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Leatherworking Courses
Custom Belt Making
(One-2-One Tuition)

Leatherworking Course – Custom Belt Making

Custom Belts, Buckles and Tools Belts, Buckles and Tools

Leather is probably the oldest material that man has ever learned to work and fabricate. It has been use by man for such a long part of our development that its versatility, tactility and very structure has become part of our psyche. Even in these modern times, with all of the newly invented fabrics and plastics available to us, man has never managed to surpass or even come close to surpassing the qualities of this most natural of materials; leather is still, and will probably always remain, as integral to our lives as it has always been.

The incredible versatility, flexibility and usefulness of leather has allowed us to create ropes and cordage, wrap weapons and tools to wood, build our shelters, put shoes on our feet and along with a million other things it has also protected our naked and hairless bodies from the cruel elements.

Leather is a miraculous natural material that is flexible, strong and very wear resistant, and although it is time consuming to make well, it is made using a technology that is so primitive that life itself is its creator. Each animal, it is said has just enough brains to tan its own hide, a truism that is still practiced to this day by tribesmen (women) who live in the wilds of Canada, Russia and other parts of the world.

Our leatherworking courses are designed to give you the great satisfaction that arises when something of your own design is fashioned into an artefact of your own creation, a creation that you can take pride in using for a lifetime. The skills and techniques that are taught offer a solid foundation that will enable you to confidently develop your own ideas and project associated with this natural and beautiful material.

Aim of the Course :

This course is run on a One-2-One Personal Tuition basis.

Our aim during this course is to instruct you in all of the processes that will allow you to make a fully finished leather belt that will be custom tailored to your own waist size (or anyone else’s waist size, if you are making the belt as a present).

You will be given full step-by-step instructions with careful guidance and advice on how best to make your tailored leather belt so that it will last a lifetime and be pleasing to the eye. You will be offered a choice of buckle styles and finishes that will enhance the overall appearance of the belt so that it will look like a professionally made belt.

The ultimate aim of our belt making course is to leave you with a feeling of high achievement having accomplished the goal of creating your own tailored belt. Making belts may seem simple enough, but there is a lot more to making a professionally finished and tailor made belt than may first be apparent. We know that you will feel that you have made something that you will use and treasure for a lifetime

Belts, Buckles and Tools Belts, Buckles and Tools

Overview of the Course :

To begin the course your instructor(s) will introduce you to the safe methodology and use of using all of the tools and equipment that may be required for use whilst making your tailored leather belt. Your instructor will also give you a quick rundown on workshop safety and procedures (i.e. what is safe to touch and what is not etcetera).

Once these important preliminaries have been introduced to you, preparations for your tailored leather belt can begin :

  1. With guidance, ideas and suggestions from your course instructor that will aid you in this process, you will Initially need to decide on how the overall appearance of the finished belt should look. For example, do you want a working belt, such as a Bushcraft Belt, or are you after a belt that would be more suited as a Casual wear belt that would looks good with jeans or chinos etc. These important decisions will open a whole host of possibilities, such as leather and thread colour, buckle material and design as well as the overall width and length of your belt.

  2. Once you have chosen the overall concept and fittings of your belt you will be shown how to cut out the leather to the correct width & length, how to mark out the stitching guidelines and then dye and finish the leather, using traditional tools and dyes to construct your belt.

  3. When your tailored belt has been stitched together you will be shown how to finish your belt to a pleasing and professional standard, as well as how best to care for it once it is in use so that it will last you a lifetime.

Course Requirements :

Students require no background knowledge of leatherworking or the use of tools to complete this course, however, a little skill or background knowledge in the use some cutting tools will prove to be helpful.

Additional Course Equipment :

None required. All tools, Materials and equipment will be supplied, however, you may bring your own hand tools if you prefer to use tools that you are familiar with, if you have them, but this is not absolutely necessary, since all tools and materials will be provided by us. If you would prefer to bring your own tools please do not bring any power tools - of any description.

Additional Course Advice :

Whilst appropriate quantities of all materials, such as leather, glues, dyes, sewing thread, tools and equipment etcetera, are included within the course fees, students will be required to pay for any additional materials, such as leather, should any mistakes be made that render these materials unfit to proceed with the course. Please be aware that leather is an expensive resource that is usually purchased by the square foot from our suppliers and often costs in the region of £6 to £7 pounds per square foot. For this reason our instructor will constantly make sure that all leather that is to be cut will be measured twice and cut once so that obvious mistakes are avoided. You can always remove leather but it cannot be uncut once cut.

It is advised that you bring with you an apron or coverall that should be worn over your clothing. This will protect your clothes from potential damage or harm, since some of the tools and materials used during this course may damage your clothing. Students will be provide with disposable hand protection if needed, however, it is expected that students bring their own eye protection for health and safety reasons.

Catering, Camping and B&B :

Whilst students will be expected to provide their own food and drinks for lunch, or snacks during the day, light refreshments such as tea, coffee and orange squash, will be made available at certain times throughout the day.

Students who wish to camp in the local area, or in our garden, whilst attending the course, are more than welcome to do so, however the facilities that we can offer are very limited, our garden is the size of a postage stamp and will only hold a single 2-man tent comfortably, plus there is no access to the garden except through the house.

For students who wish to stay in a B&B, we can make arrangements for you to do so if you wish. Please let us know your intentions well before your course start date, so that we can make all necessary arrangements.

Course Location :

The Custom Belt Making course will be held in our Kent based workshop, the specific location details, along with full directions (for those who do not have access to a Sta. Nav. that is) will be given when the course is booked.

Available Course Dates :

Please Note: This course runs at all times throughout the year. Since there is no fixed time or date that this course is set in, students who wish to attend this course can make bookings during Daytimes or Evenings - 7 days a week at your convenience (See our Course Calendar page for available Times & Dates).

Course Numbers :

This course is limited to just one student, who will receive personal one to one tuition throughout the day, however, should two students (max) wish to attend the course together they will be most welcome. Course numbers are limited to this number so that each attendee is given the maximum attention and instruction as possible in a relaxed and friendly environment so that the completion of the project, within the time constraints of the course, is pretty much guaranteed.

Course Summery

Course Name: Custom Belt Making
Location: Shark Designs Workshop
Course leader: Mark Hordon
Course Size: Usually 1 (maximum 2 if together)
Cost: Time & Dated Dependant (See Course Fees above)
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