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The Leatherworking Handbook: A Practical Illustrated Sourcebook of Techniques and Projects Paperback – March 28, 2006
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About the Author
Valerie Michael is a founding member of the Association of Designer Leatherworkers and has been a full-time leatherworker for over twenty years.
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I started leatherworking by learning how to tool with a swivel knife and stamping tools. Once I got the hang of that I realized I needed a better understanding of how to construct the items to be tooled. Most of the resources I found online (and from Tandy Leather) had to do with western-style tooling. I had not found a reliable and comprehensive source for the techniques of leather goods construction. Most of the advice or instruction I found online was pretty haphazard. I ended up spending good money on tools I didn't need based on patchy advice.
This book lays it all out for you: The different types of leather and the best applications for each; the best needle/thread gauge for each application; the different types of hand-stitch and when to use them; a good overview of all the tools you'll need to make just about anything. And then it shows you three levels of projects to take you from beginner to (hopefully) competent leatherworker.
There are many resources for how to tool leather, but this is by far the best I've found for how to make the goods you may want to tool. It's a shame that this book seems to be out of print.
However, I was actually looking for a book to help me work with chrome leather (or even faux leather or faux suede) which is softer and more stretchy... and more likely to be used in garments. I suspect many other books about leather working are focused on the vegetable leather as well...so beware what you buy versus what you want. Good Luck!