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furry arts discussion => fursuits, plushies, and costuming => Topic started by: Movian on September 28, 2017, 10:19:09 am

Title: Leather working
Post by: Movian on September 28, 2017, 10:19:09 am
I saw there are lots of links for working with fur....

However I was wondering if anyone had any resources for working with leather (attaching fur pieces to leather, creating scales from leather, how to find good leather).

Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Kobuk on September 28, 2017, 12:14:07 pm
Try sending a PM to Varg the Wanderer. I think he may have mentioned something about it in the past, but I don't remember.
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Loc on September 28, 2017, 12:58:09 pm
A lot of LARP gear is made out of leather, so a place for that might be able to give tips, depending on what you want to do.
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Varg the wanderer on September 29, 2017, 07:30:11 pm
How the heck did I miss this thread?!  :o Apparently I've been failing my duties as a watcher. :p

I love leather working! What exactly are you trying to do with it? The end goal will dictate the materials and methods you'll need to use.
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Movian on October 01, 2017, 03:00:11 pm
Well to start I would like to try and adjust the head piece I picked up from walmart inexpensivly...

I would like to make the head for my dragon :)

reference pic

I was thinking soft leather for the base to get the right teaxture :)

Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Varg the wanderer on October 01, 2017, 09:59:11 pm
Is this dragon head something you'll wear? Also, modifying a head you bought will depend on what you have to work with (the head's construction).

If you want leather to take and hold a shape you can sculpt it relatively easy, but it won't be soft.
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Movian on October 02, 2017, 08:28:11 am
Yes I would like to wear this head piece (eventually adding more pieces).

I will take some pictures of the base head I obtained (currently a black cat)  I picked it up due to it being inexpensive and a starting point.

The shaped part will likely be the snout attaching onto the existing head...

Or if the head I have wont work as a base then I will need to figure out how to make it from scratch.

I very much would like to make this myself rather than purchasing one :)
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Loc on October 02, 2017, 08:42:29 am
In case the cat head doesn't work out (although experimenting with it and seeing what you can do is still a good idea to get some practise in), there are a lot of tutorials on making fursuit heads from scratch, including ones starting with a balaclava as a base. I can't find any tutorials that specifically use leather though, but there are a few leather dragon masks and heads on various websites, so it is something that gets done with success.

Pintrest has quite a few tutorials, if you don't object to making an account there.

We also have a few links on in a pinned topic on this board, but I'm not sure without trawling though them which ones specifically apply to heads.
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Movian on October 05, 2017, 11:25:09 am
I was thinking of doing the head first because I have that base... however would it be more sensible to try and make a tail first?

it may be easier and will require less detailed work.... Then once I have a little practice with that I could tackle the head which will be the center piece.

I will start looking around and comparing tutorials but thought I would try and get some input on that too :)
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Varg the wanderer on October 05, 2017, 05:22:09 pm
A tail might be easier.

And a leather snout is do-able. The nice thing about leather is that there are different ways to shape it and even more ways to attach it to stuff.
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Movian on October 06, 2017, 09:21:02 am
Ok so starting to get an idea for construction.

Looking at the origional artwork (http://admin.nomoredictation.com/RichPics/Tattoo%20-%20Origional%20Artwork.jpg)

 I would likely want to do two types of leather, a harder leather for the 'top' side of the tail that can also help take the shape.

Then soft red leather, in segments for the underneath of the tail.

Then add fur in a line along the center of the top and at the end...

I have been looking through some of the tutorials and not finding much that can assist so far, do you have any specific links that might help?
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Varg the wanderer on October 07, 2017, 10:10:30 am
For a harder leather that you can shape you need vegitan. It comes in several "weights" 4-5oz. will likely be good for a mask, but if there's going to any kind of stress on it you'll need to reinforce it or use a heavier weight (I use 7-8oz., the next size up, for collars). Molding tutorials can be found:

http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=274695 (http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=274695)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Sculpted-Leather-Mask-Tutorial/ (http://www.instructables.com/id/Sculpted-Leather-Mask-Tutorial/)

http://www.armrd.com/wet-moulding-leather/ (http://www.armrd.com/wet-moulding-leather/)

The bottom "soft red" you refer to... did you want that the be shiny or more of a sued? You can connect it by using barge cement (the kind with toluene, not the other kind- it sucks), rivets (You can likely use Tandy's Rapid Rivets here. They look better and are easy to use, but aren't heavy duty so don't go making any saddles out of them ;) ), or sewing or any combination there of. If I was making the mask I'd glue it and then sew it to reinforce it, but I over engineer things.

Leather is really best sewn by hand. Two main types of stitches are used: the lock stitch and the saddle stitch. A lock stitch is what your sewing machine uses, and Tandy Leather sells a hand tool that will do the same thing https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/sewing-awl-kit (https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/sewing-awl-kit). A stronger (and cheaper!) method of sewing is the saddle stitch.

http://makesupply-leather.com/leathercraft-tutorials/how-to-saddle-stitch-leather/ (http://makesupply-leather.com/leathercraft-tutorials/how-to-saddle-stitch-leather/)

https://www.marthastewart.com/1125947/how-sew-leather-hand (https://www.marthastewart.com/1125947/how-sew-leather-hand)

The book noted in both of these, Al Stohlman's "The Art of Hand Sewing Leather" is worth every penny. If you plan on doing any amount of leather sewing you won't regret buying the book. It's $20 on their website, but knowing what you are doing saves a lot of pain and "do overs".

Riveting and gluing are pretty straight forward. If you are still having trouble finding info, I would check out http://leatherworker.net/forum/ (http://leatherworker.net/forum/). There is a huge wealth of knowledge and helpful professionals there.

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Movian on October 07, 2017, 08:46:06 pm
Perfect thank you so much for the info :)

I finally feel like I am ready to plan and get started!

Will post updates.
Title: Re: Leather working
Post by: Varg the wanderer on October 07, 2017, 11:39:53 pm
Looking forward to them!