So my brother wanted to make a watch strap for his very handsome alpinist, and I was more than happy to help him. The end result was a beautiful green crafted strap with a suede backing, and a plethora of new methods and ideas.
I think this goes to show how much you can learn just by working with others, and even though you may think you will be the one offering the most, you’ll be surprised with what you can pick up. I benefitted greatly from his careful nature and slow approach to leathercraft.
More importantly, I learnt that:
- A suede backing gives a lot more feel and value to a watch strap. I can’t decide if a contrasting colour or classic colour or even just matching colour makes the watch strap pop.
- A new method for making smooth, even hole for the watch buckle’s metal rod. Using the smallest hole punch, we punched a tiny hole somewhere 0.5cm behind the fold, then used the craft knife to extend the hole to form the slit for the buckle. The real ingenuity however was soaking the end of the polishing cloth in tokonole, then rubbing it briskly into the slit/hole while my brother held the leather strip. The end result was a smooth, polished and precise hole for the bar to come out from. I’ll need to remember this for future watch straps.
- Another new method to round the strap end. To make the arrow, the triangle starts 1.5cm from the end of the strap, and the triangular tip is rounded by placing my second smallest hole punch on the tip, and using that as a template to cut around to round the tip. This makes for a much sharper and more aesthetically pleasing arrow tip than using the comparatively large washer.