Leatherwork Basic Skills Weekend

Visit with us for two days and learn techniques that will stay with you forever

One weekend a month we run an intensive weekend workshop at our dedicated teaching facility for people wishing to learn how to work with leather. We teach traditional techniques using hand tools and naturally tanned leather. The course comprises 2 full days of practical teaching in the workshop.

The Basic Skills Weekend is designed to equip the student with transferable skills that can form the basis of ongoing study, practice and experimentation. The techniques taught are those used in traditional bridlemaking, and students wanting to progress in equestrian leatherwork will find this course an ideal resource.

What you will do in the practical sessions (across 2 days/14 hours):

Saturday – Tutors: James Irwin and Giles Charnaud – Belt making in detail (you will never look at a belt the same way again!):

  • Cutting leather from the hide and calculating important measurements
  • Edge-finishing, buckle-fitting, hole-punching
  • Point-making, riveting and use of splitting machine
  • Stitch marking and hand stitching the saddler’s way with 2 needles

Sunday – Tutors: James Irwin and Giles Charnaud – Making an item from scratch.  Choose from a range of sample products, all designed to teach transferable skills.

  • Study pattern making
  • Choose from a range of example products.  Each product is made with a different construction  method. Study their construction and  patterns. Make a pattern, mark around it and cut out leather. Assemble product using skills learnt the day before.
  • We offer a range of different leathers and suitable fittings and provide support throughout the making process
  • The gallery images show what students have made in the past

Costs –

Course fee £260  plus materials. The fee includes the Basic Skills Course DVD

All materials used are charged at reasonable rates.

A flat charge of £5.00 covers threads, rivets, snaps, needles, edge dyes etc.

 Saturday  buckle and leather is charged at £15.

Sunday Project  leather, buckles, D rings, fasteners are all individually priced – allow £35-£50 but could cost more depending on size of project and quality of leather which varies a lot in price.


All tools are provided. We run the course using the Starter Tool Kit which can be bought at the course price £180 (discounted by £15). No additional specialised tools are needed for you to repeat at home what you have learnt in the workshop. The course DVD normally sold at £25 is included in the course fee.




quotemarks1It was the best course I’ve EVER been onquotemarks2 Sophie, Cambridge

“Thank you so much for a lovely weekend! I really enjoyed it. You are  great teachers and you create a fantastic atmosphere for us in the group. When I arrived home on Saturday I thought my head should explode with all new knowledge. Sunday was amazing and  the way you had trust in us all creating our own pieces. I feel refilled, reenergised and just really happy that I’ve finally done the course.”

Anna, Totnes Devon 

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