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So I'm just getting started working with leather I do leather stamping but I'm finding leather is actually more complicated. I picked up some leather scraps from hobby lobby just to practice before I invest in more expensive leather. Problem it's very stiff and not holding the stamp design what is the best way to soften it so the design will hold? Thank you in advance for any assistance.

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Is the leather that you bought veg tan leather and not chrome tan leather. Hobby lobby will label it tooling leather. Veg tan can be tooled or stamped, chrome tan will not hold an impression. If in fact you have veg tan leather, did you case (wet the leather) this is how you prepare the leather for stamping or tooling. Just google how to case leather for an intro to understand the process. I hope this helps.

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Ditto the veg tan. There are many videos on you tube about stamping and carving you can watch. I highly reccomend Don Gonzales Saddlery and Joe Melling at 23+ leather among the many out there. They. Both have many current, free, and very good educational videos available. I too struggled (still working on it!) And started with the wrong leather. I have learned that veg tan is just about the only, rather that will take and hold tooling. Find a leather shop near you or look online at one of the ma y suppliers and get some veg tan. You wi,l see immediate improvements. Good luck and welcome to the addiction!

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I don't mean to sound like a bully . . . but hobby lobby IS NOT THE PLACE to get good leather.

Tandy is a much better place.  

When you go there . . . ask them if they have any vegetable tanned belly leather.  it is compared to the rest . . . about THE cheapest . . . AND it will hold your impressions well enough to get you going.  

Obviously . . . follow the other suggestions about casing . . . etc.  PLUS . . . get a good marble, stone, or if nothing else . . . a smooth cement backer on which to do your stampings.  I use a cut off piece of a counter top . . . don't know what kind of stone it is . . . but it is stone . . . and it makes all the difference in the world when one is beginning to stamp.  

A table top, desk top, or counter top just gives too much here . . . not enough over there . . . way too much in that corner . . . etc.  The stone stops all that garbage . . . helps you develop the proper stroke for what you are doing.

The belly leather is softer than usual tooling leather . . . but it works for beginners to decide if they want to continue . . . and there can be some beautiful work done on belly leather.  

Best wishes and have fun.

May God bless,

Dwight

Edited by Dwight

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Where are you in SC?  I'm about ready to try and get rid of more of my scrap veg tan.  The pile is getting too big.  

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