Having a model to follow, it’s important for the creation of objects in leather or hide.
Following are the major steps, that will help you to make a paper model.
The paper model is the base instrument you need to begin creating any type of object or other in leather or hide.
Specifically is a transposition of the design or pattern of tissue paper in the textile field and on cardboard in the tannery and leather goods sector. In its manufacture, the original model to reproduce, could be an all ready existing figure; or a personal creation of the artist.
A real instruction manual, important for who works the leather and hide.
Like a recipe that tells you the doses, the ingredients, the baking time of your cake, the same way in the paper model are put together the information regarding the dimension and the number of pieces, their shape, the instruments and material to use, the stitching borders and so much more.
Who designs the paper model? In the fashion industries there are ad hoc figures that have this role; in our industry almost always this figure coincides with the craftsman himself.
The craftsman, is not only the one who realizes the objects, but he is also the object designer. Before creating an object with material and instruments, he plays the role of the designer: he elaborates his ideas and transforms it in a model, programming the construction and variables to be taken into account.
The paper model is the result of his double role..
Each paper model will be different and unique: it will be the prototype of that model, and it will not be adaptable for the creation of other objects. You may think that creating a paper model is simple and fast, instead it isn’t.
Its work is hidden behind long hard work of the projecting and planning, that we could explain in three phases: studying, verifying and at last the actual realization on cardboard.
It starts from an idea to be carried out: you choose a shape, of a general dimension, the number of pieces necessary.
When The craftsman, has in front of him the cardboard, the first thing he draws is the longitudinal centre line: this is needed to know exactly the middle of the cardboard and be able to proceed to trace all the other pieces in a proportional way.
In the creating of a paper model is a mix of symmetry, produced by a turnover game of the pieces(see photo):
The craftsman does not use rulers or squares.
Every single piece is the exact copy of the opposite one: for example a purse, the two sides are perfectly the same. What does it mean?
Imagine making an origami, you will find yourself with a sheet of paper, that you will fold, turning it over on itself. All of the sections is not a work made in single sections one by one, but instead it’s a result of a copy of the first one, on the remaining parts.
This way, there will be perfect symmetric sections without using rulers and squares. It is used the same procedure in the construction of the paper model: the craftsman will not have to do much, just overlap the pieces and “trace” the same work done on the interested piece.
Also the perforation follows the same procedure: you must make a hole in a portion of the paper model, measuring the distance between the stitches. The other sections will be perforated, tracing the piece already with holes made. The study also concerns the type of process to be taken, the material and the instruments to use, example, if you want to do hand stitching or by sewing machine.
If the object will be sewn by machine, you do not need to perforate the paper model, because the sewing machine will do it.
If the object will be sewn by machine, you do not need to perforate the paper model, because the sewing machine will do it. It’s different for hand stitching, you must make holes in the cardboard. A curiosity related to hand-stitching, is the starting point: when making such, as a Tolfa (bag) (entirely handmade) you must always start from the centre, so the bag will not be curled or warped.
The difficulty in this case is to make the various holes, the same distance between them.
The craftsman, measuring the distance between the various holes, will mark the various notches or point of references on the cardboard models and then with the hollow punch will perforates the cardboard model.
Usually in making the paper model, before it is sketched the external parts, which are marked on the back of cardboard, and then the internal ones that are shown on the back of the paper model.
To make the external side, generally, you use a thicker leather different from the internal ones that require a thinner leather. Objects in leather or hide, also have round parts, for example the sides of a purse. For these pieces is a bit more complicated, you must calculate the perimeter, so you should: add the length of the side, to avoid any risk to remake the piece, because being shorter, it would not be adaptable to the handwork.
The craftsman, to make round pieces he uses a compass or other technical support.
It’s important to mark on the paper model, the points where you apply the various supports and accessories of our object. Not to make a mistake with the exact position, you must measure the exact distance of both sides, so to give a symmetry and balance to the object. In the construction of the prototype, you must take into account all of these variables to optimize the time in the making of the model and the expenditure of the material.
It’s possible drawing all the pieces on one sheet of paper model: it isn’t a usual procedure, but the craftsmen use this technique when the prototype isn’t complicated.
The picture below shows a paper model (retrieved online) of a purse: it is the case in which unlike the photo above, only one paper model contains all the pieces of the model of the purse to make.
The total size of the paper model includes the sum of the size of every single piece, internal and external and its depth. In the analysis phase, there isn’t just the study of the making of the parts, but also the design of the whole object to make.
The choice of the accessories to furnish the article it shouldn’t be underestimated.
Buckles, hooks, zippers, buttons and anything else are complements that have a double function: one, they are necessary and the other is to make it pretty and different from others.
Like any other research, it’s a good idea to conduct a thorough investigation also in the evolution of small metal parts even if the craftsman for his idea knows exactly what he needs to use.
The accessories, generally, is the kind of category more likely to have changes because of the new trends.
The creator must make a survey to know, the market trends and consumer preferences: consult the various manufactures to evaluate and choose the latest news.
The fashion world, of the technology and of leather goods could seem independent sectors from each other, but they are closely related. Today, opposite from the past, the working of the leather and hide it also regards the making of the slipcase for tablet or for cell phone, computers or any other technological supports in various models and colours.
Recently, the colour has assumed a position of respect in the consumers choices, because the fashion has put aside the classic colours of leather and hide to give space to soft, bright colours.
Not always though, that the making of a paper model is not always related to fashion. The craftsman, guided by his passion, often, he makes unique objects to share with collector groups or of an expert, for others he makes a paper model to make an object for a personal request. The full realization of the paper model begins with a first drawing that rarely -actually almost impossible- is the definite one.
The first drawing is to put pen to paper, it’s the general idea that the artist has in mind, he needs it, to give a first shape to the definite model.
A first test is made on the sheet of the material that you have chosen to use for the creation of the product: you draw the shape of the paper model and the object is made on the basis of the first model realized.
The instruments to design differ, depending on the type of leather: the awl is used to trace the outline on the hide sheet, mean while on the leather sheet you use particular gel pens (refill pens) for later erasable.
Later you proceed with cutting the pieces, which we will dedicate a specific section in our blog.
With the object in front of him, the craftsman could see the changes that he will have to make to the paper model. We’re already in the verifying phase: the craftsman will test step by step the paper model on the material and as he goes on he will make the changes needed.
The changes could be the shape, the material itself, the holes and so on.
Every paper model is tested, studied and made perfect leather or hide sheet: each piece can be carefully examined, evaluated and designed.
This phase of “adjustments” it’s based on any mistakes that need to be checked on, ability, a lot of time, of energy and of material. In this way, the craftsman, himself will built his database from which to draw the creation of leather and hide works.
The craftsman role as a designer and creator of the model to develop and important for the result: just who works with leather and hide every day, knows how to work it in the best way to create a masterpiece.
The final phase, the realization, that completes, long hard work of proof and of study done previously. Here is created the definitive paper model, the one ad hoc for the replica of the same models for example, of a purse or of other accessories in leather and hide.
Today, on internet, it’s possible to find paper models ready to realize make it yourself or of tutorials that explain step by step for the creation of same objects.
The paper model created by the craftsman is a unique paper model, result of a long study and work that will give life to objects alternating exclusive and originally handcrafted.