Leather lined kydex

Black cat

Well-Known Member
I like kydex for it's durability simplicity and ability to make an adjustable friction retention but I don't like how it can wear on a blade.

I wan't to make a hybrid sheath with leather lined kydex...
From the homework I've done it sounds like nobody does this or thinks it's a good idea.
Pretty much everything I've read people say the problem is the leather will detach and bunch up inside the kydex...

Ok hmmmm well this doesn'treally make sense to me.
A normal leather sheath doesn't have issues like that... It seems to me putting a layer of any hard material over a leather sheath shouldn't have much effect. I mean you would have to be seriously rough with it...But idk lol

Anyway... It seems to me even more... If one were to sandwich a layer of leather between two seperate pieces of kydex and make it adjustable and replace/repairable anyway there should be no issues at all. Plus you can put an adjustable friction lock on it and take it apart to clean it inside.

Is nobody doing this?... Seems like the best of both worlds to me.

wall e

Well-Known Member
I'll bite on this discussion idea. In theory to make this work your essentially making 2 sheaths?
Are you wanting to not wear the finish off the blade or create a scratch pattern from the kydex in the blade?

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Never tried kydex but have heard it can be rather abrasive! The theory is good with what you are speaking of, however I can foresee a problem. Here in Florida we constantly have humidity so that is always a thought in the back of your mind. If you get moisture to the leather it will be hard for it to dry because of being sandwiched in the kydex. This could be a problem even with short term storage in the sheath. Anyway there is food for thought! I am sure someone must have done it before so maybe others will chime in on this!!!


Well-Known Member
I think the issue with lining Kydex with leather is defeating the purpose of using Kydex. Kydex is usually used for a working knife that should see hard use in very rough conditions. The fit of kydex allows sand, dirt, grit, etc to fall out, easy to wash out with water and never damage the sheath. Lining the kydex would cause dirt, sand, grit to hold inside the sheath rather than easy wash out.

The leather would have to be attached to kydex after forming the kydex, and if using a hard thick leather it might be hard to get leather to form to all the curves of the kydex. I had though about lining a pistol kydex holster with a soft thin leather to prevent wear of pistol finish, but never did get around to trying it.

Ken H>

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
If all the leather is going to do is provide a soft "layer" then you could use some really thin stuff, maybe deer skin. You may even be able to mold the kydex after the soft leather was attached, but will the glue hold up?

My biggest concern would be exactly what C Craft says: how would the leather ever dry out? I'd hate to trade scuffs for rust. (or the smell of rotting leather. Who wants a sheath that smells like ripe work boots?)

Steven Janik

There are sheets of peel and stick faux leather available at Home Depot. The are made by the Contact Paper people.
Also peel and stick moleskin which is nylon and wont rot works.
Just keep it down about a 1/4" from the mouth of the sheath and it doesn't have to be a "featured item". Just subtle and useful.

Black cat

Well-Known Member
Hmmmm some very good points! That gives me a few ideas...
I want the kydex to add a little more protection but at the same time it seems to me whats the point of protection if it causes damage in the first place. Granted a little scuffing is better than rust... I'll have to think about this more.

Too bad somebody doesnt come up with a version of kydex that has a slightly softer material on one side built in.
Not super soft but enough to not scuff and abrade.


Sheath Forum Moderator
Through the years I know of at least two makers who specialized in a kydex/leather hybrid where the kydex is heat molded. One is overseas and having issues with providing product, the other is in the states. I'll see if I can find his name for you.

I do a type of kydex reinforced sheath where the kydex is left flat. Simply there as a stiffener. 3 ounce leather inside and out and it still remains a nice thin sheath with no added bulk.

Black cat

Well-Known Member
Perfect, thanks leatherman! For the moisture/humidity issue... I was thinking perhaps if the kydex was like a shell or some such thing and the leather liner could be removed and dried (if one had too) my climate is pretty dry (semi desert).