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I have been told (and read) that there is a difference between European style vs. Japanese style stitching.  When I searched the forums I found that it was discussed more when talking about stitching chisels.  It seemed that the Japanese type stitching chisels were described more as a diamond shape where the european style chisels were described more as diagonal slices (or that's what I saw).  I am assuming that the difference described is more of a slight visual difference in the finished product rather than any difference in actual technique or one better than the other. 

European style was referred to as "Hermes-like".  What company would best represent the Japanese style? 

Can anyone speak to this and highlight to the differences?  Visuals would be much appreciated. 

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Check out Instagram and you'lll find that the top Japanese leather craftsmen use the European style. Most of them are using Blanchard pricking irons.

See go_leathers. He has a few tests of several other brands.

https://www.instagram.com/go_leathers/

Amy Roke is another brand of pricking irons. They are pretty new but very high quality made in China.

The stitching chisels you read/hear about are used mostly to punch all the way through the leather. With these I see a slightly thicker thread and lower stitch count per inch.

As far as I know neither of these styles use a stitching groover like the saddlers and other leather crafters here in the USA.

Edited by thefanninator

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Tugadude   

Check out Nigel Armitage on youtube.com.  He reviews pricking irons and chisels.    Tandy has some great chisels that punch all the way through yet are almost slits.  Their diamond shape is very narrow.  Most pricking irons are not for punching, just marking.  Their tines are tapered and if you go through anything but thin leather they make a huge slit.

 

I agree with thefanninator that Europeans and Japanese don't typically use stitching grooves.  Some say it helps wear and tear on the thread, others disagree or point to 100 year old saddles without that are holding up fine.  I don't have a dog in the fight.  I use grooves when I think it is an advantage and don't on most of my stuff.

Edited by Tugadude

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Tugadude   

image.jpeg

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Thank you all for your insights. 

TheFanninator - I wish you didn't send me that link to the Tsuyoshi Yamashita Instagram account - Those are just too beautiful.  Daunting for a novice like me.  Alot to learn and practice!

Tugodude - Thanks for the information - I have watched alot of Nigel's videos and also of Ian Atkinson's videos.  They are very helpful and I have learned alot so far.  Is the stitching chisel in the photo the Tandy version? 

I am currently looking at two different types of chisels; one that is described as European and the other described as Japanese.  I am just trying to imagine what "Japanese stitching" looks like.   

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Tugadude   

Yes, it is and they also finally released a 2 prong for going around corners

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Basically the way I understand it is. European style is marking and hand stitching with an awl. Japanese is to pre punch with a chisel and then hand stitch. Ian Atkinson also has some good hand stitching videos. Leodis Leather.  He uses chisels. I have the Craftool Pro 3mm and 4mm. Work very nice. Gives a 8spi and 10spi roughly. 

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Thanks Mattsbagger - Thanks for your response.  Do you think that the equipment used impacts the way the finished product looks?   

I would think that the awl would give a thinner or smaller look to the threads on the finished product while the punches would make the stitching look more pronounced?  What do you think?

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I use chisels. It gives ME an even look. My ask stitching is not good. Good chisels don't make to big a hole IF you match thread to stitch. IMHO.

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