Leather Goods Maker

    Manufacturing & Production

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Saddle Maker
Shoemaker & Shoe Repairer

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

Practical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Leather goods makers make and repair leather articles such as handbags, wallets, gloves, belts, harnesses and saddlery (horse riding equipment). Decline

ANZSCO ID:
393112

Specialisation: Saddler (Saddle Maker)
Leather goods makers may specialise in saddlery, harnesses and horse blankets, footwear, hats, whips, clothing, upholstery or special leather goods.

Knowledge, Skills and Attributes tools

  • enjoy practical and manual activities

  • good hand-eye coordination

  • able to perform detailed work. 

  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Manual Dexterity

  • Organisation Skills

  • Problem Solving Skills

  • Strong Attention to Detail

  • Time Management 

Duties & Tasks

Leather goods makers may perform the following tasks:

  •  select suitable types and grades of leather

  •  draw patterns

  •  cut leather to size and shape using special cutting machines called 'clicking' and 'skiving' machines

  •  join pieces together with rivets, threads or adhesives

  •  sew by hand using needles

  •  fill saddles and collars with hair or flock (stuffing)

  •  attach buckles, eyelets and metal decorations, and emboss decorative patterns

  •  finish products with stain, dye, polish or coats of lacquer

  •  repair damaged goods

 

Leather Goods Maker Tools
(Source: The Good Universities Guide)

 

  • Design patterns for boots, tents and other leather and canvas products by implementing design ideas

  • Fabricate products by cutting, sewing, gluing and bonding different sections of canvas and leather to make tents, awnings, rugs, etc.

  • Mould, shape and line leather and canvas pieces using hand tools and machines

  • Repair damaged or broken leather and canvas goods and alter individual pieces

  • Use a variety of tools such as hammers, sewing machines and adhesive materials to create and repair products

  • Use patterns, drawing and specifications to prepare leather, canvas and other similar materials needed for making products

  • Work with customers on specialised requests and orders as well as large commercial orders, processing payments and understanding specifications of orders


Working conditions

Canvas and Leather Goods Makers typically work regular Monday to Friday hours, but may need to work evenings and weekends in order to complete orders on time.

They typically work in workshops with a variety of tools and machines to aid in canvas and leather work and production. They must use upper arm strength to mould and shape materials.


Tools and technologies

Did You Know?

12 Basic Tools for Beginners

(Source: Armrd Leather)
Stanley Knife

Stanley Knife
Craft Cutting Mat

Cutting Mat
Marble Block

Marble slab
Hole Punches

Hole Punches
Chisels

Chisels
Edge beveller

edge beveller
Edge slicker

Edge Slicker
Strap cutter

Strap cutter
Rivets & setting tools

Rivets
Steel ruler

Steel rulers
Stylus & spoon

Stylus & spoon
Mallet

Wooden mallet

Have a look at the following video to see how a wallet is made using the leather making tools:

 YouTube: Making of the Lloyd Coat Wallet


Education and training/entrance requirements

A Certificate III in Leather Production is advisable.

Saddlemaker
   Manufacturing & Production

 

DeclinePractical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Saddlers make high-quality saddles, bridles or harnesses from leather. Some saddlers specialise in handcrafted items made to the customer's specific requirements, while others may work by hand and machine on a range of off-the-peg saddles and accessories.

Most saddlers will offer a saddle fitting service to ensure the saddle fits the horse and rider correctly. The job also involves repairing and restoring saddles, bridles, harnesses and other leather goods.

Different saddles are used for endurance, racing, show jumping, dressage, eventing and polo. Some can cost thousands of dollars.

It can take up to three days work to make a saddle. The process involves:

  • Choosing the best leather for the job.

  • Selecting and preparing the correct saddle tree (the frame).

  • Cutting the leather to a pattern, taking care to keep wastage to a minimum.

  • Fitting and stitching the pieces together.

  • Flocking the panel (padding).

  • Polishing the leather.

  • Finishing the item.

Alternative names: Saddler

ANZSCO ID: 3931

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes           

To become a Saddle Maker, you would need: 
  • good attention to fine detail

  • Creativity and be good at working with their hands.

  • A flair for design and construction.

  • Excellent eyesight and be able to pay close attention to detail.

  • Good knowledge of the anatomy of horses.

  • Patience, as the work can be slow and laborious.

  • The ability to use a variety of tools and equipment.

  • The ability to work alone without supervision or as part of a small team.

  • Business skills if self-employed.

  • Awareness of health and safety.

  • the ability to concentrate for long periods

  • accuracy for measuring and cutting

  • a knowledge of CAD packages if working in pattern design.

Duties & Tasks: Saddle Maker At work

  • Cuts, assembles, and joins leather parts and other materials to form saddle, following specifications, such as size of saddle, color and grain of leather, or type of saddle: Cuts out parts, according to specifications.

  •  Joins edges of parts to form saddle tree cover, using needle and thread or stitching machine.

  •  Positions covering and cushioning materials, such as cotton batting, foam rubber, or mohair over saddle tree.

  •  Joins covering to saddle tree, using cement, nails, needle and thread, or stitching machine.

  •  Attaches accessories or ornamentation to saddle with rivets or needle and thread.

  •  Applies paint and liquid dressing to produce glossy finish, using brush or sponge.

  •  May cut and stamp lettering and decorative designs into surface of leather

  •  May be designated according to type of saddle made as Western-Saddle Maker.

  •  May specialize in replacement of damaged saddle parts, such as cushioned seats, canvas girths, cinches, and saddle bags, and be designated Saddler.

 

Working conditions

A saddler usually works around 37 hours a week, from Monday to Friday. Those working in factories may occasionally work shifts or overtime, which could include weekend work. Part-time work may be available. Saddlers work in a workshop and may have to sit or stand in the same position for long periods of time, bending over their work. Some of the adhesives and preservatives used can have a strong smell.

A saddler may make a complete saddle working alone or work in a larger workshop where the different stages are shared between several saddlers.

Tools and technologies

Flat awl handle; leather sewing awl blade; round awl blade and handle; leather sewing awl [various sizes]; Tack puller;

Education and training/entrance requirements

Saddlery apprentices typically work alongside a master saddler for six months. Training covers practical saddlery and leather goods craft skills as well as background knowledge of:

- Equine anatomy
- Horse handling
- Saddle fitting
- Rugs and rug repairs
- Health and safety regulations

Employment Opportunities

This is a small industry and many saddlery companies employ only a handful of people, so there are limited opportunities for career progression. Most saddlers will develop their skills and experience, often with a view to becoming self-employed. Others may move into other leather goods or into teaching the craft.

 

Did You Know?

Peter Horobin discusses Biomechanics & Balanced Riding w/ World Horse Racing 2019
https://youtu.be/CvVwXaikMnE




Shoemaker and Repairer
   Manufacturing & Production

Practical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Shoemakers or footwear makers design and make shoes using specialist tools and machinery.

Shoe repairers replace parts of shoes such as the sole or zippers, repair broken heels and restore the original colour.

Shoe repairers mend footwear and leather goods. Most damage can be repaired, though it is not always economical to do so, so they will discuss the repairs required with the customer and provide a quote before beginning work. Decline

Shoe repairers may glue or nail new soles or heels onto shoes; replace straps,
buckles and zips; patch and stitch tears and holes; or polish, dye or re-colour items. Most shoe repairers also offer key-cutting and engraving services, with more keys cut in Australia by shoe repairers than by locksmiths.

Shoe repairers typically work in small retail stores and are often self-employed.
In these cases they will also be responsible for business management tasks, such as managing finances and hiring additional staff.

ANZSCO ID: 393114

Specialisations include: Medical Grade Shoemaker

Alternative names: Footwear Repairer, Bootmaker, Cobbler, Boot and Shoe Clicker

 

Shoe Repairer
(Source: WalkJogRun)

Knowledge, skills and attributes        

To become a footwear maker, repairer or cobbler, you would need:
  • good eyesight and normal colour vision
  • good accuracy and hand-eye coordination
  • an ability to concentrate
  • an awareness of health and safety
  • to enjoy practical and manual work
Duties and Tasks
  • Cuts and prepares canvas, leather to design specifications, patterns and drawings.
  • Create patterns for new shoe styles
  • Use patterns to create outlines on leather or fabric
  • Cut materials using hand or machine tools
  • Dye, stain or stamp fabric or leather to create special effects
  • Join shoe uppers to soles using sewing techniques, injection moulding, glues or rivets
  • Add trims or decorations to finish shoes
  • Work with production machinery for mass-produced items or use hand tools for made-to-measure orders.
  • Joins parts of leather articles using rivets, hand sewing, sewing machines, tools and adhesive.
  • Restores and repairs leather articles.
  • Designs patterns and prototypes of boots and shoes
  • Repairs shoes damaged in manufacturing process: Inspects shoe or reads ticket to determine defects.
  • Removes damaged parts, using handtools, such as knife, hammer, lasting tool, prying tool, and tack puller.
  • Operates stitching machine or stitches by hand to repair broken or missed stitches and to replace parts.
  • Relasts shoe to remove defects, such as wrinkles from outer parts, bunching of inner parts, and crooked seams.
  • Aligns and cements parts, such as edges, bindings, heels, soles, and uppers of shoe by hand.
  • May fill holes and cracks in shoes, using colored wax filler.
  • Makes and grades patterns using manual and computerised methods.
  • Clicks synthetics, corrected grains, leather linings and leather outers by hand and machine.
  • Alters and repairs footwear
Working conditions

As a footwear maker in a factory environment, you would work a standard number of hours per week. As a self-employed shoemaker, you would usually work a standard number of hours, which may be when a retail premise is open, but you may also work longer hours when deadlines need to be met.

Footwear makers who make mass-produced goods work in factories. Shoemakers who make made-to-measure shoes work in studios and workshops. These shoemakers are usually self-employed, and may design as well as make shoes.

Shoe repairers usually work in small stores or kiosks in shopping centres, located throughout Australia.

They may spend long periods standing at a work bench or counter, though this will depend on the particular set up of a store and wear the necessary protective clothing and safety equipment.

Some of the adhesives and polishes used in shoe repairs can release toxic fumes. Most shoe repairers will work standard retail opening hours, which includes one late night trading per week and working on Saturdays where you would interact with customers.

There are many opportunities for self-employment in this occupation.

YouTube: South African shoemaker looking to go global
https://youtu.be/s-4sMcPNXk0

 

Tools and technologies

Shoe repairers use adhesives and nails to attach soles and heels to shoes. They may use machines for stitching work, or they may do this by hand, particularly for small pieces or in difficult to reach places. They also use finishing machines for a number of processes including, trimming, scouring, roughing and polishing. Most shoe repairers will also use key cutting and engraving equipment, and stock a wide range of blank keys for a variety of different lock types and sizes. They will also use cash registers, EFTPOS and credit card machines and may use computers and accounting software for business management purposes if they are self-employed.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a shoe repairer without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.
You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a traineeship in footwear repair. The traineeship usually takes 12 to 24 months to complete.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider. You can become a footwear maker through a traineeship in Footwear Production, Footwear Production (Intermediate/Multiple or Complex Processes) or Custom-made Footwear. Generally, employers would require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

Opportunities for footwear makers, especially in production environments, are declining.

Most mass-production footwear manufacturing has been moved to lower-cost countries. The increasing mass production of shoes has led to consumers buying more of these readily available goods. The increasing mass production of shoes has led to lower prices for consumers, who are increasingly buying new products rather than having shoes fixed. Many shoes are now also made from moulded rubbers or plastics, which cannot be repaired in the same way as leather shoes.

Some opportunities still exist for bespoke footwear makers, including those who make special shoes for people with foot problems or physical disabilities.

Did You Know?

Boot and Shoe Clicker


A boot and shoe clicker is the person who cuts the uppers for boots or shoes from a skin of leather or piece of man-made material (usually from a bulk roll). This includes all components of the upper, including linings, facings, stiffeners, reinforcements for eyelets and zip-protectors.

The job was historically named prior to mechanisation, due to the sound of the operator's hand-knife blade rattling against the brass edge-binding (including the joints in the binding) used to protect the board patterns which were overlaid on to the skin.

It is a skilled trade because it is the clicker's responsibility to maximise the number of uppers which can be cut from skins of leather, avoiding any thin and damaged areas, and incorporating the (unseen) 'lines' of stretch and resistance which naturally occur in leather according to the style and construction of the particular shoe. Another major criterion is the need to colour-shade the respective parts of the shoe uppers which are cut as a pair, not only matching the colour variations but also considering the surface finish and grain texture.

Hand-clicking skills are still needed in low-volume production of bespoke, hand-made shoes or as sales-samples for factory production, although these would not warrant the expense of brass-binding used to protect the edges of the pattern from being pared away.

The clicker's knife regularly needed sharpening, which was done with an implement called a rap stick. The main surface is emery cloth wrapped over the edge to form a round section where the curved blade can nestle and be sharpened; the top edge is sharper and square in cross-section, with a fine-grain aluminium oxide abrasive strip used for tip-sharpening. On the reverse side is a heavy-leather smooth strop, to address any metal burrs left by the abrasive process. (Source: Wikipedia)

[Wikipedia] Boot and shoe clicker
https://youtu.be/T6Iay9nm9No


 

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Materials sourced from
The Job Guide;
Jobs & Skills WA [Shoe Repairer; ]
Open University;
Career Planner
[Cobbler; Saddlemaker; ]
CareerHQ [Shoe/Footwear Maker; Shoe Repairer; Leather Goods Maker; ]
InPutYouth [Saddler; ]
JobOutlook [Leather Goods Makers; Shoemakers; ]

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Fashion Designer

Confectioner

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Quality Assurance Inspector

Luthier

Arts & Crafts Professional

Spraypainter

Jeweller

Milliner

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Packer

Food Process Worker

Abattoir Worker

Clothing Patternmaker

Sailmaker

Textile Designer

Shipwright

Brewer

Cheesemaker

Fashion Designer

Confectioner

Winemaker

Fabrication Engineering Tradesperson

Tree Faller

Chemical Engineer

Quality Assurance Inspector

Luthier

Arts & Crafts Professional

Spraypainter

Jeweller

Milliner

Dressmaker