Needlepoint Belt Leather Finishing

Ready to stitch or mail your finished needlepoint belt, but not sure how to measure? 

For belts, they should be either 21 or 23 stitches tall. This is before the finishing stitch. The majority of designs will be 21 stitches on 18 mesh. If you don't do a finishing stitch, you can stitch two additional rows on the top and bottom of the belt.

For the length of the belt, you need to measure from the most used hole, to the end of the buckle. This is the Measured Length (M) which is different than pant size or even belt size.  This will be anywhere from 3-5 inches larger than the person's pant size, do not look at what is stamped on the back of the belt.

For Stitchable (S) area, it should be 5 inches less than the Measured Length (M). These 5 inches are where the leather is attached and still needs to be stitched but it should not have icons in that area (3 inches at start, 2 inches at end).

For Design (D) area, it should be 5 inches less than the Stitchable (S) area. The design area is where you will have your icons or scenes. 

For those of us who like algebra:

Measured Length = M

Stitchable Length = M - 5

Design Length = M - 10

Before sending your belt or keychain to be finished, you can do one of two things. Either apply a binding stitch to the long sides. Or stitch two additional rows of the background color along the long sides of the canvas for the finisher to use as turn rows in the finishing process.

If you're unable to do a binding stitch, we offer that service, if not you can add 2 rows of background on the top and bottom that can be rolled over in the leathering portion.

We hope this is a helpful tool to have the proper measurement for your belts. When in doubt, our finisher can re-leather or extend belts to fit your needs. And as always, you can reach out to us in advance of finishing to help get your measurement. 


What is a binding stitch?
A binding stitch in needlepoint is a finishing stitch that creates a sturdy edge around the outside of a canvas. It's often used in projects like belts, keychains, purse straps, and headbands to help with wear and tear. The binding stitch can also secure a canvas so it lies flat, such as around a rug or wall hanging. If you don't want to do a binding stitch, you can also stitch two additional rows on the top and bottom (long side) as turn rows for the finisher.

How do I do a binding stitch?
You can learn how to do a binding stitch here in this video.

Will you do the binding stitch for me?
Yes! We are able to do a binding stitch for your piece at an additional charge. Please include one skein of thread for a keychian, two skeins of thread for a hat band and three skeins of thread for a bag strap or belt. We will send back any left over thread that we did not use. 

Do I need to add a binding stitch?
No you don't. You will however, need to add three "turn rows" around your piece for the leather finisher. This is just two additional rows of needlepoint stitching on the top and bottom of your design to insure you don't lose any design elements in the finishing process. 

How do I know how long to make a belt?
The first step for belts is to measure the belt (never look at what is stamped on the back as everyone wears their pants differently on their bodies). So if you measure one of their belts from the very end of the buckle, to the hole he wears the notch in, that will be your belt size. That will be anywhere from 2-5 inches larger than the pants size.

Once we have that measurement, we can let you know how much stitching is needed.  The leather maker does need 3" of blank space on the tab side and 2" on the initial side to account for the leathering.

What is your leather turn around time?
Once we get the item in hand, we may have to complete your finishing stitch (which adds 1-2 weeks) and then we mail leathering to our finisher every other Monday. From there, it will be (generally) around 3 weeks to get back to us. 


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