Hand Sewing and Stitching Leather

Leathercraft Article and Video by Bruce Cheaney

Hand Sewing and Stitching Leather


Hand Sewing and Stitching Leather on a custom made saddle with a harness awl and haft with waxed nylon thread. This is a hand sewing tutorial on how to sew thick leather by hand using a C S Osborne sewing awl and haft. I will show you some things I have learned over the years of making custom made saddles and the techniques I use to sew as straight as possible.

I will start off by telling you that I use and like Nickle Plated Harness Needles made by C. S. Osborne and Company, Harrison, N.J., USA I get them in a package of 25 and the number is NO. 517 and the length is 0 size. The thing I really like about these harness needles is that they have a large egg eye in which I can easily put a fairly large thread through like the waxed nylon lacing tape I am using here.

Sewing Leather by Hand with a C.S. Osborne and Company Awl and Haft

harness awl and haft for hand sewing leather

Harness awl and haft for hand sewing leather

My resource for my Osborne sewing needles and sewing awl and haft is Weaver Leather Supply and their website is Leather Supply One note about buying from Weaver is that you will need a tax id number in order to do business with them. I think it would be worth your time and effort to set up an account with them because they have a wonderful leather supply catalog that is loaded with everything you need for leather crafting and saddle making. Phone number is 1-800-WEAVER-1

harness needles

C.S. Osborne Harness Needles

The awl haft I like and use is number CSO143 and the two sizes of saddlers harness awls I use the most are numbers CSO45 2-1/4 and CSO46 2-1/2 in the Weaver Supply Catalog.

waxed-nylon-thread-hand-sewing leather

Waxed-nylon-thread-hand-sewing leather

At the end of this YouTube video on hand sewing and stitching leather you will see a custom made wade saddle that I made for Sage.

To see more leathercraft articles and videos be sure to bookmark my Leathercraft Site.

Thanks for taking your time to watch this hand sewing leather tutorial. You are welcome to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Bruce Cheaney
Gainesville, Texas.



The hand sewing thread I used in this video came from Hadlock and Fox Saddle Tree and Supply Company the part number is number 3879 Flat Waxed Nylon Lacing Tape. To order call 1-800-274-6017 or their address is Hadlock and Fox, 10 Finegan, Del Rio, Texas 78840.

Leather Tools for Leathercraft

Additional Resources C.S. Osborne & Co. 125 Jersey Street, Harrison, N.J. 07029 USA

Hand Sewing and Stitching Leather

Custom made saddles require a lot of hand sewing for example the horn cap is hand sewn and the saddle riggings are hand sewn to hold the skirts in place and ad strength to the saddle. Other parts of the saddle that require hand sewing and stitching are the cantle binding on a saddle with a Cheyenne roll or a cowboy buckaroo style saddle with a straight up cantle with a cigar roll. The skirts and flank straps and flank cinch can be hand sewn for superior strength and durability.

hand sewing and stitching leather

Hand sewing and stitching leather

Other items you can make a sew by hand are knife sheaths for pocket knives and hunting knives or axe sheaths. Sewing by hand is slow but it really ads a personal touch to what ever you are making.