June 11, 2024 Stories

How to embroider on leather: a simple guide

Embroidering on leather can make your items look stylish and unique. Whether you're working on a leather purse, shoes, or other accessories, here’s an easy guide to help you get great results.

Choose the right needle
Using the right needle is very important for embroidering on leather. Leather needles are specially made to punch smaller holes, which are permanent and don't close up like in regular fabric. Typically, a size 80/12 needle is recommended.

Pick the right thread
Cotton threads aren’t good for leather because they can break down over time. Polyester threads are the best choice because they are strong and last longer. Coloreel has developed a 100% recycled polyester thread together with Madeira and that is a great option for leather embroidery.

Design for leather
Choose embroidery designs that are made and digitized for leather embroidery. Light designs with outline stitches work best. Avoid dense designs with closely placed stitches, like satin stitches, because they can perforate and weaken the leather by making too many holes. Designs should be airy and not heavily filled to maintain the integrity of the leather

Hooping and backing techniques
Magnetic hoops are better for leather because they help prevent marks from pressure. To prepare, place the backing in the hoop, spray it with adhesive glue, and smooth the leather on top. This provides extra hold between the leather and the backing. A cut-away backing is typically used because it offers stronger support.

With leather embroidery, you can make your creations look fashionable and luxurious. With the right tools, materials, and techniques, you can create stunning and unique leather items.

Good luck!

Images: Elmo Leather