How to Use Rivets on Leather?

How to Use Rivets on Leather?

This article is designed for beginners who are interested in crafting leather. We’ll show you how to rivet leather. This is a crucial part of any leather craftsman.

Leather is a very flexible material that makes it easy to work in. It is also possible to damage it, no matter how beautiful it may seem. Let’s now move on to “How to Use Rivets to Leather”.

What is a Leather Rivet and How Does It Work?

Metal fasteners such as leather rivets can be used to attach multiple layers of fabric together. They can also be used to enhance the look of leatherwork projects with a variety metals, colors, and materials.

Leather rivets can be made from steel or brass, copper or aluminum. To suit any leatherwork project, they are available in single, double, or tubular forms.

A rivet provides support in areas where tension is high, such as a dog collar. Dogs can pull on leads, creating tension. A rivet is the best for keeping material intact and secure.

What are leather rivets used for?

Joining leather pieces together with leather rivets is a safe and secure way to do so. The rivets are made from leather and the post is passed through the pieces you want to join. Finally, a washer, backing or other method of setting the rivet will secure it. Although they are useful, many rivets are also used for aesthetic purposes.

How do you use a leather rivet?

Depending on the type of rivet you use, how you rivet your leatherworking project depends on which one you choose. You can use the same methods to set copper, double-cap, tubular and rapid rivets, but they all have slightly different settings.

To rivet leather, you will need to punch a hole in the leather pieces that you want to rivet. These holes should not be larger than the post of any rivets that you use. Most cases, this will be about a 1/8 inch. Follow the instructions to set the type of rivet that you have chosen.

Rapid Rivet

  1. Push the post through the leather hole.
  2. To properly “crimp” or set the leather, the post should be about 1/8 inches above it.
  3. Place the cap on top of your post.
  4. Place the leather cap-side up on an anvil or in another setting area.
  5. Place your rivet setter concave side up on the cap. Tap the setter gently with a mallet or hammer a few times.
  6. Make sure your rivet is secure

Double Cap Rivet

The same process is used for double cap rivets as for the rapid rivet. The double cap rivet has a cap at both the top and bottom of the post. You can use a rivet anvil to set your cap. The setting will cause the bottom cap to flatten.

  1. Push the post through the hole in the leather.
  2. To properly “crimp” or set the leather, the post should be about one-eight inches above it.
  3. Place the cap on top of your post.
  4. Place the leather cap-side up on an anvil or in another setting area.
  5. Place your rivet setter concave side up on the cap. Tap the setter gently with a mallet or hammer a few times.
  6. Make sure your rivet is secure

Tubular Rivet

Tubular rivets are thicker than other rivets, and are used more often for industrial projects. Before you start, ensure that your leather is punched to the correct size for your tubular post.

  1. Push the post through the leather hole.
  2. To properly “crimp” or set the leather, the post should be about 1/8 inches above it.
  3. You can set the kick press or the peening tool.
  4. Set the rivet head flat against the setting surface or anvil for the peening tool.
  5. Place the peening instrument in line with the rivet point.
  6. Use a mallet to hammer the rivet down until it sets.

Use a kick press to set your tubular bolt. Follow the instructions. This is a quick and easy way to set larger rivets.

Common Leather Rivet Materials

They are often called “Leather Rivets”, but they refer to the way they secure multiple layers of leather together. You can make rivets from many metals. Brass and Copper are the most common. Even rivets that appear like shiny steel are nickel coated over brass.

  • Brass– The most widely used metal for rivets is brass. Although rivets come in many colors, most are coated/plated brass bases. This is because brass is resistant to oxidizing/rusting like steel and copper.
  • Steel– Although steel is susceptible to rusting, it is strong and has high-tensile strengths. Steel is an excellent choice for leather goods that will last most of the day.
  • Copper– Copper rivets are an essential part of any saddle/tackshop. They are used to secure corners between multiple layers of leather in bags and apparel. Leathercrafters love copper rivets for attaching handles and shoulder straps. This is because of the stress they cause over their lives.
  • Nickel– This is a shiny, chrome or polished steel finish that can be used over brass hardware. It also provides a silver/steel look to the project without the risk of rusty steel hardware.
  • Aluminum These aluminum pop rivets are used for repairs where access to the leather panel’s opposite side is impossible. Because of the way they are installed, they are often called “Blind” rivets. A mandrel (solid post) is inserted into a tube (Rivet Pin). The rivet is secured by being inserted through the hole on the other side of the leather (the “blind side”). On one end of the mandrel is a metal ball known as the mandrelhead. When the mandrel is pulled back through, the mandrel head crushes and locks the rivet pin in its place.

How do you rivet thick leather?

Leathercrafters who work with very thick leather often use a drill press, or a battery-powered handheld drill to make holes and then place the rivets.

What size rivet do I need for leather?

When using single/double-cap rivets, it is a good idea to measure the thickness and then add 1/8 inch. For the length of the post, add 3mm. This will allow the rivet pin to protrude through the leather, and the cap will fit onto the top of the rivet post as it is designed.

Keep in mind that the rivet can bend or be offset if it sticks too far through leather if the post is too short. The cap might not fit properly onto the post if it is too short.

For solid copper/brass rivets, any length of post will do as long as it sticks through the leather and is able to accept the burr washer being pressed in place.

What Rivets should I use on leather?

It is up to the leatherworker to decide which type of rivets are used. While some leatherworkers prefer the look of double-cap rivets, others use solid copper rivets more often. Single/double cap, tubular, solid copper/brass rivets can be used to make leather goods like belts and gun belts.

Tubular and copper rivets are recommended for high-stress areas like the corners of pockets or bags where seams can be pulled apart. Single- or double-capped rivets can be used to secure other projects and areas that are less prone to tension. This design is more pleasing.

Another thing to consider is the intended use of the leather item. Copper and brass hardware won’t rust if they are wet. Steel will, however.

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