Thursday, April 21, 2005

Leather Care

Leather unless it is looked after can deteriorate especially if kept in dry conditions, in fact there are many things that can affect the life of a leather product which I wont go into here, the full list and the why and where for can be boring and is more suited to the Leather Chemist. Being a Craftsman & a maker of top quality Leathergoods for more years than I care to remember I have also repaired many items most of which had never received any form of treatment or preservation.

Leather over time with no help or treatment will perish once it reaches this advanced state the fibers start to separate and it will pull apart like paper. Again this is better explained by the Leather Chemist, but as far as we are concerned the end result is there is nothing that can be done that will make the article serviceable again. Having said that these items if of historic value can be preserved for display in a Museum in a special environment by a Restorer. But they will not be usable again.

The most obvious items that Are neglected are Shoes which these days people just don't seem to polish, (No I don't repair shoes that is a job for the Cobbler or Shoe Repairer as they tend to be called these days). Over the years I have used many leather treatments and preservatives, in fact working with leather you tend to become indifferent to the hype about what a certain product will do. The fact is there has been little to choose between most proprietary brands as they all do much the same job and their sales are more influenced by the skill of their marketing teem rather than the product itself.

When I received a sample supply of Leather Preservative from America I expected it to do the same job as all the other ones that I have used & was not expecting it to be any better or worse than others I had tried in the past. But this one is different and there is a very noticeable improvement to leather that has been somewhat neglected and having put it through rigorous tests I now use it exclusively and fully endorse it by advertising it on my site. See the extract below taken from my site which includes the contact details.

Obenauf's Leather Preservatives. 9075 Donnybrook Ct. Boise, Idaho, 83709, USA. Tel: 208-484-1372. Contact: Robert Grover Obenauf's Online This company offers high quality Leather Preservatives & Leather Oils which contain Beeswax & Propolis as part of their formula. The products were originally formulated to preserve the boots of American Firefighters as conventional treatments were not effective due to the hot ash encountered in most fires. The preservative repels, water, acids, petroleum, salt, & chemicals, restores dry leather, resists mildew premature cracking & is odorless after application. The Leather Oil is effective on dress boots, saddles & tack, garments, upholstery, etc. An interesting & most informative site. Stop Press I have been testing samples of their product & can fully recommend it (See a fuller explanation in 'News & Press Releases'). They now offer Leather Furniture Treatments. Find them at

I have provided them with a full page on my site and for further information visit my site at and look for the page titled Obenauf's Preservatives. If you do contact them or order please quote FB-M as your reference source as this could give you access to any special deals they may be running.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Leather Craft recommended Courses

All of the short course providers on my site can be relied on to provide training. If they could not they would not be in business. The following are a few I personally know and can recommend. Starting with the UK:

The Leathercraft Workshop. 27 Norwich Road, Thelveton, Diss Norfolk. IP21 4NG. Contact: John Temple. Tel: 01379-740845. E-mail: John Temple who has considerable experience as a Lecturer & Trainer.

Leatherwork Courses At The Workshop, 37 Silver Street, Tetbury, Glos. GL8 8DL. UK. Tel/Fax: 01666502179. Email: Valerie &Neil offer a wide selection of Leathergoods Craft Courses, ranging from: Week ends, 5, 4, or 3 days. Subjects covered: Hand Stitched Leathergoods, molded Leather Flowers, Small Leathergoods, Restoration & Repair, Bag Design, Decorated Leather etc. Contact them for further information. (Background: Valerie Michael is a talented Designer/Artisan. Neil MacGregor is an accomplished Craftsman.

Mr. Peter Wall. Tel: 01379-783581 Gislingham Suffolk. UK. Peter is an old colleague of mine from industry & Cordwainers, he is an outstanding craftsman. He takes private students & offers short Leather Craft courses which are based in Suffolk. (This is one of the few places where it is still possible to learn traditional Leathergoods Skills from a practicing exponents of the craft).

For Those Based in America I suggest you contact:

Ross Saddlery & Harness. St jo, Indiana 46785. USA. E-mail: Contact: Ron Ross, Craftsman/Artisan. A highly experienced Saddler who also produces Leathergoods. A picture sequence on his site demonstrates Hand Stitching. Examples of Ron's award winning Tooling/carving are shown. Patterns & designs are also available for purchase Ron has now started his training program & is offering a 24 hr course split into 2 hours per week for 12 weeks for locally based students. Or a 3 day course of 8 hours per day for those coming from further afield. Both these courses involve the Sheridan Leather Carving Technique. There is also a Three week course of 5 & a half days involving the production of 'Western Saddles' which also includes the carving that Ron is renowned for. Accommodation is available in the nearby town of Auburn. For further information contact him at,

If You can't access any of the above then visit my site at: http://www, and under the cave painting on my home page scroll the 'Membership Categories' Section click on; 'Leather Craft & Industry, Education & Training' All the courses that I have got information on are given under that heading. There are some college courses listed as well but you will need to check on what they are currently offering as courses change or discontinue due to current demands.