Jewelry Making Technique:
This weeks jewelry technique is the technique for making necklaces strung on leather. First, a note about leather. Some leather can contain chemicals used in the tanning process that are carcinogenic for children under 14. The chemicals are apparently not carcinogenic for adults. For this reason, if you are making a leather necklace for someone under 14, we recommend using the simulated leather product called Pleather.
When making leather necklaces you will often string a combination of beads to cover about 3 to 5 inches. These beads become the central focus of the necklace allowing the leather itself to show for the remainder of the necklace. About 19 inches of leather is recommended for the necklace. The beads chosen will need to have holes that are large enough to accommodate the leather, which is generally either 1mm or 2mm in size. Pearls and Swarovski beads will not work with leather, but Lampwork beads, Pony Beads, Bali-Style Beads and our Paula Radke Dichroic Glass Beads will work well with leather.
The leather can be finished in one of several ways. You can use crimp style connectors to clamp to the end of the leather. These connectors provide a loop that can be used to connect to a clasp via a figure 8 connector, a jump ring, or via a wrapped bead link, using wire and a bead.
An alternative method of finishing a leather necklace is the cave man way. Instead of using 19 inches of leather, use about 26 inches of leather. Use the final inch of leather on each side to tie in a square knot. This will make a 24 inch necklace which can be slipped over the wearer's head without untying the knot. Direction for tying a square knot can be found here.
Select here for detailed instructions on how to make a leather necklace.