How thick leather should I use for making wallets?
I've done my homework and looking to buy a side of leather along with all the tools to make wallets. I do have some leather working experience at a job and have made a few knife sheaths. Anyway, I don't want to buy a whole side and have it be the worng size. I've read that 2 to 3 oz is what I'm looking for but have also read and seen some nice wallets at 3 to 4 oz. Which one should I go for? I'm trying to find some where I can buy 1sf so I can sample I guess but no luck yet.
I found a place that does samples so I'm good.
- Linda SLv 72 months agoFavorite Answer
Anything lighter than 4 ounce presents durability problems. Wallets spent a lot of time being roughly handled and fine leather will quickly develop holes. Using a good fusible interfacing as a backing aids somewhat in durability but isn't ideal. Anything 6 ounces and heavier presents working problems. All seams and edges will need skiving and hammering. The wallet will be durable but not as flexible and foldable. Whether you use heavy or light there will be trade-offs. You will learn this by working with the leather.
Before buying full hides ( and there's no reason to get a whole hide unless this is for clothes or commercial production - and you aren't ready for that yet.) get a sample packs, swatches, and quarter hides and pieces to make a few simple practice projects using as many weights as possible. Reading about the differences in weight is no replacement for working with the different weights. Additionally, different sources have different handling properties. Deer and elk handle and work light: 6 ounce elk works like a 3 or 4 cow. Some work heavy: 4 ounce pig suede can be as tough as 8 ounce cow. Some leathers are super light and very strong, like kid and cabretta. Wallets made of kid and cabretta goat circumvent the weight problem inherent in cow hides. Again, get samples and work with all these leathers to understand their handling properties.
Once you make a few simple sample projects such as coin pouches, bracelets, watch straps, tobacco pouches or whatever you'll soon know what leather will work for your wallet ideas. There is a steep learning curve with leather so start small, be willing to experiment and realize a few projects will be both abject failures and unique learning opportunities.
- Anonymous2 months ago
If you have to ask us, then maybe you need to find another profession.