Applications where you would use a sewing awl.
Sewing awls come in different sizes and shapes.
Threads for the sewing awl
Sewing awl shapes of the blades
Different kinds of needles create different types of holes in the material. There is a diamond blade which is the classic type of needle hole. It is in the shape of its name, a diamond. Next, there is the flat blade, which once again is self-explanatory. It creates a flat straight hole. The hexagon is much like the diamond blade but has six sides instead of the diamonds four sides. The oval which is an elliptical shape. These different shapes create different types of holes in the material. Therefore, each of these shapes creates a different look when you create the stitches with the thread.
Parts to a sewing awl
- Handle – This is the part where you hold to push the needle into the material. Some have storage inside the handle as well as this is where you put the small spool of thread. The thread then extends through the handle down through the coupler/chunk into the groove of the needle. The shape of the handle can vary quite a bit.
- Needles – These have the blades on the ends that cut and puncture holes into the material. They are interchangeable and come in different sizes and shapes. There are straight and bent needles for various applications.
- Coupler/chuck – This is unscrewed to place a needle into then tighten down to hold the needle firmly into place. Thus, allowing the needles to be interchangeable.
- Bobbin size spool – The thread is wound by hand onto the reel that is the size of a bobbin.
- Lock wrench – Tool you use to tighten down the coupler/chuck.
A Couple Tricks To Using A Sewing Awl
Start with a project that is simple. Learn how the awl goes through the material. Making sure to line up and puncture through the material at even intervals. If you are sloppy with this, it will be very noticeable in the stitching. Always mark off where you want to punch each hole to keep the spacing equal. You can also use a vise of some type to hold the material in place while you apply forceful pressure to pierce the leather or heavier duty fabric. Also, experiment with the different types and sizes of needles to find the look you want.
Having a sharp needle does make a difference. If you have a dull needle then punching the holes in the fabric can become very exhausting from having to push hard to get the needle through the material.
An Interesting Fact
Awls were used by the indigenous people centuries ago in North America. Old ones have been discovered, and these were made of bone, metal, and wood. One of the oldest metal objects to be found in the Middle East is a metal awl.
The Speedy Stitcher is a well-known brand that was patient back in 1909. It is among one of the most popular in use today.
Places to purchase
You can purchase sewing awls anywhere from hardware stores to sporting good stores to fabric and craft stores. There are many different varieties of awls out on the market. Some come with kits that include different needles in various shapes and sizes as well as threads to use to sew with. They are pretty inexpensive ranging around $15 and up for different models and brands. Just like most things, the more you spend on a sewing awl, the more accessories it comes with.
Sewing Awls are mechanical hand driven stitching machines. I think it is pretty amazing that this tool was in use years ago and is still in use today. These are a must-have tool if you are going to work with heavyweight leather. Even an industrial sewing machine can’t sew through heavyweight leather. Have the right tool to sew with makes sewing so much more satisfying and enjoyable.