4 Best Leather Threads for Hand Sewing Leather

Whether you're a newbie or you've been tackling projects for years, hand stitching leather is one of leathercrafting's tried-and-true techniques. There's just something about a hand-sewn leather project that radiates high end, artisan style that's hard to replicate with a machine! The leather thread you select can have a big impact on the look of your finished project and we're here to give you the lowdown on some of the top options you'll see on the market today.

1. Waxed Polyester Thread

First in the leather thread lineup is a consistent leathercrafter favorite, Ritza Tiger Thread. Tops in durability and strength, Tiger Thread features a flat-braided, 100% polyester design that's lightly waxed to impart weather resistance, durability, and a perfect touch of stiffness. The wax also adds a little weight for easier stitching and threading of your needles, making it a game changer for many beginner leathercrafters.

Imported from Germany, Tiger Thread is manufactured by Julius Koch, a company that got its start in 1895 and has since grown to offer high-end textile solutions including braided sewing thread. Tiger Thread is braided using yarns that have been specially developed to stand up to the demands of leatherwork.

Perfect for decorative seams, topstitching and finishing seams, Tiger Thread comes in an array of beautiful colors, from traditional to fashion forward. Tiger Thread's flat shape lends a more substantial appearance in comparison to the waxed linen thread we'll discuss next.

Ritza 25 Tiger Thread At-a-Glance

Profile: Flat

Thickness Spool Length
0.6mm 50 Meter, 500 Meter or 1,000 Meter
0.8mm 50 Meter or 500 Meter
1.0mm 50 Meter or 500 Meter
1.2mm 50 Meter or 500 Meter

Colors: Beige, Black, Blue, Mid Brown, Beetroot, Cream, Green, Blue Granite, Havana Cigar, Hunter Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Royal Blue, Red, Silver, White, Yellow

Available from www.weaverleathersupply.com

2. Waxed Linen Thread

When you want your stitching to exude a more refined look, waxed linen thread is a popular option. Fil Au Chinois is the trusted choice for the hand sewing needs of many artisan leatherworkers including those who craft some of the highest-end, designer leather goods in the world. From canvas to leather, Fil Au Chinois thread lends an elevated look that is coveted in luxury goods markets.

Imported from France, Fil Au Chinois' manufacturer, J. Toulemonde, has been making quality yarns since 1847. Made from fiber derived from the flax plant, linen thread is strong, durable, and will not stretch out with time and use.

The natural flax fibers in Fil Au Chinois Lin Cable are twisted, assembled, moistened and lightly waxed before being twisted again. This makes for a thread with more density and strength than other linen threads. In comparison to Tiger Thread's flat shape, Fil Au Chinois Lin Cable has a more rounded profile. Since it is not as heavily waxed as Tiger Thread, it has a little less body which can make it more challenging to work with, especially for beginners. It will also develop a patina as the product ages. You can add additional wax depending on your needs.

Fil Au Chinois Lin Cable At-a-Glance

Profile: Rounded

Size Thickness Spool Length
832 .43mm 375 Meter
632 .51mm 285 Meter
532 .57mm 250 Meter
432 .63mm 200 Meter
332 .77mm 133 Meter

Colors: With a huge selection of colors from classic to on-trend, Fil Au Chinois Lin Cable is sure to have hues that spark your creativity.

3. Waxed Polyester Cord

Another top choice with professionals and hobbyists alike is Waxed Polyester Cord. One of the top manufacturers of this cording is Maine Thread Company. They make their waxed cord from 100% polyester, high-tenacity yarn that lends strength and durability to your leather projects.

Located in Lewiston, Maine, Maine Thread Company has been making quality threads since 1965. For hand sewing leather, their twisted waxed cord and braided waxed cord are two popular options.

Twisted Waxed Cord At-a-Glance

This style of cording from Maine Thread features a right or “S” twist and offers a slightly rustic look. Its twisted cord style is commonly used for saddlery, leathercraft, shoes, pine-needle basketry and more.

Profile: Rounded

Thickness Spool Length
.51mm 70 yards
.76mm 70 Yards
.89mm 70 Yards
1.02mm 70 Yards
1.14mm 70 Yards
1.27mm 70 Yards

Braided Waxed Cord At-a-Glance

Made from the same high quality fibers as the twisted waxed cord at left, except the yarn is finely-braided rather than twisted. Braiding creates a more tightly-woven cord with a more refined look and feel than the twisted version. A great all-around choice for a variety of hand stitching needs.

Profile: Rounded

Thickness Spool Length
.51mm 70 Yards
.76mm 70 Yards
1.02mm 70 Yards

Colors: With Main Thread Waxed Cords, you'll find an extensive selection of colors to suit a variety of leather projects.

4. Twisted Polyester Thread

And last, but not least, twisted polyester thread is another popular choice for those looking to expand their leather hand stitching prowess. Imported from Japan, Nagai Yoriito's Vinymo MBT is a twisted polyester thread commonly used in both hand stitching and machine stitching applications. This thread undergoes a twisting and internal bonding process that helps it retain a tight bond even after it is cut. Fans of this type of thread are impressed by the clean, refined look of the finished stitches. Vinymo MBT thread comes unwaxed. A light coat of wax is recommended before using for hand stitching applications.

Vinymo MBT At-a-Glance

Profile: Rounded

Thickness Spool Length
.5mm 100 Meter or 1,000 Meter
.6mm 100 Meter or 1,000 Meter
.75mm 60 Meter or 600 Meter

Colors: You'll discover this line offers wide range of traditional and fashionable colors.

Get Inspired by All the Possibilities

As you can see, with all the thread options at your fingertips for hand sewing leather, there's no shortage of inspiration for your leatherwork. Our on-staff experts encourage you to experiment with the various options to discover the best leather thread for your unique style aesthetic and stitching preferences. Take the time to explore some different brands, materials, sizes and colors. Your dream thread is out there waiting to transform your projects with the perfect stitch line!