How to Become a Leathersmith?
The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Leathersmith
One of the most interesting hobbies or careers is being a leather worker or leathersmith.
Leathersmiths produce leather items. The trade can be learned through self-taught instruction, classes, or apprenticeships.
Overall, these are people that love to work with their hands that may have gotten formal qualifications in the use of specialized tools to mold and form leather into all manner of finished goods.
What Is the Job Description of a Leathersmith?
A leather smith is a person that creates, designs, restores, and repairs leather goods using different techniques and tools.
The products that a leather worker makes can include anything from art, bags, clothing, luggage, armor, handbags, hats, purses, shoes, wallets, belts, boots, saddles, upholstery, and virtually anything that could be made out of leather.
A leather smith usually works from a workshop that is usually comprised of a flat and large workspace with a range of tools. The space can be as large as multiple rooms with a machine or machinery and tools for high-volume production or as small as a desk surface for small-time work.
Most leathersmiths working in upscale production facilities work from 9 to 5. However, independent leather craftsmen or those that are employed in smaller workshops work varied hours, sometimes set by the workload or type of job they are engaged in.
For most people, the working style and freedom of time are usually two of the most appealing aspects of pursuing a career working with one's hands as a leather worker.
How to Start Leather Working
Pick out a project: The first thing to do is to pick something that captures your interest. Pick something small such as making a bracelet, wallet, belt, card holder, or journal cover, so that you can remain passionate and remain focused on developing your beginner leather-working skills.
Learn the basic skills: There are several skills you will need to develop, such as edge finishing, sewing, cutting, and stitching. However, you will also need to develop more advanced skills for advanced projects such as saddle-making, which may include knife sharpening, skiving, and complex stitching techniques.
Purchase basic leather working tools and materials: Get basic tools such as a ruler, knife, hammer, glue, diamond chisels, thread, and needle, and learn how to use them. You can always check out tutorials online on how to become proficient in the use of any tool.
Purchase the leather: You can choose from a variety of leather options, so do your research on the requirements for your project. You should consider the finish, the tannage, the temper, and the weight of the leather.
Start working on your project: Once you have everything you need, begin working on your tasks.
Your first projects might not be great. So, it is important that you focus on finishing your first project.
It is also important to keep improving your knowledge and understanding over time by taking a variety of both online and offline courses.
Make sure you always get your leather from the best sources. Stonestreet Leather is one source that has the best 4" round vegetable tan cowhide leather coast that is among the best for beginner projects.
How Much Do Leather Crafters Make?
The annual salary for the average craftsman in the US is about $27,550 a year. Overall some leather craftsmen will make more or less than this.
For the most part, how much the leather smith will make will depend on the size of the market and the quality of goods produced.
Moreover, leather smiths who have highly sought-after skills or those that produce highly desired goods and have developed a reputation for top quality could earn a lot more.
Leathersmiths generally have a very stable career path. According to a report by the US Bureau of labor statistics in 2017, there are about 7,180 leather smith jobs across the US.
Many of the leather smithing jobs in the United States are in household and personal goods creation, maintenance, and repair.
Saddle makers and cobblers are among the highest-paid professionals in leather working, and hence anyone interested in leather work should probably seek to work in those specialties.
Leather craftsmen working on these specialties usually focus on saddlery and footwear and would earn about $34,700 a year.
How Hard Is It To Get Into Leather Working?
Aside from the creativity and functional knowledge required for one to become a leather worker, the good news is that this is one of the easiest trades to get into.
If you are interested in becoming a leather craftsman, there are all manner of ways to get into the industry. From an apprenticeship to courses online and courses in college, there are a plethora of ways to get into the trade.
In fact, in recent times, there are many hobbyist leather craftsmen that have learned the craft using YouTube videos taught by master craftsmen.
One of the basic things to do at this point is to learn the basic entry requirements for the different college or online courses and apprenticeships that you may be interested in joining.
With such information, you can then begin working on how to get into leather working through study.
Is Leather Crafting Profitable?
Leather crafting is not only a great way to spend time, but it can also be highly profitable when done as a hobby. However, there are certain things you need to do to make leatherworking a profitable and successful business that includes:
Get a dedicated working space or shop where you can work without distractions.
Get the needed tools that you will need for your leatherworking.
Get some high-quality leather from the likes of Stonestreet Leather that stocks upholstery leather remnants, and chrome tanned mixed color upholstery leather for your project.
Produce some great samples of your best work that are unique.
Showcase your samples to potential clients on leather working communities, websites, and art and craft exhibitions.
Get creative and learn through courses and leather craft apprenticeships how to come up with top-quality and unique leather products.
Contact Stonestreet Leather today to get top-quality leather strips, blanks, and upholstery leather remnants for your leather projects. We have been working with many experienced and beginner leather craftsmen who always come to us for high-quality leather for their projects.