damsaddler13

How to hand stitch sheepskin to saddle skirting

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keplerts   

I would use a good spray adhesive and spray both the sheepskin and the saddle skirting.  Then, if hand stitching, rub your waxed thread back and forth on a brown paper bag to set the wax.  If you don't do this step your wool will stick on your thread and cause all sorts of problems.  Then just stitch away!  Al Stolhman explains it much better than I can.  Get his books.

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jcuk   

Hi i would use this stitch i don't know if you know this stitch but it looks harder than it really is 

it is good stitch to use for sewing leather to any kind of fabric. 

hope this helps jcuk

 

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Fleecing skirt for first time, or re-fleecing it? 

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Dam,

There are "efficient" ways, meaning ways that don't take as much time, and there are "good" ways, meaning ways that create a product you will be proud of.  If I'm fleecing a saddle for the first time, then I line the skirts up on my Adler and pull the threads out so that I am simply punching holes.  I run a stitch line as if I were actually sewing the fleece to the skirt. Then I cut out the fleece over-sized and apply rubber cement along about a foot of each side - fleece and skirt.  I tie a stitch on each end of this "tack" and several other places around the skirt so the pieces stay in place. Then I stitch in the holes I have pre-punched, using a diamond awl and two needles.  When I get to the end of the "tack", I create another one in the same fashion and sew it, etc, until the skirt is done.  Trim and edge, and you're done!  When you are finished, you will have a professional job.  I only apply rubber cement to about a 1 1/2 inch ribbon around each piece to allow for breathing and shrinkage of the dissimilar materials.  Do Not glue the whole surface!!!

When re-fleecing, your best looking job will be accomplished if you use the same stitch holes as the original saddle maker.  Otherwise you will perforate the leather and the job will not only look tacky, it will not hold up. 

Some jobs just don't lend themselves to short cuts.  This is one of them, if you ask me.

Cowboy Colonel

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Thanks for the comments. I have decided to give the sharpen glove needles a go to see if they can help on the sheepskin side of the skirt. I grew up doing quite a bit of hand stitching on upholstered furniture so I am fairly adept at saddle stitching. [There's a great video by Nigel Armitage on YouTube if anyone is interested - definitely worth the time.] When I asked the question it was I realize hoping against hope there was a way I may have missed. Thanks again and if anyone has experience with the glove needles, I'd appreciate your time in making a comment.

 

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oltoot   

I'm late, I know, but here is what I came to while I was saving for a needle and awl stitcher (and putting in a pitch for a new UL, it is still going strong after 40+ years and 100's of sheepskins sewed with ease). Glue sheepskin down (I use Barges) then trim off to about 1/4 from edge, if you have large scissors you can pre trim the fleece at an angle thus reducing the amount you will have to deal with, then as you go, wet the fleece thoroughly about 1" from edge with a sponge, you will find that you can part the fleece from the awl tip as it pokes through and keep it parted long enough to pass by. When done just squeeze out the water and let it dry before trimming to edge.

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I don't use Barge's any more, as I have found that replacing the fleece is more difficult because of the tight bond that results.  And you WILL have to replace the fleece sooner or later.  I have never done the "wet fleece" thing, as I have not had problems, but I can see where that would help.

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1 hour ago, oltoot said:

I'm late, I know, but here is what I came to while I was saving for a needle and awl stitcher (and putting in a pitch for a new UL, it is still going strong after 40+ years and 100's of sheepskins sewed with ease). Glue sheepskin down (I use Barges) then trim off to about 1/4 from edge, if you have large scissors you can pre trim the fleece at an angle thus reducing the amount you will have to deal with, then as you go, wet the fleece thoroughly about 1" from edge with a sponge, you will find that you can part the fleece from the awl tip as it pokes through and keep it parted long enough to pass by. When done just squeeze out the water and let it dry before trimming to edge.

Never heard of that but what a great idea. Occasionally, I'll get a reline on an old saddle where if I sewed the skirts on a machine, I'd run the risk of tearing out between the holes.  I dread these jobs.  They are usually vintage saddle restorations and have a lot of sentimental value to their owners.  I will try this next time. Thanks Toot!!

 

On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 1:31 PM, cowboycolonel said:

Dam,

There are "efficient" ways, meaning ways that don't take as much time, and there are "good" ways, meaning ways that create a product you will be proud of.  If I'm fleecing a saddle for the first time, then I line the skirts up on my Adler and pull the threads out so that I am simply punching holes.  I run a stitch line as if I were actually sewing the fleece to the skirt. Then I cut out the fleece over-sized and apply rubber cement along about a foot of each side - fleece and skirt.  I tie a stitch on each end of this "tack" and several other places around the skirt so the pieces stay in place. Then I stitch in the holes I have pre-punched, using a diamond awl and two needles.  When I get to the end of the "tack", I create another one in the same fashion and sew it, etc, until the skirt is done.  Trim and edge, and you're done!  When you are finished, you will have a professional job.  I only apply rubber cement to about a 1 1/2 inch ribbon around each piece to allow for breathing and shrinkage of the dissimilar materials.  Do Not glue the whole surface!!!

When re-fleecing, your best looking job will be accomplished if you use the same stitch holes as the original saddle maker.  Otherwise you will perforate the leather and the job will not only look tacky, it will not hold up. 

Some jobs just don't lend themselves to short cuts.  This is one of them, if you ask me.

Cowboy Colonel

Gotta ask Colonel, if sewing a set of skirts for the first time, why not just sew them on the Adler instead of pre-punching holes and then sewing by hand?

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Big Sioux,

 

I do it that way because I use the guide on my Adler to align the stitches, and if I try to sew at the same time, I run the risk of having the fleece catch up in the feed dogs, which REALLY messes up a stitch line.  Besides, I think a hand-stitched skirt looks so much better. As I said, I "tack" the fleece to the skirts with rubber cement then half a dozen randomly- spaced single stitches.  The fleece can slip a bit and still come out right.  If you trim it first and it slips, then you have a wreck to clean up. I hate wrecks!!!

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