RECOGNIZE A HAND STITCH SADDLE STITCH, A MACHINE SEWING - EXPERT°

POINT SELLIER - SEWING MACHINE THE GREAT CONFUSION

French know-how and hand stitch saddle stitch tool

Malle2luxe, defends French traditions and know-how.

 

Today we will share with you our experience and our knowledge on the "saddle stitch", this traditional sewing without machine, sewn by hand.

 

We read a lot of wrong things about him:

 

Forums, blogs, books, youtube videos ... we read a bit of anything. And to make matters worse through ignorance, many renowned experts and dealers maintain a certain confusion perpetuating the legend of hand stitch saddle stitching.

 

For example, how many times have you read and heard that a Hermes bag is entirely sewn by hand.

 

Urban myth and revelation about machine sewing versus hand sewing, and how do you recognize a saddle stitch seam?

 

 

WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HAND SEWING AND MACHINE SEWING?

point saddle stitch machine recognize the difference hermes bag

 

It is important to understand what are the technical differences and the differences in use.

 

Hand sewing (saddle stitch) is not a fancy choice or a whim. Traditionally it responds to a desire for strength, the leather will give way before sewing. The saddle stitch seam is an indestructible seam.

 

This seam was designed more than a century ago by craftsmen saddlers, harnessers, saddlers to make coupling parts for working horses (saddle, arnachage, equestrian, horse-drawn carriages ...) as well as parts. of leather heavily subjected to wear (handles, belts ...), or in luxury leather goods. 

 

Machine sewing, which is more economical because it is quicker to perform, is not strong in torsion or traction. 

 

These diagrams will help you understand.

why a leather machine seam is less resistant than a saddle stitch seam

 

The saddle stitch (or laced stitch) is done with a thread and two needles. The thread therefore passes from the top (face) to the bottom (reverse) alternately to cross in the material forming a tie-off at each point. It is the strongest seam.

 

Conversely, machine sewing is made up of two distinct threads, one remaining on the top, the other on the underside crossing at mid-material. They can therefore be of a different color. The top thread holds the bottom thread, one holding the other.

 

This means that if the seam wears out or is cut in one place, the entire seam comes undone, unlike the saddle stitch.

WHAT KIND OF STITCHING?

 

So that there is no confusion. Here are the main seams that exist. 

 

MACHINE LEATHER SEWING

Sewing machine leather handbag and small leather goods secret from the big luxury houses

 

A so-called "machine" seam is not a seam made by an automatic machine.

 

It is a machinist (operator) who is behind the machine, his function requires real and precious know-how . Each brand of leather goods trains its staff to respect the know-how and tradition of the house. 

 

Today 99.99% of bag seams are machine-made, even at the big French luxury houses.

For example at Louis Vuitton  apart from the Steamer Bag which has a few hand seams, all the other bags are made by machine. Same thing at Moynat , Chanel, Dior,  Goyard .

 

As for  Hermes apart from a few bags such as the Kelly and Birkin where only 10 to 15% of the seams are handmade, all the seams are machine-made, even on the models in crocodile or exotic leather .

 

There are 2 types of needles most used

 

type of needle for Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Goyard trunk and bag sewing machine

Losangique (LR) : Allows you to make inclined decorative stitching reminiscent of saddle stitch. Used for leather goods at Hermes.

 

Round (R) : Pointed conical tip

The normal round point is the standard shape Allows leather and fabric to be sewn together like the assembly of a Avece leather with a fabric lining. The LR needle could cut the weft of the fabric as the round needle slips between the fibers of the fabric without the risk of tearing. Used for leather goods at Vuitton.

 

HAND LEATHER SEWING

handmade leather sewing luxury craftsman tool

 

Hand stitching saddle stitch (and tied saddle stitch) must be strong, flexible, waterproof and pretty because it is a decorative element in its own right. The sewing is done by hand without mechanized means.

 

The tools are rudimentary and require perfect mastery:

  • A sewing clip (to hold the piece and leave your hands free)
hand stitching saddle stitch art of yesteryear French know-how
  • A wheel or claw to strike (to mark the location of each point)
  • An awl (tool for perforating leather)
  • A thread (of linen)
  • beeswax
  • Two needles

The particularity of the saddle stitch is to sew with a thread and two needles. In order to be able to use both hands holding the two needles and its awl to pierce the leather, the piece is held in a wooden sewing clip, wedged between the legs.

 

To respect the rules of the art, the sewing must be carried out with a certain method. And each gesture has its importance and a meaning. This goes from the way you hold the needle, to the inclination of the arm when you pierce the leather with the awl ... In fact, the gesture must become automatic, fluid and for that from the start, it must not. the technique must not be questioned to give in to ease. It comes from the know-how of the saddler who manufactures riding articles where the seams are very stressed and must be very resistant and of high quality.

 

The knotted saddle stitch is used on the handles of Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynat trunks as well as for binding leather parts on rigid luggage (suitcase and trunk) made of vegetable tanned cowhide, crocodile, pork.

 

RECOGNIZE A HAND STITCH SADDLE STITCH TIED WITH A MACHINE SEAM

amazing how to recognize a machine stitching from a hand sewing secret of hermes luxury handbags

 

There are several special cases, so we will deal with the most common (90% of the market)

 

It is very easy and very quick to recognize a "lock stitch"hand seam of a machine seam. 

 

The main aesthetic differences to recognize are:

  • the reverse , which is less "beautiful" on a machine seam.
  • the regularity of the machine against the charm of a handmade product.
  • the direction of inclination  of the thread on the face and the reverse. 
    • On the machine-seamed side: the inclination goes upwards
    • On the hand-seamed side: the slope is downwards

UNDERSTANDING THE SEAMS OF A HERMÈS BIRKIN BAG:

hermes bag and trade secret, recognize a fake bag thanks to its Birkin seams

DO NOT CONFUSE A SADDLE STITCH:

 

Finally to finish, do not confuse a saddle stitch with a lacing.

 

Many craftsmen and even luggage restorers make seams which they claim to be "saddle stitch" but which are obviously not. These points are reserved for the neophyte. 

do not confuse a saddle stitch and a neophyte lacing

 

Here are some examples:

 

A: Back stitch 

B: Double front stitch 

C: Unnamed

 

These seams are not seams, at best hand-made lacing done outside the rules of the art and without comparison with the saddle stitch. No hold over time.

 

CONCLUSION

Hand stitching saddle stitch expertise of excellence

Malle2luxe continues the manufacture of 100% hand-sewn leather items, saddle stitch.

 

To sew a piece of leather with little stress and the seams not seen there is no point in sewing by hand.

 

Hand sewing is on display. 

 

This article is not intended to denigrate one seam rather than another, but to inform, so that the know-how is not lost.