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Leatherwork Essential Skills Weekend

Learn the core skills of creating leather to kick start your own leather making

To book onto the course scroll down to ‘Tickets’

Course Fee £280 (includes all materials for Day 1) 

Our aim is to inspire you with the joys and creativity of working with leather, and to fully enable you to develop your own practice as a leather craftsperson. Whether you want to create beautiful leather work in your own time, or you’d like to use your abilities for professional purposes, Leatherwork Essential Skills introduces you to traditional leatherworking techniques and combines these transferable practices with the creativity of designing and making leather artifacts from your own patterns. The course also includes a tour of the Tanner Bates professional leather production workshop.

It is worth noting that this course focuses on really learning about leather and how to work with it for years to come, rather than just producing a perfect one off artifact. At the end of the course you will have made two great leather products that you can be proud of, but more importantly you’ll leave the course fully confident in your skills to go much further.

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

Saturday – Tutors: Berian Neville-Webber and Giles Charnaud – Belt making in detail (you will never look at a belt the same way again):

  • Leather theory – Covers choosing the right leather; how different leather manufacturing  processes influence choices; qualities of different animal skins and how best to use different parts of the hide or skin
  • 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
  • Tour of the Tanner Bates leather workshop

The techniques taught are those used in traditional bridlemaking, and students wanting to progress in equestrian leatherwork will find this an ideal resource.

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 and learn to produce your own patterns
  • Choose from a range of example products; each using a different construction method. From your own pattern you’ll cut out your leather and assemble the product using skills learnt on the Saturday
  • We offer a range of different leathers and suitable fittings and provide full support throughout the making process

Costs: Course fee is £280 including materials for the belt making on the Saturday as well as the Basic Skills Course DVD (this is normally sold separately at £25). Due to the fact that each participant will create a different sized piece on the Sunday the costs for materials cannot be predicted beforehand. Therefore materials including 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. Materials used are charged at reasonable rates.

Tools: All tools are provided. We run the course using the Starter Tool Kit which can be bought at the course price £250 (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.

Student Pack –  Information with Supplier List and other relevant information will be sent with pre and post course information.


What’s not included:

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.

Lunch – there are several great options close by

Accommodation – please see Local Accomodation for details of places to stay nearby.

An additional optional resource, The Leatherwork Handbook by Valerie Michael is also available to buy.

Who's Attending

8 people are attending Essential Skills Weekend Course

  • Kristin Salander Hutton
  • Fatima Vendas
  • Jan Foulis
  • Gina Fresle