Leather CraftworkerJob Description:
Leather craftworkers make clothes, shoes and accessories from leather, using traditional methods.Job Category:
What you will do:
- use a pattern to measure and cut pieces of leather
- design clothing, coverings or accessories
- prepare leather, using chemicals
- stitch pieces of leather by hand or machine
- add handles, straps and buckles
- stain, wax and polish products
- if you’re self employed, market your business and do admin tasks
- knowledge of maths
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
- the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
As well as:
- the ability to work well with your hands
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creative skills)
- the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills you need in this job.
In the UK, for example, courses include:
- Certificate in Apparel, Footwear, Leather or Textile Production
- Diploma in Apparel, Footwear, Leather or Textile Production
- Diploma in Fashion Design and Production
You could also specialise with a Diploma in Saddlery (in the UK), if you want to work with suppliers to the horse riding industry.
You can do a leather craftsperson intermediate apprenticeship, or specialise in saddlework by completing a bespoke saddler advanced apprenticeship.
You can apply directly to be taken on as a trainee craftworker. Employers may be more interested in your practical ability than formal qualifications, although it’ll help if you have studied related subjects like English, art and design, maths, and design and technology while at school.
If you want to work in saddlery and harness making, you can do specialist training. You can also do specialist leather courses.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work 9am to 5pm.
You could work in a workshop, in a factory or from home.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career Path & Progression:
You could become a supervisor or specialise in an area like leather pattern design, sales or marketing.
You could also set up your own business or move into the leather manufacturing and finishing industry.