Category: Technique:

Leather Fabric Handling

Cabretta leather is a garment weight leather with a smooth, glossy finish. It is sold by the whole skin or hide, and comes in a wide variety of colors. The skins vary in size, so the best way to figure the amount of leather needed is to take the pattern with you when you purchase the skins.

Trim out the pattern pieces needed. For those pieces placed on the fold of the fabric, trace full pieces onto pattern paper, and cut out. Adjust pattern pieces to eliminating the center seams so you cut a full pattern piece. Trace and cut out duplicate pattern pieces for remaining pattern pieces. Use these pieces to determine the amount of leather needed for the project.

Leather has a nap or grain line, so it is important to lay out the patter pieces with the grain line parallel to the length of the skins. Examine the skins carefully for marks and blemishes, and mark their position with a small piece of painter's tape. Arrange the large pattern pieces on the right side of the skins first, and then fit the smaller pieces in around them. Use the tape to hold the pattern pieces in place, and then cut them out. Remove the pattern pieces, and place them on the back side of the leather. Use a chalk pencil to transfer the necessary markings for each piece - the nothces, darts, centers, etc.