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Beading Leather.

Q: 'Vibrant Jewels' I've created some jeweled centerpieces using vintage glass stones on a wooden disk, and I've glued the centerpiece on leather, but I'm not sure what kind of needle I need to sew the beads on. I have also looked at all those diagrams of how many beads to go through, backtrack, etc., and must confess I'm really puzzled...

A: How thick is it? Leather thickness is usually expressed in ounces, the average weight of a square foot of a particular skin, as thickness varies somewhat across a hide. This is why leathers are usually shown with a range of thickness such as 2-2.5oz., or 6-7oz. One ounce is approximately 1/64th of an inch in thickness. So 8-9oz. means the leather is 8/64th to 9/64th of an inch in thickness, or approximately 1/8" thick. A stack of 3 dimes approximates the thickness of a piece of 8-9oz, so a dime approximates the thickness of a piece of 2-3oz. Garment pigskin may be 1.5 to 2 oz; a cowhide garment split may be 2 to 2.5 oz.; tooling leather for belts is typically 8-9 oz. ... Since I specialize in Native American traditional work, use a size 13 needle, preferably a short one. They seem to slide through the leather easier than a large needle. You may go through 4 or 5 at first until you get the hang of it, especially if you use the long needles. Go through the TOP of the leather, but don't go all the way through, just below the surface. String 3 beads, then go down into the leather and back towards the knot, but come up just behind the 2nd bead. Pass the needle through the 2nd and third bead. Then repeat. The type of leather you're using also has a lot to do with it. If you're using the grain side, you're going to have a tough time, not to mention holes showing.