THE LEATHER CONNECTION
LEATHER MANUALS (PURCHASING INSTRUCTIONS)
Acquire Manuals No's.1-2-3-4
Brand new feature! We have responded to requests from Site Visitors & are now offering this series of Leather Craft Instruction Manuals as PDF E-BOOKS, Virus Free & in zip format, delivered by email to your computer after payment.
This is unique & something that is not available anywhere else on the Internet. (Please read this page carefully before attempting to purchase).
Yes there are other books available on this subject (there are also some good ones listed on this site which are worth adding to your collection). So what is different about mine? They are written by a retired college H.O.D & City & Guilds Moderator of the now sadly defunct UK 2 year Leathergoods Craft Course.
The manuals are equal in content (but not identical) to that old course. But I did not stop there, as there were techniques, skills & practices used by Craftsmen that were impossible or too expensive to fit into a two year course. You will however find all of them in this series of Instruction Manuals. You can become an Craftsman & You will also learn how to become an Instructor, Examiner & Assessor. You will acquire life time skills & be able to work at home in you own workshop or work in the Leathergoods Industry.
UK Government backed Leather Craft Courses disappeared some years ago due to the lack of funding for courses & Student Grants. Which left colleges no alternative but to convert to H.N.D courses to get the required funds. The present courses are excellent value for money. But require formal qualifications for entry & are based mainly on design with a basic input on craft skills. This may well produce some excellent Designers but it will never replace the Skilled Craftsmen that were around at one time. The much vaunted N.V.Q's will not fill the gaps, they are Factory Based. & modern factories now specialise in standard products. The small Craft Work Shops that could produce any type of leathergoods, (
comparable with 'Hermes'
) have all but gone & so have the all-round Craftsmen & from what I hear it is nearly as bad overseas. (N.V.Q's may produce competent 'Bench Hands' But they will never produce the superb & World Class 'All Round Craftsmen' That the UK once had). Yes there are one or two like myself left but we are all well past the retirement age. & our Government still can't understand why we have a skills shortage.
These manuals are an attempt to redress this dearth of skills & provide all those interested with the knowledge that us old timers were privileged to learn. In fact I plan to go further than that & leave these skills in a format that future generations can benefit from, (before some of them are lost for ever). Using these Manuals needs Self discipline' nothing comes easy. To become an expert takes time & practice & a certain amount of self help & development is required along with self motivation.
But there is more when you purchase these manuals you will not be left to sort things out on your own
I will provide back-up in the form of email support
with all your problems, projects, etc. Advice is only an email away. You will however need to register for this service.
In fact there is even extra help available as I now have ex college students & lecturers, providing short courses. There are also Craftsmen overseas who have these manuals & use them to assist with their short courses. So you can also get practical help to reinforce what is written in these manuals outside the UK.
So lets look at what you are you getting for your money?
Manual No. 1. has 154 pages which in essence covers all the basic skills & techniques. To do this I have concentrated the first part on Straps, Belts, Handles, etc. as all the tools we use will in essence be demonstrated in this manual. In fact you will need to return to this manual while making the more advanced items demonstrated in latter manuals. (It is an 15.9 MB Download)
Each item used to demonstrate the techniques is explained at the start as a comprehensive list of making instructions. Each item is then returned to again with diagrams & fuller explanations. This is followed by a section on Hand & Machine Stitching which explains all methods used. A section on Hand & Machine Cutting is included as well as sections on Tools & Fittings. The last section deals with costing & material assessment. (this subject along with Cutting has never been covered in book form before but is essential if you wish to profit from your skills.).
IN Manual No. 2. We move on to the making of small leathergoods such as wallets, notebooks, coin purses, etc. Often refered to as 'Flat Work' Again this starts with Lists of making instructions for each item used to demonstrate all the techniques involved. The selected items are returned to again with diagrams & pictures explaining the various techniques fully. The manual finishes with a costing of each item. This manual has 228 pages & is a 1.93 MB Download.
Manual No. 3. Returns to the subject of Light Leather Work & deals with all the small giftware items that use construction methods which differ to the above pocket or handbag items. But this time the making sequences are not used as by this stage readers will be able to formulate their own sequences. Items dealt with: jewel boxes, desk sets, card cases, folders, zipped work, etc. This manual has 110 pages & is a 3.82 MB Download.
Manual No.4. Is now finished & available, This covers the subject of "Bags, Handbags & Holdalls" & covers: Panels, Gussets, Seams, Raised Bases, Bound Edges, etc. As well as making Brief Bags (with Concertina Gussets) & My own top quality version of a Cartridge Bag. This Manual consists of a 103 pages. But due to the extensive use of full colour pictures the download is so large I have had to publish it in 4 parts & provide a download link to it.
Note. The Cutting & Costing information supplied in the first two Manuals is priceless. There are many small craft businesses that struggle to make a living because they do not cost the materials used & fail to avoid or cost the waste involved. There are even more that go out of business because they don't get their prices right due to ignorance of these vital components.
The above are the first 4 Manuals finished so far. Manual No. 5. Is Now being written & covers the following subjects; Design & Pattern Making. (A change of numbering) This was due to the fact I had to touch on this subject when writing Manual No.4. That leaves the subjects of Luggage & Case Making as well as Fitted Work to deal with. The full set will consist of 6-7 Manuals & will when finished constitute an
Encyclopedia on this diverse Craft.
Question: Do you want to possess the sort of Knowledge & Skills that The Skilled Craftsmen working
'Hermes' or 'Louis Vuitton'
for have? Believe me you will learn knowledge & skills equal to theirs. I would happily put my expertise up against any of their in-house instructors.
Below are a few of the endorsements I have received from customers who have purchased the manuals. To my surprise some of them are fellow Craftsmen I find that very touching indeed. You will find some of them advertising on this site & this facility will also be available to you when you feel you are ready for it again Free of charges.
I've spent a bit of time into manual #1 and can say with certainty yours contains more information within this single manual than any much larger collection of leather working manuals that I'm familiar with. The detail within your #1 is incredible, the breadth of subject matter enormous and problem solving information the only work of its kind. With the knowledge you share I can only assume your actual leather work would also be something to behold.
Congratulations and thank you.
Robert Cochrane Is a Canadian Craftsman & is Listed on this Site. Thank you Robert for those kind words (There are also some pictures of his work).
Thank-you for your informative manuals they have arrived safely. These
are the first "serious" books I have seen on making fine leather goods. I
have only started to read and study them and am looking forward to the
sections regarding turned edge construction. Please keep me informed on the
progress of further manuals, I would be happy to purchase more. I suspect later on
I may have questions, and I certainly appreciate the chance to communicate
further. My deepest Thanks,
Received, with many, many thanks. I've been dabbling away at a project within the manual as time has permitted, trying to get a feel for the format. I've held off offering an opinion, wanting to finish a project first. I think your approach is a clever one; the lessons guide the student well, directing him/her through new projects, introducing skills with universal application. References to previous lessons at appropriate points inspire individual initiative and eliminate the need for ponderous detailing, making the manual an, 'easy read'. A student is well directed and well educated through your manuals through a trade normally requiring a serious apprenticeship and/or classroom assistance. Excellent educational material, of real value.
Thanks so much Francis; I'm looking forward to Manual No.4.
PS you are free to use any part or whole of my comments on your site.
(The first reaction to Manual No.3. from Robert Cochrane Again Praise indeed).
Just to let you know that I received the manuals yesterday on schedule.
Being of a very curious nature I began reading right away and I can only
agree with the other testimonials, this must be the most detailed and
complete work on leather craft in print, ever!
I have been "playing around" with leather for 30 years, when my now late
father introduced me to the art with a reasonably good book and a few of
the most basic tools. I ended up making my living as a self-employed woodworker (this was my fathers doing too), but never lost my interest in leather. What I have always been missing though was a serious book on the subject, something that
likened my apprenticeship in woodworking. I can see from your booklist
that I might have missed a few such books, but never mind, now I got your
manuals. I am convinced that with the series completed, it equals nothing
less than a full apprenticeship in leather work. I have not read this far yet, but I look forward to the chapters on cutting and costing, these subjects seems somewhat overlooked in the world of crafting leather. Being self-employed you soon find out that these points can be even more crucial than your work if you want to survive economically. Like some of your other readers/students I am sure I will find the
completion of the series a long wait, but with the manuals being so detailed
it will probably take a couple of years for this comprehensive knowledge to
soak in and distribute itself to ones hands anyway.
Per Hansen (Greenland)
Dear Francis, September 9, 2004
When I began my quest to learn the leather trade, I knew I needed more than fashion school and history books, I needed hands-on from an experienced craftsman. I never expected to find one on the internet! When you offered on-line trade support with your manuals I knew that I had to meet you in person. In the short time I spent with you in May I gained a great deal of knowledge ( and tricks of the trade) and confidence. Finding special tools proved more of a challenge and definately worth the wait. I love what I am doing and share my experiences with fellow tradespeople and friends in the fashion industry. My trip to Wroxham was magical and stays with me daily. I miss you and Irene and wish I lived much closer. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and friendship, your guidance and wisdom.
Your friend and student,
Susie Started from scratch using the manuals & even came over to the UK to make sure she was doing things right. Dedication indeed.
Trinity of London Ltd is now 6 months young!! We have had to learn so much in this time, but we are getting stronger with each passing month.
I have got so much from your books - I must tell you that I can't put them down. Sometimes I don't, and awake still holding them!!
I have changed a lot of my work because of them, like hand stitching (which I have done for many years) and handle making etc.
A lot of the knowledge is in the detail, and the 'why' it should be done like this or that, is so important - your books are FULL of detail. I am begining to sound like a fan (which I am!)
We have made progress on the business front too - Harrods have just sent us our first 60 item order for their desk sets. Fortnum & Mason will reorder our lamb skin wallet range - Smythsons have asked us to quote for making the Queens purse and to sample for their Lizard work - Oh yes and The House of Lords wants another 25 peerage Boxes by the 23rd July!!! (phew, I say - Phew!!)
We are also doing a lot more Gold Blocking work (initials/logos etc.) including 23ct Gold for shoe socks -
All the best Francis
This is a Top Class London Leathergoods Company & they are using my manuals Thank you Tim for your comments. (This is one of the few Specialist Companies that are left. Renamed & now managed by the Craftsmen who work there). They are also listed on this site as one of the Gold Members.
Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the well written processes and fine details that you and your wife have taken the time to publish.
My whole life I have worked at learning the apparel and accessory business with many voids in between that left me feeling that unfinished feeling in my works......
But you have filled these voids and now in my older age I feel confident that my work will be as perfect as I always wanted it to be...
Process reading and writing is slow going; but this is the most enjoyable process reading I have ever encountered.....
It is all here.....
Best to you, Darla Riley.....artist / surface designer / cases, bags
Note From Francis What better assurance do you need regarding the contents of these manuals than the above comments from Trinity of London Ltd.
The First Comment on the publication of Manual No.4
Hello Francis, Manual #4 is simply a gem; a key that unlocks individual creativity solidly grounded in manuals 1,2 and 3. This is as close as one might get to an apprenticeship without the constraints of a school schedule.
I just wanted to write to you to thank you for the manuals. Over the years I have amassed an extensive library of books about leather working, both well known and obscure, but none can compare with the breadth and scope of your manuals. Your manuals have allowed me to develop my skills rapidly, moving beyond a hobby/craft level towards my goal of being a skilled artisan with my own leathergoods company. They answer in depth the questions that I had but could not find addressed anywhere else. The tips and secrets of the trade they contain are invaluable. I refer to the manuals constantly and every time I look at them I discover something new. They teach you things you didnít know you needed to know and leave you wondering how you got by before reading them! And as if the manuals were not enough the online support you have provided me with by email leaves me lost for words. I cannot thank you enough for the time you have spent helping me with my projects and designs.
For anyone contemplating a career making leather goods (and for those already in the trade) the manuals are essential reading and combined with the online support I cannot recommend them highly enough. I canít wait for the remaining manuals to be published!
T. Thomas Posted 31/10/12
Decision Time If you wish to order one or all of these Manuals. But before you do that please act on this warning. These manuals are large & even with broadband they will take some time to download. So do make sure you have suitable software to enable you to pick up interrupted downloads. (I recommend Download Accelorator Plus. http://www.speedbit.com/ )
How much is this going to cost? If I asked £150 per Manual they would not be expensive. But then a lot of the beginners & students will not have this sort of money. I also stated that I wanted to pass on this knowledge & skill, I do however need to cover the costs of producing them plus the third party money transfer providers like PayPal & the banks.
So what is a realistic price To ask for these Life Time Skills? $150? $100? What say I set the price at ($97) per Manual That is about as low as I can go taking into account the costs involved in relation to commission charged for the online selling services & bank charges.
Is $97 too much to ask for a Manual? I don't think so, when you consider that the acquisition of this full set when finished will provide the purchaser with the skills to earn a living for life. If the full set of 7 Manuals are purchased, (when finished) the total cost would be £. When I retired from the London Leather College the cost of the two year full time course was about £3,000. (That was 23 years ago), It would be be a lot more than that now (If it was still available). There are some excellent short courses run by Craftsmen but these are naturally costly, they are also intense & can leave you wondering afterwards if you missed something or did not take enough notes. For $97 you don't have to take notes & you can refer to them as often as you need to.
What if you want to order 2 finished Manuals? Or even all 4? Well that's easy just use the 'PayDotCom Shopping Buttons & order the required number of Manuals.
Before you proceed to the payment page please fill in the form below. I know that you will have to supply PayDotCom with contact & purchase details when you pay them. But I prefer to have a double check so that my records are in order & I can inform you all when future Manuals are available. You must also complete this form if you wish to register for the on-line support offered, as well as any news letters or offers, deals or sales that are sent to me by site members or other Companies.
IMPORTANT: Please Read This Notice Before You Order!
Due to the nature and value of this offer, there is strictly
No Money Back Guarantee and No Refunds Given when you order the Manuals. So please be absolutely sure you want to take advantage of this incredible deal before ordering.
by Using The PayPal Shopping Cart to Purchase Your Manual
Warning !!! Some while back Manuals were illegally purchased & downloaded using a PayPal Clients Account. Manuals are now being offered on a Cloned copy of this Page. By a Michael Willson in Birmingham Alabama. Anyone purchasing My Copyright Manuals from him will not be allowed to make use of the Free Help on offer or purchase further Manuals in this series. They will also face chargers of handling stolen material when the FBI catch up with this despicable character. How can you tell if you are on the Cloned Page? it ends with = mwilson4 (Take a look at the Status bar at the top of your screen). Who knows once he has your contact details your PayPal Account might be Compromised next or worse still your details sold on & your identity stolen. Don't Take That Risk. "Make sure you are on the right site http://www.theleatherconnection.com
Terms & Condition are the same as above (Remember I make no refunds) The Manuals are worth treble the price asked, so make sure you seriously want to learn this Craft before spending your money. Delivery is left to me the Vendor. That can be an advantage as it will avoid any broken download links. I will deliver by email or direct you to a download provider, (depending on file size). This means that it is imperative you sign the contact form below. Make Sure your details are correct, especially your email address so that I can deliver your Manuals after I receive payment. You still need to register for you Free Help Package after purchase.
Wishing you all the enjoyment & pleasure I had from a life time working at a Craft I loved.
To Receive Your Free On-line Help you need to supply your details on the form supplied (see the live "Contact Us" Link below this text). Click it, fill in your details & you will be directed back to this page.
Francis Burdett-Mills Chartered MCIPD. (Industrial Training Qualification)
City & Guilds Moderator, For the now defunct 2 year Full time UK Leathergoods Courses
Master Designer Craftsman (Leathergoods)
URL: http://www.theleatherconnection.com (Bookmark it)