Case Study

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Case Study

Leather Cutting Manually


Leather is now applied in wear-resistant places in the industrial areas like auto seats, digital product case and instrument knob, as well as fashionable bags, shoes and furniture, because of its advantages of versatility, strength and durability. Therefore, more advanced leather cutting techniques are requirement for the usages of leather. What’s the best tool and best way to cut leather?


leather cutting manually, leather cutting by hand

The worker is performing leather cutting manually in Honpe

Choose the proper leather cutting tool for yourself

  • Utility Knife or Crafted Knife
  • Rotary Knife
  • Heavy Duty Scissors
  • Head Knife
  • Swivel Knives
  • Hole Puncher
  • Skiving Knives
  • V-gouge Knives
  • Metal Ruler


Mark a Cutting Line

Once you’ve found the area without any significant imperfection, flip the leather over and use a pen to mark a clear line on the flesh side along with your metal ruler. This will be the area that you will cut from.


However, if you’d prefer not to mark up the leather using a pen, you can instead cut the pattern out of thin cardboard or plastic and use those edges to guide you to cut along with. But be aware that this approach can be challenging, since the pattern may shift during cutting.


How to cut a thin leather?

The best way to cut thin leather of a 1-mm thickness or less is to use a rotary cutter. Using a knife can pull and crease the leather and make it harder to get a straight line since it’s so soft and more prone to moving. A rotary cutter allows for even pressure to be applied to a larger area.


Before cutting the leather, lay it down with the grain side up, then place your ruler on top. If you haven’t already planned your cut with a pen or a piece of material, you can use the edge of the ruler to guide your cut. For the best results, keep the rotary cutter as close to the edge of the ruler as you can get.


Thin leathers are notorious for pulling as you cut them. So if you want to cut them straight, you may want to avoid cutting them with scissors.


How to cut a thick leather?

It’s much easier to cut thick leather than thin leather because the material is harder and not easy to crease during the cutting process. For thicker leather material, all you need is a sharp hobby knife or rotary cutter to get a clean, straight cut, in addition to a sturdy operation.


Tips for Leather Cutting

Keep your knife vertical to the leather. If you don’t do this, your cuts will appear to be straight but you will find out that they’re not completely straight once you get to the process of burnishing.


Keep your knives sharp. Sharp knives create clean, smooth cuts, causing much fewer mistakes. Before or after each time you work with leather, whether you’re just learning how to cut leather or are a seasoned leatherworker, make it a habit to sharpen your knives.


If you’d like to cut smooth curves in your leather, you can use a coin as a guide. Line your coin up into the corner of your leather, following along the edge with your knife.


Guide with your body, not your wrist. You may have a natural tendency to guide the knife with your wrist, but your wrist has a limited range of motion. Instead, keep your elbow in close to your body and pull the cutting motion with your shoulder. This will keep you on track and ensure that the blade remains straight.