Leather, dye and acrylic paint. Client loved it. Showed it to some folks - now on to a production run!
How long did it take to do? Like cut/score/engrave time and then dye and then assembly time? Always curious how these things break down.
Leather workers - if you score between the holes do you get neater stitching? My stitching is terrible.
Here’s the long of it and stuff I learned.
All total about an .75 for one, not counting design. This first one was a standalone, so I suspect I can get that time down when doing a bulk run.
Engraving/cutting takes about 10m on this design.
You can’t dye all of it, then paint in the acrylic. The dye will seep through the acrylic, no matter how many layers you paint on it. Paint the dye on just like you would paint. Pain in the but and a hard thing to learn.
Once you use a brush for painting the dye on - that brush is now exclusive to that particular color. It’s nearly impossible to clean it out enough such that subsequent dyes won’t mix.
If you don’t dye both sides the leather will curl. You can put the wallet in a press/pile of books and that cures most things. Best results - dye both sides.
Use resolene to finish off your leather. After you do that, rub the leather with mink oil. It will help push the dye back into the leather. It sits on top - it soaks in at the start - but some is still basically floating on top. Mink oil will push it deeper.
Acrylic paint is just as good as “leather paint”. I have had my wallet in my pocket for the last year with no apparent signs of wear.
I used the sample leather from GF that I had laying around for about a year. The masking left residue and was a pain to clear off. Sorry GF, but your leather isn’t economical enough for production. I was able to buy an entire leather side for $100 - of which I can crank out around 75 wallets of this size. By 3-4oz leather for 3 ply.
If you have a local store to buy leather in (In Seattle/Tacoma there are 2 Tandy retail stores) talk about your project. The employes know sooooo much and are excited to help and give knowledge. Priceless information.
My stitching is rough. I do think if you scored a line through the stitching holes, the stitches should be cleaner. I sort of like the rough stitching. Feels more personal and quaint.
That background image almost killed me. I have since done a new master file in Illustrator. The logo on this version (1st gen) is messy and not defined enough for me. I went in to my file and cut every.single.underlying.line by hand after expanding expanding (Object > Expand turns your lines into shapes). The GF isn’t WYSIWYG. If there are overlapping shapes, the GF will engrave/cut ALL lines. This is why I had to expand the lines and then cut away all lines/shapes underneath. 3 hours. If there’s a simpler way to do it - LMK.
I tried using a bitmap, but it wouldn’t render clean enough to my liking.
Experiment with scoring. It can render really elegant lines.
Loads of videos on youtube to learn techniques that best work for you, and the tools you have (or may want to get!)–I machine sew, but “grooving”, which is what I think you mean by scoring between holes–can help, but mainly is intended so the threads are flush, or below, the level of the leather to improve life of the item (less likely for thread to wear out). It can of course help keep the threads aligned.
Very nice–like the background for the WW… but do be careful using this copyrighted design–Marvel/DC Comics is one that is pretty tough in protecting their designs…
I am a stitching novice too. Like @bansai8creations said lot’s of videos.
The biggest thing I can suggest is consistency. Consistent stitching (eg. always enter from the left) will give you cleaner lines. I used the two needle one string method, I found it easier to keep track of my stitch direction.
No and the additional scoring would weaken the leather at that point.
For consistent production sewing it’s best to use a machine. It doesn’t have to be a massive industrial thing. Get a leather needle for home machine and good nylon thread, you’ll be able to get though thicker leather than you’d suspect. A roller or Teflon foot also helps.
Have you been to a Comic Con or looked at Etsy? Can’t say I am worried. Derivitive art is all over. Especially if it’s (relatively) small scale.
I have to disagree. Scoring/grooving when is not done too deeply relative to the thickness of the leather will not significantly weaken the leather, and has been a practice for many, many years. But usually not something done for anything less than 4 oz or mellow/soft temper.
But in and of itself, it can’t overcome bad stitching due to uneven tension or poor thread weight/type for the leather…
Spot on. And they’re usually really interested in lasering leather and always want to see what I’ve done. If you kick them some samples, they’ll love you and show them off to other customers which can never hurt. You might also score some free leather or a discount.
For the traditional method of leather scoring where you press into the leather with a stylus or other tool this is true. But with GF a score is ablating away some leather so a laser score line is definitely weakening that spot.
Yes, any time you put a hole in leather or score/break into it it’s weakened. But it’s all relative to the stress the design would undergo. A light scoring is unlikely to be a problem in a non-load bearing item like a wallet. Totally different story if for a girth for a saddle!
Thanks for advice everybody.