Mini Tutorial: How To Finish A Leather Hem With Adhesive
Leather is one of those materials that plays by its own rules. If you are sewing a leather garment, or working on a leather project, and are looking to finish an edge (such as the garment's hemline) without any visible topstitching, a leather glue may be your best bet.
Leather adhesive or cement is designed specifically for leather, permanently bonding layers together without staining the finished folded-up edge. The dried adhesive remains flexible, without stiffening or compromising the finished edge. If you are lookin to clean finish a garment's hem using leather glue/adhesive, here are the basic steps you should follow:
Start by purchasing a glue or cement that is designated for use with leather fabrics. These adhesives are able to bond well with the leather's texture as well as not bleed through the fabric layers maintaining a flexible hand after the application. You can find leather glues at almost all craft and fabric stores or online. In addition to the glue, you'll need a brush to spread the adhesive evenly along the leather surface- any soft head brush that will work.
In this case, it helps to transfer the hemline directly on the leather garment. Leather is a materials very easy to mark on. Simply measure the hem allowance distance form the edge up using a gage pointer (shown above) or a ruler and mark the hemline with pen. Add all your marking to the wrong side of the leather- those lines should not be visible once the hem is folded and clean-finished.
2. Fold the hem allowance up following the marked hemline as a guide. The fold line should fall directly on this marked line. Hammer the folded edge using a mallet or curved edge hammer. Creasing the fold at this stage will provide more comfort and accuracy in the glueing process to follow.
3. Apply the leather cement/glue on the inside of the fold to the hem allowance surface and the distance above the hemline that will be covered by the hem allowance. Both layers should have a layer of cement or glue in order to adhere properly. As always, it is important to read the directions indicated on your leather glue, following them as accurately as possible.
4. Once the glue is applied, simply fold the hem allowance layer back down as directed by the crease appleid in Step 2 above, and apply pressure with your hand/fingers to help adhere the layers. depending on how long your leather glue or cement takes to dry, you may place the folded under a weightier object to apply pressure as you wait for the flue to dry.
5. Once dried, the folded edge should layer complete flat and be securely connected to the rest of the leather surface underneath. You should have no bleed through or staining on either side of the application.