- A hands-on role, specialising in the craft of leather products
- Opportunities to progress into further specialisation, or setting up your own business
- When applying for jobs, practical ability is often more important than qualifications
As a leather craftworker, you'll work with different types of leather, including cowhides and suede.
- Using a pattern to measure and cut pieces of leather
- Designing clothing, coverings or accessories
- Preparing leather using chemicals
- Stitching pieces of leather by hand or machine
- Adding handles, straps and buckles
- Staining, waxing and polishing
- You could also repair items like book covers or saddles for horses
You could work in a workshop, in a factory, or from home, and you may need protective clothing.
To be a leather craftworker, you would need the ability to work well with your hands and to use, repair and maintain machines and tools; to use your initiative; thoroughness and attention to detail; knowledge of maths; innovation; and the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues.
There are no set requirements, so direct application is possible. Employers can sometimes prefer practical ability over formal qualifications, but basic GCSEs in subjects like English, art and design, maths, and design and technology would benefit you.
You can do a college course, such as in Apparel, Footwear, Leather or Textile Production, or Fashion and Design. If you want to work in the horse riding industry, you can specialise with a course in Saddlery.
You could also get into this job through a leather craftsperson intermediate apprenticeship, or specialise in saddlework by completing a bespoke saddler advanced apprenticeship.
With experience, you could become a supervisor or specialise in an area like pattern design, sales or marketing. You could set up your own business or you could move into the leather manufacturing and finishing industry.