Finishing and Burnishing an Edge.
Always finish an edge that is to be left single as soon as it has been cut out and before stitching.
Edges made up of two or more layers are left until after stitching, and they should be levelled off with a sharp knife before bevelling.
It is difficult to bevel thin leathers but luckily these burnish quite well without bevelling if you place them on a litho stone or similar hard surface first.
Bevel the edge on both sides with an edge-bevelling tool.
Lay the leather on a flat, firm surface, grain side upwards.
Hold down the work securely with the fingers of one hand and push the edge beveller along the edge with the other.
The tool should be held at a 45-degree angle, it should remove a thin shaving and leave a smooth edge.
The cut does not have to be continuous but try to make it a flowing action.
Turn the work flesh-side up and repeat the process.
If the leather is very dry it should be dampened slightly on this side to prevent a wrinkled finish.
If the leather is stiff or thigh enough use a bone folder or rubbing stick to lay down any loose egde fibres.
This will also help to round off the edge into a curved profile.
These tools should be applied firmly and rapidly back and forth - take care not to push the ends of the work out of shape.
The work is now ready for burnishing.
You may wish to apply edge-dye first but that is not a part of these instructions.
Make an applicator by folding some sponge or a piece of cloth into a wad and placing it between the jaws of a sprung clothes peg or use a wool dauber.
Apply edge-burnishing fluid to about 100mm of an edge. Do not apply more - you will find it difficult to get a good finish.
Using a piece of linen or canvas held around the edge to prevent curling of the sides, rub it to and fro along the treated edge to generate friction and thus heat.
This will bind down the edge fibres and leave a firm, shining edge.
Multiple-layered edges should fuse into one.