How to choose the right leather weight/thickness
Expert leather crafter Chuck Dorsett suggests three basic weight groups for your projects.
Leather weight – 8 to 9 oz., 1/8” or 3.5mm is standard belt weight
Leather weight – 4 to 5 oz., 1/16” or 1.5mm to 2mm is standard pouch weight
Leather weight – 1 to 2 oz. through 2 to 3 oz., 1/32” or 1mm. For chrome tan leather, it is the standard garment weight leather. For veg tan leather, it is the standard liner weight leather.
8 to 9 oz., 1/8” or 3.5mm is standard belt weight
It has plenty of depth to stamp and tool.
It is great for belts, holsters, laptop bags, saddlebags and the sky is the limit for project ideas.
It is a durable leather weight but it will not mold as well as a lighter weight leather.
4 to 5 oz., 1/16” or 1.5 mm to 2 mm is standard pouch weight
This weight provides beautiful molding and forming capabilities and the ability to make corners and molded designs.
Great for pouches, cuffs, mystery braid cuffs, masks, traditional scabbards and purses.
1 to 2 oz. through 2 to 3 oz., 1/32” or 1 mm
For chrome tan leather, it is the standard garment weight leather.
For veg tan leather, it is the standard liner weight leather.
Veg tanned leather will produce a great mold at this weight but it is not going to have a lot of body and thickness at this lighter weight.
Great for tassels, 4 strand keychains, arm guards, liners and molding leather.
Important info about lining leather:
When you have beautiful pieces of leather at this smaller 1 – 3 oz. weight and you want to make a project that requires a thicker leather (like a purse or holster), you can line that leather by using contact cement and adding another piece of leather. The resulting leather will look, feel and react as one piece of thicker leather.
Just remember that when lining leathers, you can take just about any leather weight and bump that up to make a heavier weight.
While learning how to work with leather weights you are going to mess up a project now and then. Just remember it is a learning process and will teach you about proper weights for different types of leather projects.
Learn more about leather thickness, see this comprehensive
Leather Thickness – Leather Weight Chart