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What Is A Saddle Stitch?

In sewing there are a lot of different stitches you will need to learn. Some stitches are better used for certain types of materials. This means if you have stuck to hand sewing the same materials, there may be stitches you are unfamiliar with – so what do you know about a saddle stitch?

What Is A Saddle Stitch?

The saddle stitch is one that catches a lot of sewists so if you want to learn more about the saddle stitch – including what it is, how to use it – then this is the place for you. Here, we are going to be covering everything you need to know about the saddle stitch.

What Is Saddle Stitching In Sewing?

Saddle stitch is a type of hand sewing stitch that you will see more often used in leathercraft than fabric sewing. This is why you may be unfamiliar with this stitch. What makes the saddle stitch unique is that it uses two needles on a single thread.

These needles pass over each other, creating an interlocking thread in your project. This creates two rows of stitching while only using a single row of holes. It can only be done with just a few feet at a single time.

What Are Saddle Stitches Used For?

Like we mentioned earlier, saddle stitches are used in leathercraft. This means that it is used in a variety of projects – boots, bags, wallets, etc. – that uses leather as its main material.

The reason why saddle stitching is so popular for leathercraft is because the saddle stitch can secure your project’s front and back sides without having to backstitch. This makes the appearance of your leathercraft project much more aesthetically pleasing.

It also makes your project easier to repair. If your thread were to break, the stitch would not come undone and your project would not fall apart. Instead, the thread is locked in place by the work of the second needle in the stitch.

As a result, projects made using a saddle stitch have increased longevity. No stitch is perfect and saddle stitches can take a while to do because they have to be done by hand.

They require a lot of patience and skill but many sewists consider the benefits of this stitch worth it. Not only does it provide practical benefits to your project, but it also helps it look more appealing!

How To Do A Saddle Stitch?

What Is A Saddle Stitch?

To do a saddle stitch yourself, you will first need to get the right equipment:

  • Saddle stitching requires two harness needles and thread. Harness needles work best for this project as they have a blunt tip so they are safer to use. As for thread, the best thread to use for this kind of project is polyester or linen thread. Each has its advantages and disadvantages so carefully consider which one you want to use.
  • You will also need a hole punch or awl or stitching chisels to pierce the holes into the leather ready for stitching. This step needs to be done beforehand. You will also need to cut the threat to its proper length.
  • Finally, consider using a clamp or stitching pony to hold your leather in place while you work. It’s not required but it will help to have both hands free to do the stitching.

Once you have your equipment ready and your leather has all its holes pierced, you can start your saddle stitching. Start by locking the needles at both ends. One needle needs to be put through the hole furthest away from you and stitch towards you.

Pull the needle through and center the thread to allow for equal amounts of thread on both sides of the leather. Using your other needle, push through the back leather and pull it through the hole.

Then, your other needle will pass over the thread that is already seated in the same hole. Tighten by pulling each thread in its respective direction. The bottom thread should be pulled down and the upper thread pulled up. This will create a slanted stitch.

Be consistent in which thread you pull first so you can create an aesthetically pleasing stitch. Continue this for the entire project. Once you are done, you will need to backstitch the thread for two or three holes to secure it. And then you are done!

Final Thoughts

So, the saddle stitch is an important stitch to learn in leathercraft. Using it can improve the quality of your projects as the saddle stitch prevents projects from falling apart when a thread breaks.

This makes your leathercraft projects more durable and increase their longevity as it’s easier for you to repair them. This is why in leathercraft, the saddle stitch is one of the most important stitches to learn to do.

We hope the guide above has helped you out and now, you have a better understanding of this stitch and what it can do for your projects!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Saddle Stitching Improve The Thread’s Strength?

There’s a common misconception that a saddle stitch can be used to improve the strength and durability of your threat – but it’s not true. While saddle stitching does create an interlocking thread, it doesn’t actually strengthen the thread.

Your threat can still break in a saddle stitch but it won’t unwind like it does in machine stitching. The thread will be locked into place by the overlapping thread so your work won’t fall apart. This makes repairing much easier.

Can You Sew A Saddle Stitch With A Machine?

Saddle stitches can only be done by hand. The closest stitch you can do with a sewing machine that best mimics a saddle stitch is a lock stitch. Lock stitches require two different spools of thread, one for the front side and one for the back side.

The thread for the front side of the leather loops through the thread on the bottom back layer of the leather. The lock stitch is a lot quicker to do but does not have the same durability and longevity as the saddle stitch.

Liz Miller
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