I have acquired some leather that seems to have been made to be in vehicle interior. I want to use it to bind books with some tooling done to it. This leather seems to be thin compared to the hide that is normally used to bind books. This makes me think that a substrate is needed to allow the leather to be tooled. What sort of material works best? I was thinking of using compressed paper Machee.
If you are very careful with the tools you can do some shallow tooling. Tools with rounded tips would be best. You might be able to just kind of smooth out the texture of the leather in certain areas to create contrast. Even if you back the leather, deeper lines and sharper tools will cut through. You might be able to get creative with some colored leather backings so that when the tool breaks through the color underneath will show.