Leather Working Pricking Irons

Leather working pricking irons are metal tools with a grouping of equally-spaced “teeth”, sharp points arranged in a line. They are used to mark the location of stitching holes onto leather material. Since leather is a generally thick material, holes need to be pre-made for the needle and threads or laces to go through. The holes can then be made using awls or chisels.

Pricking irons are made with a set distance between points. This is in order to ensure the hole marks are a uniform and consistent distance apart. This allows for tight seams and a clean visual appearance on the completed leather piece. Pricking irons are usually only intended for marking leather, not pushing holes through it.

While a pricking iron might push into the leather, leather chisels are more functional and intended for making the actual holes that pricking irons are used to mark off. Pricking irons come in variations of tooth counts, commonly ranging from one to twelve. This allows the leather crafter to choose which will be most helpful.

For example, when pricking a length of leather in a straight line, more teeth will help accomplish this faster. When pricking a curved end in a leather piece, fewer teeth will be more helpful as it allows the crafter to follow the curve of the edge prick by a prick.