Why Do You Skive Leather?

Why do you skive leather?

There are various reasons why you may want to skive leather and the reasons may vary from person to person and project to project. So I’m this article we highlighted the most common reasons why you would skive leather.

Now, why would you skive leather? You would skive leather generally to reduce the thickness of the leather so that you can be able to easily make folds, bends, hide seams, to improve the overall quality and appearance of the leather project, etc.

The reasons stated above are only a few of the rationals for you to consider skiving leather. There are possibly endless reasons, but we will give you additionally the most important reasons you would skive leather.

This may better inform your understanding of the benefits of skiving in various aspects of your leatherwork projects. So keep reading to find out more details on reasons why you would skive leather.

Reasons Why Skive Leather

1. For a 100% Glue Adhesion

Skiving the surfaces before gluing makes for a better bond between pieces of leather being joined together.

Skiving before gluing is especially important when you’re to join the flesh side of the leather to the grain side of another piece of leather. In this case, skiving removes the smooth surface of the grain side and creates enough room for the parts being joined to fit in together nicely making the leather being joined to act and feel as one with a much stronger bond.

2. To Make Stitching Operations Much Easier

Skiving before stitching or sewing with a machine makes the process very simple and easy. Removing that extra layer off the leather before stitching will help prevent the needles of the sewing machine from breaking, impeding the flow of your stitches.

It also makes the stitches you make very neat and professional looking. Stitching leather generally can be harsh on a sewing machine due to the structure of the fibers of the leather so it’s pretty awesome skiving makes sewing much better and easier.

3. To Aid With Construction and Design in Leatherwork

Skiving also plays a very important role when putting together different piece of leather together during the design and construction stages of making leather items such as the construction of lusts for shoes. The pieces of leather used can be made to fit and act as one although.

Leathers meant to be thick for securing the tight corners and angles of leather items such as bags can be skived to help make bending of thick leather a lot easier.

4. Helps To Accessorize Leather

When attaching accessories to leather such as beads, D and O rings, and other leather findings and fitting, skiving may be required. This is so that parts of the leather where the accessories are attached do not become bulky.

5. Skiving Gives Leather Consistency and Uniformity

With skiving, fixing flaps, straps, handles, gussets, etc can be done with a lot more ease while retaining the use of the same type of leather. For example, flexible gussets, fixed on the sides of bags, purses, etc, will require skiving on the leather a bit to make it as flexible as it should be.

This will mean, you will be able to skive down different parts of one leather so that you can have consistency and uniformity in the leather material without having to look for other leathers more softer or flexible.

6. To Improve the Ergonomic Design of Leather Articles

Skiving leather before it’s put together into a leather article will go along way to determine how that leather article feels and how comfortable they will be to the user. A footwear is an example where it’s skived to remove bulkiness among other activities to give the user a great experience.

7. Skiving Makes Lining Perfect

Skiving makes lining of two or more leathers to a specific thickness or weight impeccable. Although this appears more of splitting than lining, a skiving knife can also be used to remove or reduces the thickness of leather to make leather suitable for lining.

The most important thing is to know the thickness of leather you’d to bring your leather to and knowing the various weight you have with a leather thickness gauge before you begin to skive.

If the skive is successful, the lining itself will be neat and professional looking without having a bulky looking or uncomfortable leather article.

8. Makes Book Binding Great

Leather from time immemorial has been one of the best materials for bookbinding due to how well it holds the book that is bound with a perfect layering of the leather material to the book cover.

Leather as a material is truly versatile, however, some credit will go to skiving due to the level of versatility it further takes the leather. This is because of skiving allows the book binder to skive the edges to avoid the bound edges from being bulky.

9. Improves the General Appearance of the Leather

Finally, we will like to add that skiving ultimately improves the aesthetic qualities of the leather in use and gives the leather products an upgrade. Bulkiness caused by the overlapping of the various components when leather parts are joined is removed by skiving.

How Do You Skive Leather Edges?

The edges of leather can be skived using a leather skiving machine or a handheld skiving knife or skivers. For the best results in terms of accuracy of the skive, the skiving machine does a better job compared to the handheld skives.

To skive the edges of the leather with a leather skiving machine, simply set the depth of skive you’d like on leather skiving machine, place the edge of the leather you want to skive and feed it through the skiving machine to skive.

Before you skive the edges of the main parts of your leather project using your leather skiving machine, you would want to test out the depth of the skive on a piece of leather similar or same as the one you’re using for the main project before skiving. This will help prevent waste of your perfectly cut leather.

Watch a Video on how to skive the edges of your leather with a leather skiving machine

There’s a much cheaper way of skiving the edges of leather and that includes the use of skiving knives or skivers. There are several handheld leather skiving tools, such as the round or head knife, safety skivers, slide, etc.

To skive the edges of leather using a leather skiving knife or skiver, you must place the leather to be skived on a hard smooth surface and with the help of your handheld skiving tool, reduce the thickness of the leather to the desired weight.

Generally, while skiving a leather edge is done on the flesh side, there will be instances where you might have to skive on the grain side. For example, when joining, creating folds, etc.

Watch a Video on how to skive the edges of your leather with a leather Skiver

Related Question

How do you skive soft leather?

Soft leather is best skived using a leather skiving machine. The leather skiving machine, unlike the handheld skivers, does a better job at skiving leather because of the level of precision and perfection the leather skiving machine can attain with little to no error, the latter if you’re an expert.

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Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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