How to: Polishing the raw edge of your leather with Gum Tragacanth

Rebecca Eaton

Posted on February 17 2021

How to: Polishing the raw edge of your leather with Gum Tragacanth

✰ In this video I show you “how to” polish the raw edge of your leather with Gum Tragacanth. Before I started leatherwork I had always wondered how they got the raw edge of leather so shinny and rounded. I now know how and I want to share my knowledge with you. It’s a magical polishing agent called Gum Tragacanth, which is used to bond all the natural fluffy fibres on the raw edge of leather. A combination of the Gum and certain tools it compress’s fibres and when it dries it solidifies and goes shiny. (and that It smells delicious) I find this a really therapeutic and satisfying process, the more your work at polishing the better it can looks.

What leather can it be used on? I use it on all leathers chrome dyed and vegtan. It works best on vegtan and is regarded as burnishing the edge of the leather.

What to watch out for - Gum Tragacanth is also used for sugar craft. The beautiful elaborate cakes you see with amazing decorations are all finishing off with Gum Trag to get the solid shiny finish. So make sure you buy the leathercraft product not the sugarcraft!!

After care - When you finish your work if you notice a silver residue along the edge of the leather, (which looks similar to a snail trail,) this is the dried Gum Tragacanth, don’t panic, simply get a damp tissue or rag and rub it off.

Here are all the things that you will need and some recommended places to source them:

  1. Gum Tragacanth £6.95: or £8.31
  1.  A nylon edge slicker £4.63 – I prefer nylon over wooden but the wooden version has different size options

         Wooden edge slicker with different sizes £8.95-

  1. An awl £3.75- or £4.50

         or a Bone Folder £5.75 - or £7.44

  1. A rag – a scrap piece of cotton fabric

Shop our handbag pattern -

Shop our handbag making kits -

Shop our courses -


If you would like to see more videos and find out about upcoming online courses, then click here to subscribe to our channel.

Happy Sewing and thanks for watching!

Bex xx 

Share you creations on social with #rjleatherstudio

More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing