Leather/Oilskin Rucksack – Inspiration For Bag Making

I love the look of leather and fabric together, this is the first time that I’ve made something combining these two materials. As I’ve wanted to make a rucksack for ages it was a good opportunity to try it out.

It took me a while to find a suitable fabric. I like hand waxed canvas but couldn’t find any in the UK, so searched some more and came across a fabric called oilskin. Oilskin is a canvas or linen fabric that has been coated with several layers of linseed oil making it waterproof and beautiful in a very unique way.

Oilskin was traditionally used by fishermen and sailors for waterproof clothing as well as sails. Nowadays most oilskins are made of plastic, not this one though.

leather/oilskin rucksack

I used veg tan leather which I decorated with a pyrography tool and dyed with dark brown antique gel. The rucksack can also be worn as a shoulder bag.

leather/oilskin rucksack

All the metal fittings are heavy solid brass. The bag has a deep inside pocket, made from the oilskin. The strap is adjustable.

leather/oilskin rucksack

Making the bag took me quite a while. There was a lot of sewing to do….

leather/oilskin rucksack

The closure I made with a sam brown stud and two button holes so I can fill it up and still hold everything tight with the flap (I decided to add the second hole after I took the photo).

leather/oilskin rucksack

I’m thinking of starting a digital pattern business where I offer patterns with instructions, it will probably take me some time to set up though. This leather/oilskin rucksack might be one of the patterns I will have available, so check back if you’re interested.

The oilskin is from Merchant & Mills, they have lots of beautiful fabrics (check out their linens and handprinted fabrics). I also love their about video (find it under story).

I’m using an inexpensive pyrography tool to burn designs into leather, it’s good for simple shapes and drawings If you want to draw complex designs you have to get something more expensive.

Most of the metal fittings are from Abbey England, they also have good thread.

leather/oilskin rucksack

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