This is a piece of patchwork I did about 8 years ago when I was working at L&D and wanting to do something with the leather scraps. It's a log cabin design with an orange leather in the centre and the leather side on one diagonal 1/2 and the suede/back of the leather on the other 1/2. I never did anything else with it - it has it's obvious limitations.
The bags which I definitely don't want to do anything like is those that have the pieces pieced together with a zig-zag machine.
pic found at: www.thestellarboutique.com
However, when doing some searching I found some examples of leather patchwork that used the material in a clever way and were actually quite beautiful - not at all as daggy as I thought all leather patchwork would be!
Here's some lovely examples of bags that are patchworked:
This Chanel bag uses patchwork effectively in the representation of their logo, breaking up the symbol with the constrasting black and white. pic found at: www.chaneltalk.com
This Fendi bag is sucessful because of the mix of types of leather and the clean/glossy finish. pic found at: www.cooldesignerhandbags.com
This vintage bag uses the zig-zag joining method, however the crispness of the lines and the geometric design makes it look much more considered than the crazy patchwork in the first bag. pic found at: www.stylehive.com
This Marc Jacobs bag is another example of clean/crisp seams, and strong geometric pattern in the leather panels. This time there is no colour contrast, so the strength is in the quilted/3d effect of the seams. pic found at: www.hotbrandclub.com
I like this "Cheeky" bag as the laced seam technique is something common in 70's leather craft and this is a contempory application of that. pic found at: www.madebycheeky.com.au
This Louis Vuitton bag has various leathers inserted behind cut-outs in the croc skin, using the grid pattern of the leather. This is a bit like molar technique - I'm not sure how they cut out the pieces, or how much this would be automated. Could it all be hand punched? pic found at: www.purseblog.comThis is a crazy Louis Vuitton bag made up of pieces of the last seasons bags. I wonder if they were made out of rejects or 2nds?! pic found at: www.purseblog.com
The full article is at:http://www.purseblog.com/louis-vuitton/press-exclusive-status-its-in-the-bag.html
Some other items:
D&G patchworked skirt. pic found at: www.harpersbazaar.com
Patchworked Nike kicks - effective because of the overlay of recognisable design elements. pic found at: www.kicksonfire.com
These cushions by Geoffrey Parker homewares are very beautiful with the use of different textures/types of leather.
There are other lovely examples on the website where this image was found, where cut out leather shapes have been used with other textiles.
Seeing some visually lovely examples of "patchworked" leather has changed my opinion of it somewhat.
What is important is the skill in how the material is used. Successful examples are clean, crisp, and demonstrate considered choice of material as well as how it is used. Most of these outcomes probably aren't made from waste material alone, and some not even at all. However, it's interesting to see how smaller pieces of leather can be used effectively.