Part of the joy in stitching on leather bar wraps yourself is in choosing a stitch pattern. Stitch patterns can be neat and minimal or an elaborate detail that expresses personality on your bicycle. There really is no wrong way to stitch these on. But in this post, we'll explore some of the stitch patterns our customers have done.
Connecting the Edges
First a basic introduction: stitches connect two parts, usually at the edges. When searching for leather stitch patterns, there is a rabbithole of stitch patterns for common leather crafts like bags, wallets, and books. But these stitches tie together leather in a different way than sew-on wraps, either with facing edges (saddle stitch, back stitch, running stitch, buckstitch) or perpendicular edges (box stitch, butt stitch).
For sewing on leather wraps, we're looking for stitch patterns that stitch meeting edges flat. Although you may have a different preference in your installation, in our bar wraps installation kits we include stitch patterns that work for edges that lay flat in meeting each other side-by-side.
A basic zig-zag, the Glove Stitch is one of two stitch styles we include in the installation instructions for our leather bar wraps. It is the most straightforward and recognizable stitch.
Neat, symmetrical and clean, the Whip Stitch is the other style we include our installation instructions. When stitching together meeting edges, it looks like a neat line of threaded staples.
If you google it, you may find many different applications of the "whip stitch" (in fact, in reviewing leather craft books, there doesn't seem to be agreed-upon terminology for most stitching pattern names!).
Keep in mind that whip tying or whip knotting is a different technique entirely, used for covering finished edges with a knotted coil of string.
Here are some customer photos of what we call the Whip Stitch:
Some stitching patterns require two needles! The Baseball Stitch is a classic stitch that looks similar to the Glove Stitch, except the Baseball Stitch uses two needles. It is a little more complex but it makes a beautiful chevron pattern.
We cover this stitch in detail in our book, The Idiot's Guide to Leather Crafts but basic instructions abound on the internet.
For this or any other two-needle stitch, you'll need to order an extra needle and thread from us with an extra Stitch Kit.
Here is a customer photo of Baseball Stitch - if you try it out, please send us a pic!
There's no need to be confined by these three common stitches. We hope you have fun with it, and try out your own stitches! Here are some photos of creative customers who have added their own flourishes to their stitching. Some are like classic cross-stitches, with X's and double X's, and there's even one set that I'd call a crazy mishmash of stitch types, that when put together looks crazy-cool.