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Celebrating 38 years of Kingsmere Crafts on Mersea Island



These pages are merely an introduction to hand-crafted leatherwork, in the hope that those reading them, having a desire to create in this unique and interesting material, will be inspired to do so. They are also intended to be (at least within the limits of my knowledge) a source of reference regarding leather in general.

My website is not offering things for sale, and you won't find pages full of advertising. It is a site to share with you whatever leather-craft knowledge I have acquired.

Seeking to supplement this with a visit to a local bookstore I found nothing. The local libraries produced the same result. So I turned to the internet. I found snippets of information here and there but spent hours jumping from one place to another.

Frustrated, I decided to do something about it, and created this site. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy putting it together.

Now, a word on accuracy. During my researches I came across masses of contradictory information and to the best of my ability I have tried to make this site as accurate as possible. 

Hand-crafted leatherwork should appeal to all those of you who have a love of natural materials, and the techniques involved in working with it are singularly its own.

Viking boots


How to make shoulder-strap handbags

Keyrings (initial)

Kingsmere Crafts produces hand-crafted leather goods using in-house, unique designs, utilising only the finest leathers. Each operation, from cutting, dyeing, sewing, carving or embossing, to the final polishing, is done by hand.

Everything is hand-crafted, from keyrings, purses and wallets, to bellows, belts of all widths and lengths, also handbags of various shapes and sizes, in fact everything you see, or is mentioned, on this website.


Stirrup-shape handbags


Handbag Butterfly hairslide and leather butterflies

Items can be personalised, and if made from leather, repaired.
There is even a restoration and repair service for helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft interiors.

Leather is one of the most versatile materials known to man. As a raw material, it is extremely durable, strong and absorbent. These are the properties which make it well-suited to a wide range of treatments. 

medieval musical instrument

medieval musical instruments

medieval drum

The leather industry is one of the oldest industries known to mankind. Our earliest ancestors used skins to protect their body, hands and feet. Leather is made from the skin of any animal, reptile, bird or fish through a process known as tanning. This process preserves the skin that would otherwise quickly decay.

Through the careful control of tanning and finishing processes, leather can be fire and water retardant and resistant to acids, fats and oils. It can be impregnated with rubbers, resins and plastics to give defined performance characteristics such as hardness/flexibility, elasticity, tensile strength, heat resistance, etc. Leather can be moulded to any shape.

There are many synthetic materials where a great deal of effort has been expended to reproduce the grain effect of leather. So much so that the public in general is frequently deceived, and at craft shows I've found myself saying, "Yes, it is real leather".

Leather has nothing to fear from its imitators. The feel and character of leather belongs to leather alone and cannot be replaced by man-made substitutes.


How to make a pair of moccasins

Moc-croc handbags

Wallets, cig lighter cases, purses

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These pages are written & maintained by DAVID BOLAND-THOMS
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Leathernet - for the leather industry worldwide

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International Internet Leathercrafters' Guild


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