A Leather Craftsperson produces leather goods for a number of markets from sporting pursuits to high-end retail luxury goods, such as handbags luggage and lifestyle accessories. They need to have creative ability, precision and an eye for detail.
What would you do?
A Leather Craftsperson manufactures leather goods. They may specialise in one or multiple parts of the production process. They take cut leather components and form a finished product such as a purse, handbag or wallet. The process may include cutting, gluing, sewing, attaching linings, buckles, and eyelets and applying a finish, such as a stain, wax or polish. They may work with different types of materials such as cowhides, nubuck, chamois and suede and they will be responsible for the quality and finish of the end product.
Day to day tasks include:
- Hand or machine sewing and product assembly
- Trimming and cutting leather
- Quality checking finished leather goods
- Repairing /or reworking leather goods
Where would you work?
A Leather Craftsperson can be employed by a large, medium, small or micro size business. They can be based in a design studio, workshop or on a factory production line, depending on the size of the business. Conditions can be noisy, work can be repetitive and deadlines have to be met.
What would you be paid?
For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours
- A Leather Craftsperson’s starting salary on average is £12,000-£14,000 per year
- An experienced Leather Craftsperson’s salary on average is £16,000-£18,700 per year.
Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime, bonuses or piece rate in order to meet deadlines.
Leather Craftsperson Apprenticeships: Employers by law must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many fashion and textile employers supplement this rate of pay. https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates
Will you need qualifications or training?
Experienced is preferred, however employers are keen to train new Leather craft people and qualifications are not required. Training is delivered on-the-job. Employers may also register new trainees onto the Level 2
Leather Craftsperson Apprenticeship:
Qualifications and short courses relating to the making of leather goods are available via ABC Awards (Part of the Skills & Education Group), Pearsons and GDleather courses
What are the career prospects?
Experience could lead to a sample making, team leader, supervisory or quality control role, or a career in staff training, product technology. Self-employment and freelance work from home is also an option for a Leather Craftsperson with significant experience.
How secure is the future of this career?
A Leather Craftsperson is a fundamental occupational role in the leather goods trade, a sector that contributes in excess of £700 million to the British economy. British leather products have an international and iconic reputation and the continued success of the sector will depend on maintaining a skilled, well-trained workforce.
The production of leather goods is part of the UK’s world-class textile manufacture base which is growing, thriving and continually investing. Sector employment continues to grow steadily from 97,000 in 2011 to 108,000 in 2016, with an added 19,500 self-employed and research estimates the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2020.
The number of UK textile & apparel manufacturing businesses has increased annually from 7190 in 2013 to 8075 in 2017 with forecast of further growth.
Textile goods exported across the globe continues to grow with export increases recorded at £250M in March 2016 to £273M in March 2017
UK Fashion & textile manufacture covers traditional craft to technical textiles and has a production value of £9.1BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.
Where can you find job vacancies?
Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Northwest. This role may be advertised under a different job title such as Leather Worker or Leather Sewing Machinist. Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in London, the Northwest, West Yorkshire and the Midlands. Check out the latest vacancies on the site below:
The websites above are external and the number of job vacancies may vary. Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!
See websites related to the Leather Craftsperson job role below:
All About Leather
The Leather Technology Centre
British Travelgoods, Handbags and Accessories