Leather Craft Instruction Manuals Now Available as Downloads
The above is one of my own Cartridge Bags. Made from my own patterns, the front is piped, the back flap & other parts have bound edges. The interior is lined with suedeen, The shoulder sling is not sewn directly to the bag as most manufactured ones are but is attached using buckles & 'D' rings as linkage. This avoids direct pull & wear on the bag. Most people confuse the difference between a Strap & a Sling these days calling them all straps, but that's another story you will need the Manuals for that information.
A Western Style Belt with standard type fittings, but instead of the normal carving decoration the pattern has been created using & repeating the traditional method used to decorate Brow Bands on Bridals. A No. 8 Harness Iron was used, all stitches are even on both the front & back of the belt as I would expect to see on an exam piece submitted for a Skills Test. All this information is included in Manual No.1
THE LEATHER CONNECTION
LEATHER INSTRUCTION MANUALS (CONTENTS)
The Four Completed Manuals are now available for purchase on-line. Using 'PayPal' (See 'Manuals & Books For Sale'). Manual No. 4 is now finished. You can Get them as e-books Now, Just Click Here
They are written by one of the "UK's Top All Round Craftsmen", they cover all aspects of Leathergoods. You can benefit from a lifetimes experience working within the industry at both Craft & Production levels. I have an "Industrial Training" background as well as having taught at college & written course material & I am listed by The Craft Council (UK) These Manuals are offered to you at little more than the cost of production. I refer to them as Instruction Manuals but they are much more than that for they contain information, tips, & techniques that all Artisans who take their craft seriously & strive for perfection will benefit from. (Click Here To Read Testimonials. Robert Cochrane is a Craftsman & is listed on this site, he also has an example of his work displayed as a Logo on the 'Manufacturers of Finished Goods page' as well as a listed entry.
The complete series of Manuals are the equivalent of a "full time college course", but will not cost you anything like that price The "Cutting & Costing" information alone is worth the price asked for the 7 Manuals in the set, this being a subject that you will not find covered fully elsewhere. The full set when finished will constitute a 'Leather Workers Encyclopedia' This is a first as no one has ever put all these skills together before.
The information contained in these Manuals is not confined to the skills required to enable you to become a top level Craftsman/Artisan, it also provides information necessary to become an "Instructor or Tutor". It doe's not stop there you are provided with the necessary information to become an "examiner". The key points to look for when examining a student or candidates work are frequently highlighted.
You can become "an expert like me" & be able to act as a judge at a Craft Fair, an assessor for an award or even a college lecturer. Even if you already have prior knowledge of this craft there will be information & areas of this diverse industry that are new to you. One area that has not been dealt with before is the subject of "specialist fitted cases" with their intricate interiors & many other techniques. This subject will be fully dealt with & explained in depth.
The Leather Industry can also make use of these Instruction Manuals, they are suitable for both "Staff & Trainees". The sections on Production Techniques plus Cutting & Costing of Leather & Materials is another subject infrequently dealt with & certainly not to the depth that these Manuals cover. For those businesses that do not require the making information I can supply a "special manual" containing this information only, for the same price as one of these Manuals. Time & Materials are two of the main influences on the cost of production & getting these right are of prime importance. Can you be sure that your methods of costing are accurate & are you producing more waste than necessary? Are your staff fully aware of all methods of avoiding waste? "Well they could be if they are adequately trained".
No. 1 Basics, Straps, Belts, Handles. Hand & Machine Sewing, Paring, Cutting, Costing, etc. It contains information & tips never given before. The use of tools & the fundamental methods used over time to produce a neat & craftsman like finish are often overlooked these days. They are certainly not adopted by most or the producers of, Belts, Dog Equipment & other Strap makers. The only places you can find well made items of this nature are goods produced by a Rural Saddler. The General Leather Worker/Craftsman is now all but extinct as they were the only Leather Workers capable of Hand Stitching. Indeed we took this to a higher degree than the requirements necessary to make horse tack as we included other methods of hand stitching like Corner Stitching. (Available Now). A 154 page compressed e-book.
No. 2 Light Leathergoods Part 1. Wallets, Notecases, Purses, dealing with every aspect & type of construction. Plus further information on Cutting & Costing. Every example is taken through from it's cutting, assembly procedure, sizes of all patterns are provided, the making of assembly jigs are included & finally all examples used have their own individual material costing to show how this is achieved. A range of items has been selected to cover every aspect of construction from, Cut Edge or Raw Edge as it is sometimes termed, to Turned Edge. (Available Now). A 228 page compressed e-book
No. 3 Light Leathergoods Part 2. Small Boxes, Cylindrical Objects, Gift Ware, Jewel Boxes & Cases, Writing Cases, Etc. Examples of Built Up Work, Block work, Molded Work, Zipped Articles, etc. Again many areas & subjects never fully covered before. The subject of making the wooded carcase for the jewel boxes is also fully dealt with. Again the range of objects selected covers all the skill relating to this area of leathergoods & will enable the participant to learn all the skills needed to make a full range of goods to their own design. This manual is however more advanced than the previous two & making sequences are now excluded as everyone should by now be capable of working out their own assembly methods. (Available Now). A 110 page compressed e-book
No. 4 Handbags & Hand Luggage, etc. All the various styles, construction methods, types of gussets, etc Too much to include here but examples of all techniques will be fully covered here. Small Luggage. From Hand Luggage, Portfolios, Sports Bags, Brief Cases, Executive Cases, Cartridge Bags, etc. Some old & nearly forgotten styles & construction methods included here. (Now Finished). A 102 page compressed e-book
Note. The following Manual has been renumbered from No.7 to No.5 so that it links up with Manual No.4
No. 5 Pattern Making & Design, The creation of Patterns will be fully explained here. You will be taken from the stage of a design on paper to the production of a full set of cutting patterns & making patterns including assembly jigs, the production of a prototype, etc. With regard to design the normal standard information will be provided with The features & considerations that must be included to produce a functional & salable article. (Part written). Although some related material is included from Manual No. 3 onwards).
No. 6 Large Luggage. Areo Bags, Shut Flush Cases, Shut Over Lid Cases, Valises, Kit Bags, etc. Executive Cases, Gun Cases. Binocular Cases. Again many old styles of cases some never dealt with before including some unusual methods of construction.
(Material Gathered but still to be written).
No. 7 Fitted Work. Frets, Partitions, Special Linings, etc, Again too much to list but there are methods & techniques here that have never been written about before or included in a craft course. This was my own special expertise (Still to be written). Note. depending on size & compression of Manual No.6 these subjects may be combined
A College based course of this nature would set you back 3 to 4 Thousand Pounds a year & possibly take two to three years to complete. These Manuals are offered at $97 each That represents a cost of only $291 for the 7 Manuals. Can you afford to miss this massive collection of Knowledge from this & previous generations,
It does not finish there, once you have any of these Manuals you are not left to struggle on your own. You are then part of 'The Leather Connection' & entitled to 'Free on-line Help & Advice' with all your future Projects & Problems for as long as you require assistance. The equivalent of an 'Open University for Leather Craft'
Manuals Numbers One, Two, Three & Four are written & Available. No. 5 is part written. 'Watch for Launch Details'
The remaining 2 have material prepared but have still to be written 'Watch This Space'.
Craft Courses have practically disappeared in the UK. This is mainly due to them being graded as Low level Courses which attracted little Government funding making it unattractive for colleges to run those courses. There is no point in placing the blame on any one political party they all played their part in this disaster. Colleges now naturally run HND courses & Design Courses only. (Where all the Designers are going in this diminished industry God alone knows). N.V.Q Training within industry is not going to produce Skilled Artisans with all round ability in the way that the old apprentiship & college attendance did. The present day trainee will only acquire the skills that are used in the factory or workshop they are employed in. If anyone disputes this I challenge them to pit their skills & range of expertise in all areas of manufacture against mine. (None of the above mentioned qualifications cover even half of them). That includes the HND Courses as the emphasis is on the design aspect & 'Not the Craft Skills' Design is important as a well designed article will attract customers but not if it is badly made, learning skills takes time & knowledge these are relatively easy to teach but experience takes time to acquire.
I am often asked if anyone can become a Craftsman/Artisan & Is it possible to do so using these Manuals? The answer is a resounding Yes, with one proviso, which is a reasonable level of dexterity coupled with common sense. Plus diligence & a willingness to practice until you get it right.
One thing you must all bear in mind perfection does not exist. But a good craftsman is always striving for that perfection & is never satisfied with their own work. If you constantly strive to improve on your last effort & are self critical, (within reason), then you will make it all the way to the top.
However this will not happen overnight as like all learning there is going to be a long period of knowledge assimilation, but even if you spend time on an intensive study you will still lack experience which involves time + experience. You can be taught most subjects but you have to gain experience by doing things over a period of time & with a craft like this it means a considerable number of years.
For instance I have often been asked to solve problems related to leathergoods construction & have given a direct answer which solved the problem to the satisfaction of the person asking. Afterwards I have realised that I have not personally had a similar problem myself, so where did that answer come from? It could only be a vast database of knowledge coupled with experience that instantly enables me to see what is required to solve a problem which comes from years dedicated to this fascinating & absorbing subject.
& that should be your aim & the goal that you set out to achieve. If you purchase the manuals offered I assure you that you will have made the right choice you will have at your finger tips over 50 years experience & knowhow from a top level craftsman a trainer & Assesor. Plus the knowledge I was privilege to have been given by old craftsmen when I was a young man.
You will also benefit directly from my knowledge & experience as I provide all manual purchasers with direct back up by email or phone. Don't miss this golden opportunity to get access to a life times skill which will also provide a good living.