Manufacturing stages of a leather goods item

Leatherworking, the industry of using fine leathers to make items such as bags, wallets, belts and jewelry, is a craft that dates back to the Middle Ages. However, it wasn’t until the creation of the first wallet in the early 19th century that the term leather goods was coined. Derived from the word “maroquin”, which is a tanned and dyed goatskin straight from Morocco, this leatherwork requires traditional know-how and respect for a certain number of manufacturing stages.

Leather selection as the basis for the manufacture of leather goods

Originally used for clothing, most of the leather produced today is used in the leather goods industry. After being preserved by salting, cold drying or brining, animal hides are cleaned before being tanned with mineral or vegetable tannins to obtain the final material that is leather. And if, by definition, leatherworking is an art that begins with the treatment and preparation of the material, then leather selection is the basis of it all.

But there is a wide variety of leathers, depending on the origin of the animal species, the weight of the piece of leather, its quality, but also its properties (we speak of firm or supple leather). Additional, optional steps, such as currying and finishing, provide the leather with the desired specificities in terms of texture and hue. The possibilities are endless with this material, so every leather is unique!

Stages in the manufacture of a leather object

The first step is to model the various parts that will make up the leather goods item and trace their outlines directly on the leather using a pattern, before moving on to cutting.

Next, lining gluing preassembles the leather pieces to give them strength before final stitching. This is a crucial stage in the manufacturing process, and requires the use of special leather glue applied with a brush or spray gun. The use of a pressure roller or mallet is recommended to eliminate air bubbles between the two pieces of leather and optimize their adhesion.

Next comes the cleaning phase, to remove any adhesive residues or burrs following assembly of the parts. To avoid damaging the quality of the leather, it is essential to use a glue thinner/cleaner. Afterwards, over-cutting will free the piece of any leather reserves and create clean edges.

The first step in assembling the leather article is hand-stitching to solidify the work. It will therefore be necessary to use awls to perforate the material and sew it in place with needles.

Finally, quilting is used to make regular stitches both on linings and on the parts to be assembled using a sewing machine. A large quantity of wire is usually used at this stage.

Finally, the leather goods can be stained to give them their final appearance.

What products should be used to work leather goods?

Leather is a natural, “living” material that is both supple and resistant. Because of its properties, it is necessary to use products specially designed for leather to work on it without damaging it.

From sizing and polishing to carding and quilting, the glues for leather and other materials A’Lineo cover the entire manufacturing process for leather goods, as well as all other projects in the leather sector.

‘Lineo is committed to studying your project and providing the most appropriate solution or system of solutions.

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