The Guild of Leatherworkers

The aim of the Guild of Leatherworkers is to encourage and develop the use of leather within the Society, with a view to investigating and replicating various medieval techniques. The Guild also aims to provide a contact point for all persons interested in getting involved in Leatherwork, or in advancing their present skills.

The current Guildmaster is Nathaniel Goodchild.

Rules of Advancement

The lowest rank is Member (for those expressing an interest in the Guild), and the other are:


At this level, some ability to work with leather should be shown. To attain the rank of Apprentice, the Member must craft an item of their choice in leather.


At this level, proficiency in a variety of leatherworking skills must be demonstrated. To attain the rank of Journeyman, the Apprentice must complete four items, of different types, in leather, and submit a 500 word article concerning an aspect of leatherworking.

The choice of items and methods of construction and decoration are open, excepting that:

  1. The ability to work both hard and soft leather must be demonstrated.
  2. Leather sewing skills must be shown. The use of some rivets is acceptable, but they should not be the primary method of joining.
  3. Items should be constructed primarily in leather. Leather straps or hinges are not considered items of leatherwork in themselves.
  4. Leather belts with an element of sewing and/or decoration are acceptable.
  5. The variety of leatherworking skill should include some, but not necessarily all, of the following:


Leather Appliqué


Cutting or Incising


Blind Tooling or Hammered Leather


Punched Leather or cut out work


Cleaning and colouring


Inserting eyelets or press-studs


Covering items in leather




This is the highest level in the Guild and a Master must show complete mastery of a particular skill in leatherworking. A Journeyman, in order to become a Master, must complete at least six items in leather, which may include the four previously submitted, and must submit a 1000 word article concerning an aspect of leatherworking.

In addition a masterpiece must be made. The masterpiece may be one or several items of leatherwork, relevant to the period covered by the Society, at the choice of the journeyman and by agreement with the Guildmaster. The masterpiece is also subject to the following provisions:

  1. It must be primarily constructed of leather.
  2. Its construction must have involved at least 3 techniques from the list above.
  3. It must be of excellent quality in composition, construction & finish.