Molding thin leather

I’m working on a project right now where there is some padding that needs to be covered with a high quality material. I was curious if anyone has experience trying to mold or form thin leather (preferably lambskin.) I’ve seen it a lot with large, thick pieces that become hard afterward, but I am trying to find a way to give small pieces some depth and form without sacrificing flexibility and softness. One thing that came to mind was the way you can simultaneously compression mold EVA foam with a textile cover. Could you do that with leather?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Yes. My cycling gloves are an example. But then again, it depends on how much “depth” you want/need.

That’s pretty close to what I was looking for. Thanks, iab. Has anyone seen this accomplished without stitching?

You should be able to compression mold EVA to thin leather. I don’t know what kind of depth you want but if it is pretty sallow you should have no problems retaining flexibly. You just have to be carefully not to try and impart to much detail because this will cause it to get stiff as the foam compresses.

I have been doing a lot compression molding at work lately. We usually do Kevlar and abrasion resistant materials but I can only imagine thin leather would work just fine. It has a lot more stretch then most of the materials we use. It is a very versatile process and will pretty much allow any fabric/material to be bounded to EVA.

You could even try making a neoprene. Just instead of Lycra use thin leather. Then you could just compress into that.

The stiching provides extra strength over using only an adhesive. Depends on your application but there is no reason to believe you couldn’t go without sewing. (Wow, a triple negative, someone call the proof-reader)