All veg leather can be formed. Natural, undyed veg leather can be tooled, dyed, burnished, finished, and formed. Drum-dyed veg can be formed, burnished, perhaps stamped, but not tooled happily. Xcel leather is chrome tanned and cannot be tooled, formed, or burnished very well. Most oil tanned leathers will not form, burnish, or stamp or tool.
i’ve been buying Hermann Oak veg tan for the last two years – it’s awesome leather. My method to prevent too much shrinking or stretching during tooling and drying is to rubber cement the leather to some Cold Press Illustration Board – this has worked well. Now the problem, I’ve had significant shrinking with the Hermann Oak using this same procedure. What methods do you use to prevent excess shrinkage? I cut a cell phone case to shape and it shrank 1/4 inch when it dried. Thank you!
I used to do that as well, and then an inmate told me to put masking tape on the back of the leather before I tooled it. I tried it, and have been doing that ever since. Works great and I’ve never had any shrinkage since!
Denny also uses this taping method for his tooling but opts for clear packing tape instead. He tools almost exclusively Hermann Oak leather.
I have a bald jackalope, can you help me please? Well he’s not bald but his hair is thin. Do you have jackalope fur in stock, if so what colors? I’m concerned. Thank you I appreciate your time.
I am so very SORRY to hear about your Jackalope problems! Poor little guys can never catch a break, we hear a lot about their balding issues. But, because of that problem, getting Jackalope fur is very challenging. It is in very high demand and the suppliers just can’t keep up. We do have lots of bunny fur though and it comes in all sorts of colors. If you’re desperate to find something, this just may be an alternative. I would suggest going with the Mink color, based on your picture. I do hope your little guy gets better!
If I paint a project say yellow and blue and then go over the project with an acrylic antique finish will that mess up the paint?
Yes, it will. If you paint with acrylic paint, and then start wiping acrylic antique on top of it, you’ll definitely disturb the paint. You’ll need to put a good sealer on top of it if you want to do that – several coats. Probably something acrylic like leather sheen, super sheen, or maybe RTC.
Good Morning, I purchased one of the pirarucu remnant packs. But, the thing is, I don’t know how to use it. I thought I would make a small card wallet like the one pictured in the ad. But, after looking at the actual leather in person, and touching it, I’m afraid to use it. Will it fall apart when cut? Just some pointers on working with this leather would be really awesome. Thanks for your help.
That stuff is incredibly tough! It will not fall apart when cut…. We’ve made wallets and lots of small accessories from it.
The only thing that you might want to do is cover the edge, either with lacing or you can do a bound edge. But regardless, it won’t fall apart on you. The remnants are from a boot company, and they’re still making boots out of it.
I have a Cobra class 4 machine and love it, but I keep seeing some real cool leather on here in a lighter weight and it has got me thinking maybe I need a machine for the light stuff. I have carpel tunnel so I had to give up the hand stitching. I have never made a wallet or purse, but I have had requests for such things. What would be a good machine to complement the Cobra class 4?
For me it would be either a Class 20 Flat Bed or a Class 26 Cylinder Arm machine. Both will do what you want quite well. I think personally that the cylinder arm is a bit more versatile, but that’s just my opinion. Glad the class 4 is doing what you need, and that things are working out for you!
Take care, and if you have questions, please feel free….
Hey folks! One of our favorite things is helping our customers. Since the beginning we have prided ourselves on giving quality advice to anyone who asks. That’s why we have the Ask the Pros page on our website. Kevin, Rusty, Denny, Clayton and a whole host of knowledgeable people answer questions from customers and crafters from around the world.
This week on Kevin’s Storytime, we’ll be answering some of those questions that we think might benefit lots of folks! Feel free to chime in with your own questions. We’d be happy to help!
Please note that questions from our online form have been transplanted here as anonymous asks. Some questions may be edited for brevity, clarity and to protect private information. Any submissions directly to our ask box on Tumblr have not been edited.
We are also adding a link to the navigation bar to collect these questions for easy access to some good information! So, click the link or search “ask kevin” on our blog.
Bringing it Together | An SLC Profile with Emma
Emma is Springfield Leather’s one and only Human Resources Coordinator! Proprietor of employee benefits, drafter of policies, unofficial office assistant and queen of coffee, Emma says she lives in meetings and loves every minute of it. 😉 Learn more about how Emma helps to bring it all together below.
Emma started in Billing in 2008. As the company expanded, she
briefly acted as the office coordinator before moving into Human Resources circa 2013. It was a new position, she said. “We did it before, but [the work] was spread out between three or more individuals and that worked when we were smaller.”
SLC needed someone to keep up with insurance, vacation plans, paid time off, retirement, policy manuals, hiring and perks. Emma’s educational background is in Fine Arts and Art History, so she set to work getting her certification for Human Resources. “It’s not the equivalent of getting a Bachelor’s degree, but it is the thing you do if you’re in the field and you can’t go to school. It requires continued education and keeping up-to-date with laws and insurance.”
Being up-to-date is where Emma feels challenged. There are always changes with laws regarding employment, but she says that it’s insurance that keeps her on her toes. “The law is always changing with different administrations. It can be challenging to keep up with.”
Her other challenge is finding the right employees. “SLC has always been kind of a funny place. I don’t view it as a cookie cutter place, so I’m always looking to find good people and keep them.”
Working on retention is one of Emma’s favorite parts. “I like helping people,” she said, “knowing that somebody is enjoying their job.” She likes providing perks and surprises like food and t-shirts. Above all, she says that she likes making SLC an awesome place to work. “I like the background side of things, I like knowing that we try to make Springfield Leather a better and better place to work even if it’s a slow and steady process. I always want to find a good balance.”
Emma tries to find that balance with her life outside of leather by spending lots of time at her yoga studio, reading with her corgi Oscar and traveling. She is always looking to go somewhere new, she says. She’s already visited California, New Orleans
and Seattle this year and has plans to visit San Antonio soon. Her wanderlust seems to be the catalyst for her taste in literature. “I like historical stuff, factual documentaries and biographical stuff, but I’m also a big giant nerd so I love Tolkien and stuff like that.”
She doesn’t do leather craft but she has tried her hand at it. “I am probably one of the only people who work here that has barely touched leather. Rusty had me make a knife sheath years ago and I lost it. I made earrings once and came to a jewelry class once.” While she found enjoyment in photography and pottery, she mostly appreciates art and likes being around creative people.
That’s why Springfield Leather is a great environment for her. In her nine years here, she is most proud of the ways that the company has evolved.
“We are trying to maintain this culture of being family friendly and trying to work with individual employees. We show value to each employee while trying to keep up with the productivity and efficiency that you have to have to survive as a business. I like being a person who is in the background who is aware of each individual department. I enjoy focusing on the big picture. I can see the overarching story of Springfield Leather. I really enjoy bringing it together.”
If you would like to do business with Emma, apply for a job with us!
This Simple & Trendy Leathercraft Idea is the Perfect Gift
Last week, we taught you how to make a leather journal cover, but we want to tell you about another, very similar, kind of cover that is taking the stationary world by storm.
While this is no new concept, the traveler’s notebook is gaining popularity and the leather world is right in the thick of it.
So, what is a traveler’s notebook?
It’s essentially a notebook cover without the notebook! The idea is that the buyer is able to make a custom notebook by purchasing all of the inserts separately. All they need are a few elastic bands to secure them inside!
The design is simple: create a notebook cover in any size (preferably something standard like 8.5″ x 11″) and create holes in the spine of the journal. You can add grommets, strings, strips or elastic so that customers can slip a notebook or two inside.
Of course, add-ons like pockets, pen holders and clasps can be added to bring your traveler’s notebook to the next level. All of the examples you see here are journal covers, but could easily be converted to traveler’s notebooks with a few additions to the spine.
The best part about these sweet little things is that prices range from around $15 all the way up to $300! Naturally, genuine leather covers are on the higher end of the spectrum.
So, if you’re looking to diversify your offerings or looking for a gift idea – this might be the one! It’s simple, requires little material and it’s sure to be a stunner.