Skiving is the process used in leather crafting to reduce the thickness of leather, especially in areas that are to be bent or folded and which must be pliable without becoming weakened. It is usually performed on the "flesh" side of a piece of leather rather than the "finished" side. Skiving is also used when two edges of leather are to be joined, so as to keep the overlapping area from becoming unnecessarily bulky. The technique is useful for joining long strips of leather together to form belts or watchbands.
The process involves moving the strip past precision-profiled slotted tools made to an exact shape, or past plain cutting tools. The tools are all usually made of tungsten carbide-based compounds. In early machines, it was necessary to precisely position the strip relative to the cutting tools, but newer machines use a floating suspension technology which enables tools to locate by material contact. This allows mutual initial positioning differences up to approximately 12 mm (0.47 in) followed by resilient automatic engagement.