend to not trust rubber cement much at all any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In other news, a question: Do you find the rubber cement and getting stitched in at the sides enough to hold the fold securely? I tend to not trust rubber cement much at all any more.

I've got a lined book cover I made 4 years ago with pockets done this way. The folds have stayed down perfectly well. But I understand your concern. You can substitute the rubber cement with whatever you like better.

Kate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, I wasn't really concerned just curious. I think i just have bad luck with rubber cement is all. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Kate a newbie here trying to learn this great art . I have always wondered how that was done and I have to say that was great and the way You presented it was easy to understand thats a real homerun!!!!! Thanks Hauss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if I'm just not paying attention, but would do you do with corners? Sometimes it's maybe not possible to hide the ends of the pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job Kate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice job kate that is the same method i use on all my inside pockets of all my work. you did a great job of explaining it. thanks john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think someone (maybe Peter Main?) posted a photo demo somewhere around here that shows that. I'll see if I can find it and post a link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone!

does anyone know information about doing rolled edges on pu leather?

with the lining attached glued to the pu leather, the edges are perfectly done.

thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whats PU leather ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PU leather is polyurethane leather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the lesson! One question I'm trying to track down is that rounded corner.. How do you edge roll the leather around a round corner?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I do rounded corners, I use the same process but when i get to an outside corner I have to cut darts, or small triangles, almost to the finished edge (not quite to where you would see them when you fold/glue them) so the leather doesn't pucker. For an inside corner, I cut the leather almost to the finished edge with straight cuts to let the leather fold without pulling.

post-58856-0-25911100-1421939061_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I do rounded corners, I use the same process but when i get to an outside corner I have to cut darts, or small triangles, almost to the finished edge (not quite to where you would see them when you fold/glue them) so the leather doesn't pucker. For an inside corner, I cut the leather almost to the finished edge with straight cuts to let the leather fold without pulling.

attachicon.gifRolled Corner .jpg

This is a great diagram of how the darts should be cut! Thank you for the tutorial :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much useful info here thanks everyone!! Im a newbie! I was about to buy some expensive books on this process lol.

Would still love to see this process in photos though :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now