Several days ago I was repairing a Siddur (a book of prayers) for a friend. I came to his office to offer him a choice of leather to pick a piece for the new cover. He intrigued me with a question then: “Why wouldn’t you try to make a leather kippah?”
Really, why not? I am not a religious person (at all), but I’m interested in tradition passed within my wife’s family. We gather with her parents and some friends every major Jewish holiday. And, of course, wear kippot on these occasions.
Quick Google search lead me to this sewing pattern (I do not know the origin, because all the sources are offline now):
I’ve printed it and tried to cut and sew leather pieces together to get something one can call a kippah. The result was a bit disappointing – the structure didn’t appear to take a domed shape like it should.
Then I decided to cut the leather into four pieces with this pattern (this cardboard template was made for the second kippah):
And the result was much better.
The initial idea was to make a suede kippah. However, I had only some cow and goat leather for book covers. I know that the back side of the leather is absolutely not the same thing with suede. Still I tried to use it =)
For the second try I have made some cardboard templates to cut four pieces for a future kippah and to gild the leather. It went not so well – you can see it is a bit square.
Anyway, I had fun distracting myself from my bookbinding tasks while still working with leather. I plan to continue with kippot in the days to come. With an updated cardboard pattern and even more patterns (e.g. to sew a kippah from six pieces of leather).
I’d be happy to hear about your side projects. What make you bookbinding even more fun? =)