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Beginners, Training & Tutorials => Tutorials => Topic started by: John Bellucci on March 12, 2011, 08:23:38 PM

Title: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on March 12, 2011, 08:23:38 PM
On any and all incisions - most especially the main incisions ... dorsal or ventral (belly) - I use an "Upholsterers" Stitch - the "Invisible" Stitch - to close the skin.  It draws the skin down and in on itself, literally making it "invisible."  

Start by knotting off the thread, go up on one side. Come back over the top, and go down through the opposite side ...
(http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/533407_2943979398622_1235367200_32261168_1379947896_n.jpg)

Go up through the same side the needle just passed through!
(http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/533445_2943981558676_1235367200_32261170_1076612168_n.jpg)

Cross over to the opposite side, and pass the needle down through the skin from the hair side ...
(http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/546143_2943983998737_1235367200_32261172_1067055341_n.jpg)

Keep the thread from catching the hair or fur, and pull the thread down ...
(http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/543569_2943985278769_1235367200_32261173_470237839_n.jpg)

... then again up through the flesh side of the skin on the same side the needle just passed down through.
(http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/543346_2943986958811_1235367200_32261174_1468303337_n.jpg)

Pull together the two or three stitches just made. You can continue, or - my recommendation - knot off the thread, and then continue. Basically it's like 'rinse and repeat', but in this case it's 'stitch and repeat'.
(http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/392544_2943988598852_1235367200_32261177_1723324076_n.jpg)

If you grind a shallow groove in the top of the mannikin's back, the length of the incision, fill it with clay, the sewn incision can be pressed into the clay further hiding it.  You can use a rubber mallet and gently tap the seam flat into the clay.  Insect pins can further hold the skin until the mount is dry.

On some mounts I will even use this stitch to close the legs!  On very thin tanned skins I use either 3-0 or 4-0 Silk Suture and this particular stitch to close these incisions.  Keeping the hair or fur out of the stitch is the key, and is much easier than you might first think!

It's more work than just carefully sewing an incision together, but then again, you have a damn near flawlessly sewn mount.

There you go!

John.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Rhonda on March 13, 2011, 05:14:17 AM
Thanks John Going to try this today  :)
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: BDrake on March 13, 2011, 07:37:02 AM
Your last sentance is very true. Damn good stitch.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: dugart on March 13, 2011, 10:26:51 AM
One again, John's sharing some great teaching. This stitch is the ticket if you don't want to see your seams and you can really close up pretty wide gaps without having the thread cut through the skin.

Atta Boy John!    Thanks
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Kurt Rojemann on March 13, 2011, 12:44:12 PM
I started using this stitch on short haired whitetails.  Love the results...just wish I was more coordinated with my left hand.   :-\  It probably looks like I'm dancing around my mounting stand when I sew....always trying to use my right hand.   ;D
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: C.J. on April 02, 2011, 12:58:58 AM
thanks John
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: museum man on April 02, 2011, 08:16:02 AM
also a must for african work
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Jerry Huffaker on April 02, 2011, 09:14:44 AM
 John,
 My dad was an upholsterer for 50+ yrs, I grew up in his shop, we used that stitch to sew up out arms and outside backs. I've made thousands of those stitches in my youth. He called it a blind stitch.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on April 02, 2011, 06:18:29 PM
John,
 My dad was an upholsterer for 50+ yrs, I grew up in his shop, we used that stitch to sew up out arms and outside backs. I've made thousands of those stitches in my youth. He called it a blind stitch.

It actually goes by four names that I am aware of: The Upholsterer's Stitch; The Invisible Stitch - which was used to assemble Wonder Woman's plane ;D; The Hidden Stitch; and ... The Blind Stitch.  "Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent!" ;)

John.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: WestWindTax on April 03, 2011, 06:55:58 PM
John

Thank you very much for the great advice.  I have beeen looking for a great stich for african heads.  this looks like the ticket.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: boarhunter67 on April 06, 2011, 03:53:21 PM
So it looks like you are doing something like a whip stitch and baseball stich combined where you go through side A, then through A again, then over to B, then to B again, then back over to A.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on April 06, 2011, 04:50:36 PM
Down through side A, up through side A - cross over to down through side B, up through side B - back over to down through side A, rinse and repeat.  Not like the Whip or Baseball stitch.  It is what it is.

John.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: FIELD2FOREVER on April 06, 2011, 04:57:43 PM
Just Marking this, I can never get this stich right
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: boarhunter67 on April 06, 2011, 05:28:24 PM
Thanks for clarifying, John.  That's what I thought.  What I meant by comparing it to the baseball is that it is like the baseball except you go through each side twice, which I know makes it a completely different stitch.   By the way, I did buy some of that silk thread you recommended from the medical supply company you listed.  It works well on small facial holes, but I've noticed I can't put any stress on it at all or it breaks super easily.  It does hide amazingly well, though.  Thanks for the pictures and description. 
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: horsedoctor on April 06, 2011, 06:12:34 PM
If I'm interpreting John's pictures correctly this is the same stitch that is known as a Lembert stitch in surgery. There is a piece of U Tube video that demonstrates it used in the skin from a different perspective. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEqbXfS7PwE>  In surgery it is commonly used to close bowel and NOT skin as it turns an edge of skin into the wound which will delay healing; not so much a factor sewing tanned hide. If this is not what John is showing, I apologize for confusing things.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on April 06, 2011, 06:28:43 PM
If I'm interpreting John's pictures correctly this is the same stitch that is known as a Lembert stitch in surgery. There is a piece of U Tube video that demonstrates it used in the skin from a different perspective. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEqbXfS7PwE>  In surgery it is commonly used to close bowel and NOT skin as it turns an edge of skin into the wound which will delay healing; not so much a factor sewing tanned hide. If this is not what John is showing, I apologize for confusing things.

No Doc ... not the same stitch at all.  The tanned hide does not pucker as shown in the video.  The straight ends of the incision are actually turned in and down on themsleves.  Similar, but a different, neater approach.

John.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Joe Winsor on April 06, 2011, 06:42:50 PM
thanks for posting this
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: boarhunter67 on April 06, 2011, 06:43:21 PM
Quote
If I'm interpreting John's pictures correctly this is the same stitch that is known as a Lembert stitch in surgery. There is a piece of U Tube video that demonstrates it used in the skin from a different perspective.
  I was told this is a whip stitch.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Travis de Villiers on May 08, 2011, 10:38:10 AM
I employ that same stitch in my work and it works wonders on most African game, but the real tricky one is an Impala, it is almost impossible to get all the hair down flat!! any suggestions?
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Ted Befus on May 08, 2011, 01:16:08 PM
Quote
If I'm interpreting John's pictures correctly this is the same stitch that is known as a Lembert stitch in surgery. There is a piece of U Tube video that demonstrates it used in the skin from a different perspective.
  I was told this is a whip stitch.

The whp stitch is totally different, sometimes its called a rolling stitch, but its just a continuous loop.  This stitch is much harder.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on May 08, 2011, 01:32:10 PM
I employ that same stitch in my work and it works wonders on most African game, but the real tricky one is an Impala, it is almost impossible to get all the hair down flat!! any suggestions?

The "trick" - if one can call it a trick - is to make sure the edge of the hide is shaved as thin as possible.  That includes an inch or two inward from the edge of the incision.  For their rather 'petite' size - when compared to other African Antelope - I have found the Impala has some really tough skin, and, that skin is rather thick and stiff for an animal of its size.  Carefully taking that thickness down goes a long way to keeping the hair flat ... along with a rubber mallet and hair gel! ;)

Hope this helps,
John.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Wolfwoman on May 08, 2011, 02:58:48 PM
More pictures ;-)
http://www.wikihow.com/Blind-Stitch

Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: boarhunter67 on May 08, 2011, 03:27:04 PM
Quote
If I'm interpreting John's pictures correctly this is the same stitch that is known as a Lembert stitch in surgery. There is a piece of U Tube video that demonstrates it used in the skin from a different perspective.
  I was told this is a whip stitch.
I was talking about the stitch in the video, not the one they were describing.

The whp stitch is totally different, sometimes its called a rolling stitch, but its just a continuous loop.  This stitch is much harder.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Travis de Villiers on May 08, 2011, 03:59:40 PM
Thanks John,
The next one will improve for sure!! :)
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: krusher167 on May 08, 2011, 09:27:22 PM
maybe u should have this thread moved to the tutorial section, thnx for posting it....
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: absmithtaxidermy on April 29, 2012, 02:32:20 AM
*
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Jim Tucker on April 30, 2012, 08:31:49 AM
IMO after you get the hang of it this is the EASIEST stitch to do,  BUT before everyone goes off to use the "magic stitch" it needs to be said that the hidden stitch isn't a ticket for sloppy sewing.  In fact if you don't take the time to make small "grabs" (no deeper than 1/4 inch in and 1/4 inch apart) this stitch will look WORSE than a baseball stitch.

It's also a great stitch for thin or dead hides.  It gives you more POWER with less stress on the hide.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: charlie on April 30, 2012, 11:17:20 AM
I always forget about this stitch.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Derrin on May 16, 2012, 12:08:21 PM
Tried this stitch today. Worked well. Thanks.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Ugly buck on July 11, 2012, 12:38:08 AM
have to give this a try tomorrow on an early season whitetail real short hair
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: MITCHELL4 on July 12, 2012, 07:37:49 PM
I like this stitch. It's the only stitch that I have used. It took me a while to get the hang of it but now I can move rather quickly with really good results. when I first started a master at the AIT held a seminar at his and his wife's shop and that's the same stitch he uses and showed to us.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: double shovel on July 19, 2012, 11:17:25 AM
Just tried this stitch last night while sewing up a deer to see and you can see the big difference . This stitch definatly has a place in my shop. Thanks for sharing this
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Bill Yox on July 06, 2013, 07:37:51 PM
I just saw this thread through a link on the african thread, and Im sorta surprised by some folks comment about this stitch. To me this is a standard, everyday stitch, one I use daily on any short haired animal and all my deer. I like how it butts the edges and doesnt overlap. Im also using a thin needle and fine thread, and keeping my stitch close to the very edge to ensure I dont get the width of the skin inside the stitch. I know this stitch as the PARALLEL STITCH. I think its the easiest stitch to keep lined up as you go, too.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Wolfwoman on July 07, 2013, 01:58:20 PM
Someone needs to do a video for me ;) 
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on July 07, 2013, 05:16:20 PM
I just saw this thread through a link on the african thread, and Im sorta surprised by some folks comment about this stitch. To me this is a standard, everyday stitch, one I use daily on any short haired animal and all my deer. I like how it butts the edges and doesnt overlap. Im also using a thin needle and fine thread, and keeping my stitch close to the very edge to ensure I dont get the width of the skin inside the stitch. I know this stitch as the PARALLEL STITCH. I think its the easiest stitch to keep lined up as you go, too.

I'm with you on this one, Bill.  This is my everyday stitch for every mammal I mount.  I like it, it's easy to do, it holds tight, and locks itself down.  The best stitch I have ever found.  ;)
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Bill Yox on July 07, 2013, 08:33:01 PM
The intangibles like being able to easily hold the hair off to the side of the stitch with a free finger, being able to advance the stitch and draw them together one at a time after aligning the skin, for example, further sell this stitch in my opinion. If the stitch is started in the right angle, no thread will show either.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: boarhunter67 on July 08, 2013, 09:14:36 AM
Someone needs to do a video for me ;)
The way it looks to me you just go through side A, go back through side A, go over and through side B, go back through side B, instead of going back and forth each time, kind of like an S shaped stitch.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Wolfwoman on July 09, 2013, 02:08:39 AM
Someone needs to do a video for me ;)
The way it looks to me you just go through side A, go back through side A, go over and through side B, go back through side B, instead of going back and forth each time, kind of like an S shaped stitch.

I may have to try it for closing up hats...maybe. LOL
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Wayne Wynn on September 26, 2013, 11:23:06 PM
Check out this You Tube video, I believe this is the stitch in question. http://youtu.be/AK2UztYVXP0
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Wolfwoman on September 30, 2013, 01:31:04 PM
THAT, was perfect, thank you!
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on October 12, 2013, 04:49:58 PM
This is a video I made, regarding the stitch I describe and use.
Watch in HD for best image! ;)
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200281639623719&set=vb.1235367200&type=3&theater
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: noid on October 12, 2013, 05:08:08 PM
marking
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Nick7 on October 14, 2013, 08:15:09 PM
Thanks for making that video John!! I was wondering how you locked the stitch in and i'm glad you showed how you did it. What kind of thread were you using on that deer?
Thanks again
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on October 16, 2013, 11:40:57 PM
I got the thread from Joe Coombs supply ... http://www.joecoombs.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=23_619

I like using this thread.  It holds stitches without cutting the skin, does not shrink, and more importantly ... does not stretch!  I prefer the brown.  I have the 8-ounce thread in tan also, and use it for Deer cape repairs.  I also prefer it for sewing closed my lifesize mammals. ;)  Also, I always wax my thread ... even if it pre-waxed.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Joe Kish on October 22, 2013, 10:26:46 PM
John,
   
   Good tutorial there.     I've had luck with turning the entire cape inside out, then sewing it up 3/4th of the way to the head the same as you do with the hidden stitch.  There's not a problem with catching hair that way.  Then turn it right side out, slip it on the mannikin, then set the antlers.  That way you only have to sew it down the "Y" and the remaining 1/4 of the neck.  Has anyone tried this too?
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: BrookeSFD16 on October 23, 2013, 08:21:08 AM
Marking



Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on October 23, 2013, 11:54:46 PM
John,
   
   Good tutorial there.     I've had luck with turning the entire cape inside out, then sewing it up 3/4th of the way to the head the same as you do with the hidden stitch.  There's not a problem with catching hair that way.  Then turn it right side out, slip it on the mannikin, then set the antlers.  That way you only have to sew it down the "Y" and the remaining 1/4 of the neck.  Has anyone tried this too?

Joe, that's the way I handle many of the African capes that come in already fully opened, especially the really short haired specimens ... also on Mule Deer and Pronghorn that come in opened flat. 

One of the finishing touches on the seam - which is not in the video as it does not showing the complete sewing - is the use of a rawhide mallet to hammer the seam down even flatter than just sewing alone. 

On short haired specimens such as Impala, Springbok, Steenbok, etc, I will use a length of large dowel, lay it along the seam, and hammer against it to flatten the seam.  I'll then roll the dowel down the seam, sometimes going up and down the seam. 

Lastly - after the mount is complete - I mist water over the hair and run my hands and a soft dog brush over the mount , then use plastic canvas held in place with T-Pins over the seam, and any repaired area. 

After all is dried, I remove the T-Pins and plastic canvas, brush the mount down, go over with a damp towel, then a steam treatment, and finish facial details as usual.

Bing-bang-boom! ;)
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: EricM3182 on January 12, 2014, 07:27:46 PM
Mark
Title: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: njwhitetail on January 12, 2014, 08:16:47 PM
*


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: boarhunter67 on January 12, 2014, 10:24:33 PM
I have a question about the video.  Do you actually fold the skin under like that?  Wouldn't you be losing an inch of hide that way?
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: bigbuckdown1979 on January 12, 2014, 10:48:28 PM
Marking
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Artie mags on January 18, 2014, 07:06:18 AM
John I have been using this stitch on all my mounts since you posted this.I must say I love it and it truly pulls it invisible!! Thanks
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: John Bellucci on January 24, 2014, 12:16:32 AM
I have a question about the video.  Do you actually fold the skin under like that?  Wouldn't you be losing an inch of hide that way?

No more than the bunching skin taken up in an ordinary baseball stitch! ;)  Plus, the hide stretches some, and once it's locked in, it is not going anywhere.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: TaxiderMiss on March 04, 2014, 01:57:31 AM
Marking, good to know since I learned with the baseball stitch.
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: bigbuckdown1979 on March 04, 2014, 02:48:40 AM
Marking
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: CoyoteCreekArtistry on May 09, 2014, 12:22:01 AM
marking! thanks!
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: CrookedRiver on August 10, 2014, 09:50:10 AM
marking, thanks
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: ice on May 14, 2016, 11:41:11 AM
Mark
Title: Re: The Upholsterer's or Invisible Stitch ...
Post by: Triple R on August 02, 2016, 05:16:51 PM
Thank you for sharing this information