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.
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 custom designed leather sheath for a knife that either you bring with you or one that can be purchased from us at the time of the course.
You will be given full step-by-step instructions with careful guidance and advice on how best to make your Custom Designed Leather Sheath so that it is fully functional, safe to use and also pleasing to the eye.
The course has been carefully choreographed to allow you to leave, at the end of the course, with a fully finished custom designed leather sheath.
Our ultimate aim is to make you feel that the sheath you make is something that you will use and treasure for a lifetime.
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 custom leather sheath. The 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 custom leather sheath can begin :
Firstly you will need to design the kind of sheath that you want to make; it is a good idea to bring with you, to the course, any ideas and drawing that you may have this will help you to achieve the results that you are after. The course instructor will be able to offer ideas and suggestions that will aid you in this process, as well as help to draw your designs if your drawing skills are not as you would like them to be.
Once the preliminary design work has been done, you will be shown how your custom sheath design should be laid out so that the sheath template can be made. This template is then used to cut out the leather for the sheath as well as allowing you to make the sheath’s Welt.
When the leather has been cut out you will be shown how to dye the leather and then combine these parts to make the final sheath shape. You will then be shown how to mark out the stitching guidelines and use the traditional tools used by professional leatherworkers to aid in the traditional, tried and tested, method of sewing leather together by hand; usually called the ‘Saddlers Stitch’.
When your custom sheath has been Saddle Stitched together you will be shown how you can customise your sheath to make it fit your knife absolutely perfectly.
You will then be shown how to finish your custom sheath 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.
Students require no background knowledge of either drawing or leatherworking to complete this course, however, a little skill or background knowledge in the use cutting tools will prove to be helpful.
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.
Whilst it is not essential, it is a good idea, if you can, to bring with you any preliminary ideas and drawing that you may have, this will help you to achieve the results that you are after.
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.
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.
The Custom Sheath 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.
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).
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.
The Booking Fee for the 'Custom Belt Making' course is £50, to be paid in advance this provisionally books your place on one of our courses. You will be invoiced for final course payments 4 weeks, and then 3 weeks, prior to the courses start date. Final payments should be made a maximum of 2 weeks prior to the courses start date. Remaining course fee payments can be made over the phone, or through Pay Pal, with any major Credit Cards. By clicking on the Booking Fee 'Add to Cart' button (below) you are provisionally guaranteeing a place on this course.