перейти к содержанию



Making a Leather Gorget




5 min


Welcome to my guide on crafting a leather Gorget! Whether you're a seasoned artisan or a newcomer to leatherwork, this tutorial has you covered. Dive into our step-by-step instructions, accompanied by a detailed video tutorial and downloadable pattern. Learn the ropes, unleash your creativity, and fashion a Gorget that merges style with functionality. Let's embark on this leatherworking journey together!

Leather Selection and Cutting - Choosing the Right Material

First things first, let's talk materials. Whenever I'm making gorgets, or armor in general, I prefer using a 10-ounce / 4mm vegetable-tanned leather. This is for costume armor specifically, if I was doing something for sport fighting it would be 12 to 14 ounce / 4.78 to 5.57mm.

Vegetable-tanned leather is great for its versatility. Whether you're dyeing it, carving intricate designs, or shaping it, this leather is certainly one of my go-to's.

The weight is important and will help give your Gorget a solid structure. In a pinch you can probably get away with something a little thinner but I wouldn't deviate too low.

If you weren't worried about carving or dying your gorget, you could get some stiffer chrome-tan or even latigo and make your gorget from that withoutt needing to dye or carve it.

Cutting the Leather
Image from The Ultimate Cosplay Gorget  Leather Armor? Video by Dark Horse Workshop.

The Basic Tools to get you started

Need Tools? I've got you covered with my curated list of tools. These include the Basic Tools everyone needs, Carving Tools for adding Art, as well as other tools and supplies necessary to complete this gorget.Better yet any purchases made through my links help me directly. 

Leather carving to take things to another level

Now, onto the artistic side. Carving leather is an art form in itself. I often incorporate Viking or Celtic-style motifs into my designs, giving each piece a unique touch. Remember, feel free to let your creativity run wild when you're building your gorget or utilize the supplied artwork with the pattern.

Carving leather requires precision. You'll need a swivel knife to carve your design onto the leather. After carving, use a beveler to add depth to your lines, bringing your artwork to life, and use background textures for greater detail.

I've attached one of my most popular videos here for you to have a look at if you want a more indepth overview.

Carving the Gorget
Image from The Ultimate Cosplay Gorget Leather Armor? Video by Dark Horse Workshop.

skiving & bending your gorget tabs

The only real finicky part is thinning down your tabs in order for them to bend just right so that the bib of the gorget can easily mount to the throat parts. You can either skive them or use a groover to create a trench along the backside of the leather, allowing it to bend smoothly. Or a combination of both which is what I ended up doing.

Once you've got that figured out it's time to move on to the finishing touches, beveling, burnishing, dying and painting.

Skiving the Tabs
Image from The Ultimate Cosplay Gorget Leather Armor? Video by Dark Horse Workshop.

dying, burnishing & PAINTING - your last steps before assembly

Early on in my leathercraft career I didn't really pay much attention to burnishing edges. That's my dirty little secret, try not to spread it around too much.

I mention this because people are often trying to figure out how to take their work to the next level... the easiest way to do that, is improve many small aspects of your project, and making sure you're burnishing your edges is one of those.

So for this gorget I've decided to dye everything Black, even the carving, then I go about doing up all my edges with bees wax and a burnisher.

Tokonole is probably my favorite burnishing compound but is a bit more annoying to work with. Bees wax is still a great choice.

Burnishing the Edges
Image from The Ultimate Cosplay Gorget Leather Armor? Video by Dark Horse Workshop.

The paint job on this Gorget was what I'd consider a very successful experiment. I've recently returned to the hobby of painting Miniatures and decided to use this new Painting Technique that people have coined the "Slap Chop" Technique.

It has to do with using a combination of dry brushing and contrast paints. I like how it turned out, though it's certainly better on mini's.

Painted Gorget
Image from The Ultimate Cosplay Gorget Leather Armor? Video by Dark Horse Workshop.


Neutral Resolene Finish
Image from The Ultimate Cosplay Gorget Leather Armor? Video by Dark Horse Workshop.
Solid Peening Rivets
Image from The Ultimate Cosplay Gorget Leather Armor? Video by Dark Horse Workshop.

Obviously this gorget pattern comes with all the appropriate holes for stitching and rivetting this project together, but since I own a sewing machine... I'm going to use a sewing machine. This isn't always the case, and I often bounce back and forth on whether or not I should hand stitch in my videos, but with so much to do, saving time is a good idea.

I use solid brass peening rivets a lot, and this gorget is no different. I use them a ton in my work because I just love how real they are. They're a bit more work and are obviously totally unnecessary but hey... that's just what I like to do.

You can find solid peening rivets over at rivetsonline.com who I am not affiliated with in any way.

You can certainly put your finish on your Gorget before you assemble it. I've used some neutral resolene and a paint spray gun to put mine on, you're probably going to be using a sponge. Applying finish can be a giant pain in the ass, so make sure you dig around for some best practices if doing it by hand instead of cheating like I am with my spray gun.

I decided to use a chicago screw to fasten one side of the gorget together. In hindsight I should have just used another peening rivet, or done double buckles. But hey, live and learn, what will you do?

Gorget Final
Image from the Dark Horse Workshop Archives.


If you've made it this far, congradulations! You're well on your way to taking the next step and diving fully into making this gorget. I have to say, as far as armor projects go this one has just the right amount of unique elements like the skiving of your tabs to make it a fun project without getting way too complicated.

So gather your tools, unleash your imagination, and let the journey begin. Until next time, may your creations be as bold and inspiring as the warriors who wear them.


The Author: Magnus

A Leathercrafter and Content Creator. Magnus specializes in Medieval, Fantasy, and Viking Inspired Props and Costumes.

Products Featured In This Blog

This Gorget Pattern is part of a larger suit of armor that Magnus has been working on.

All of the Videos for this project can of course be found on the Dark Horse Workshop YouTube channel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Get Tools & Supplies?

You can visit my Amazon Storefront for a comprehensive list of Tools & Supplies for Leathercraft. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn a small commission from purchases through my storefront. So you're helping a creator out. Thanks! :)


I heard there's a top secret discord community?

How did you know? I've been growing a Discord Community for other like minded creators. Come join us!