Have you read the Leather Overview? If not, go there first.
If you’ve ever picked up a pair of gloves and marveled at how soft and supple they were, then you’ve probably handled lambskin.
Lambskin is a gorgeous leather to wear. It’s thin and pliant and did I mention SOFT?
If you want to make fine accessories – gloves and dainty bags for a lady or a foppish gentleman, lambskin is the way to go. It’s good for embellishing an area on a costume, too. You can make clothes from it, but be aware that wear is going to show very quickly – the skin is thin and so’s the finish on it. The seat on your pants is rapidly going to look worn – but if it’s a costume that you’re only going to wear a couple of times a year, then don’t worry about it – although I’d stay away from wicker furniture if I were you.
You can buy lambskin in a sueded and top grain finish, in a wide range of colors. Metallic lambskin is out there, but not worth the price in my opinion. If you want a metallic leather, look at pigskin. Lamb skins average about eight square feet each.
Alas, it’s not very cheap. The really luxurious stuff starts at around ten dollars a square foot with the average lambskin yielding about six or seven feet. You’re going to need anything from four to six hides to make a pair of pants, so you can see how it quickly becomes expensive. You can find more affordable lambskin – lower grade, or slightly heavier because it came from an older lamb – for as little as four dollars a square foot, and an older lamb also means a larger hide.
Be careful when shopping lower grade hides of any kind, as that usually means there are marks or holes in awkward places, which could make cutting even more of a challenge.
Use a leather needle when sewing this, and be ready with your rolling foot unless you’re sewing with some very thin lambskins.