What Is Leather Hardware?

Jun. 20, 2022

Working on leather projects sometimes involves leather hardware. They help snap, snap and fasten leather pieces together, making them very useful. Leather hardware is a set of leather tools used to fasten, connect, buckle, snap, rivet, strap, and connect leather together. Usually includes rivets, snaps, eyelets, grommets, buckles, and spires. Some can be set manually, while others use a machine to efficiently fix the leather hardware.

With so many available and so many styles, let's take a look at which ones might be used depending on the type of project.


What is leather hardware?

Leather hardware includes a set of fasteners, usually metal, that help hold the leather together in a permanent and semi-permanent manner. For example, rivets will be a more durable way to hold leather together. However, the snaps allow the leather to be closed and detached with the attached snaps. The hardware has many kinds of metals. Some are very common, including brass, aluminum, steel, copper, and nickel. Others, for custom or high-end projects, can be made of or plated with more precious metals (such as gold).


The type of hardware to be used is also a very important consideration. One of the factors is aesthetics. Will the hardware play a visual role to enhance or highlight the patterns on the finished product? Or is it purely invisible to hold the leather together? In addition, different hardware fasteners have different fixing strengths. For example, rivets may be stronger than snaps. The button can be held tightly, but there is also some "swing space" or "play" when wearing it. They also come in different sizes, covering many different project needs.


Once you know what the finished product should look like, you can more easily determine the type, material, and size of leather hardware you need. Let's look at some of the more common types. The application of leather hardware can be done manually with some general-purpose tools, manually with special tools, or mechanically with settings and presses.

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Types of leather hardware and related tools

Leather buckle

Buckles are a very common form of leather hardware. They mainly consist of a metal tang that protrudes from a hole in the leather and rests on a metal frame. The tangs passing through the holes can hold the belt in place to make it match the wearer's preference.

They are widely used to make belts and can be easily adjusted to fit. They are also used for straps in luggage and handbags, allowing the length of the strap to be changed to better suit the wearer/user.


The size, shape, material, and appearance of the buckle are almost endless. Some are very fashionable, reaching the level of works of art. The others are very basic and practical. This is of course leather hardware that you may be familiar with or will use in some projects.


Leather rivets and leather rivet holders

A rivet is a two-piece mechanical fastener used to join two pieces of material together. The rivet has a round shaft on one side and ahead at the end. On the other side, called the "tail" or "shaft", there is another area where the head and the round shaft push in. The rivets require pressure to hold them in place, so the shaft deforms to the other head, holding them together.


Since the rivets need to be fixed at both ends during the riveting process, special tools can be used to help. They are called rivet installers. The rivet installer is usually a combination of 2 pieces. One is the base where the bottom rivet head is located. The other is a metal rod, about 6 inches long, shaped to fit on top rivets. The rod can be struck with some force (usually with a hammer or mallet) to "fix" the rivet. Once "fixed" and in place, rivets usually have a strong holding force.


There are also mechanical riveting machines, they are not set with a hammer, but set by pulling a handle. Because riveting machines have a fixed range of motion, they can help produce more accurate results compared to manual operation with a hammer. In addition, they can make the riveting speed faster. 

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