Cutting: Using a Straightedge
Cutting the hide is the first element of leathercrafting. Using a precision knife with a straightedge is the best way to get a clean, straight cut, and an important beginner’s technique. Use a metal straightedge, rather than one made of wood or plastic, as it is not susceptible to nicks and will provide the cleanest line. Protect your work surface with a cutting mat, and always use a sharp blade.
1 Measure and mark the leather. Measure and mark the leather with a small dot at the beginning and end of the line using the pencil.
2 Position the leather for cutting. Place the leather on the cutting mat, and carefully position the straightedge against the beginning and end marks to make a straight line guide. For cuts longer than 10 inches (25cm), clamp the straightedge down onto your work surface to prevent it from slipping.
3 Begin cutting. Holding the straight edge firmly with one hand, cut cleanly through the leather with the precision knife. Take your time and don’t rush. Cut toward the body, with the blade moving toward you. For long cuts, you may need to stop and reposition your hands.