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The Leather Element: Simple Mistakes to Avoid in Leathercraft

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In this week’s The Leather Element, Chuck goes over some simple mistakes to avoid while working with leather. From stitching tricks to punching surfaces, Chuck covers quite a few scenarios. We hope these tips and tricks are helpful to you in your leathercraft journey!


A leather business supplies leather goods and services to customers. Everything from high-quality purses and handbags to leather repair may be available through a leather business.


What are the costs involved in opening a leather business?

It is possible to get started in a leather business for a relatively low overhead, depending on your focus. If you are selling some pre-crafted items online from your home, you will need to spend most of your money on building up your stock. Handbags, purses, gloves, and smaller leather items can be purchased wholesale and stored in your house or other storage options until being shipped to customers, as the orders are received. You will need some sort of forum for reaching customers, such as a website or access to online retail options, such as eBay or Poshmark, for example.

If you choose to operate out of a storefront, you will need to factor in the costs for rent, utilities, and business insurance. Although this will raise your overhead costs, you may reach more customers, depending on the location of the store.

If you are creating your own leather products or offering service and repairs for leather goods, you will need to add the costs for materials and equipment, such as an industrial sewing machine, leather needles, cutting tools, and patterns.

What are the ongoing expenses for a leather business?

Most ongoing expenses will pertain to materials and finished resale products, especially if you operate online. A store location will add rent, utilities, internet, phone, and some advertising.

Who is the target market?

Your target market will more than likely consist of customers who have purchased leather items before. Although leather is popular, many consumers will shy away from animal products. Therefore, it’s critical to attract customers who appreciate the durability, rugged, yet refined quality, and look and feel of leather products. Some items can be reasonably priced, but most of your goods and services will tend to be priced below luxury, yet above department store numbers.

How does a leather business make money?

A leather business makes its money from the sale of leather and leather products as well as the repairing of leather goods, such as shoes and apparel, such as purses, suitcases, or briefcases.

How much can you charge customers?

Client pricing will depend greatly on what you’re selling and offering. Research competition thoroughly to see where your price points will fall. Some high-end leather bags will range upwards of five figures, whereas leather glove repairs may only fetch $10-20. Understand what you’re offering and charge accordingly.

How much profit can a leather business make?

Depending on what you sell and what services you offer, you can see earnings in the $30,000-40,000 range, especially if you are able to keep your overhead costs low.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Offer related products, such as leather cleaning and care oils and solutions. Sell these items in conjunction with your orders and many customers will continue to purchase the products, even without buying more leather goods. If you are an accomplished leather worker, offer specialty designs and custom builds. You can charge a premium price for your services, as it will be an additional source of revenue and not the primary moneymaker.


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  1. getting a good burnished edge gave me fits for a long time, i kept thinking what the hell am i doing wrong??
    I was using eco flow gum tragacanth….I decided well I will try out something different so I ordered some Tokonole, im here to tell you…the problem wasnt me it was the product i was using. I can finally get really nice burnished edges with even a simple piece of wood.

  2. May I suggest and alternative to glue for the screw in rivets? Blue Locktite thread locker. I have been using it on all mechanical purposes for 50 years. Even on motorcycle engines and never loosened from vibration.

  3. When I use veg tan, i work it hard to soften it. But when i dye it with alchohol based, it gets stiff again. Any suggestions? THANK YOU

  4. I'm working on soft and light leather, lamb leather. Can y'all do some videos on how to handle it. Sew, make harnesses, gluing it. Thanks.

  5. Is it true chrome tanned leather tarnishes metal? Is this a contact problem or an off gas problem. If I lined my case used to store sterling silver with a vegetable tanned leather would this help keep it from tarnishing?

  6. If the stem is long enough to allow it, heat the end of your edge beveler and bend it back around so it is hooked (just enough that it’d hang from your pinky finger). That way you can hold behind the edger and pull towards yourself, using your thumb as a guide and for stability. Also, no more stabbing the end of your finger on a bad day.

  7. Hi Chuck, I am a newcomer to leather craft. Your videos are making my new hobby so enjoyable. Keep it up Chuck. Cheers mate. 🇬🇧

  8. I learned leather-crafting from my mother and have been doing it for years. Weaver makes excellent tools, but more than that, Chuck your videos are always such a pleasure to watch. Thanks for all you do.

  9. Hahahaha! 2 out of 3 and that's not bad. You must have watched Mars Attacks a few times. I love it. Thanks for the tutorial Chuck.

  10. Very good video.. Iam just beginning workin with leather… I knew methal and brass much better

  11. Love these tips. Using water base die I notice the leather can get very stiff. What is the best way to restore the suppleness after it dries?

  12. He's got such a good on camera personality for this. Very helpful, cheers!

  13. After tooling and dying a leather project, how do you polish it without getting the polish inside the tooling

  14. thank you for taking the time do help everyone, you are a great teacher ..i really appreciate you sharing your knowledge

  15. Thanks! A little scary for this novice already making mistakes…but perseverance wins the day!

  16. Chuck's a good guy. I'm guessing that coffee or mountain Dew is a big part of his day.
    The dude's got ENERGY!

  17. hello! I just love your channel and have enjoyed very much watching so many of your videos 🙂 I do not work with leather (normally lol) but after watching your channel for sometime have inspired me to give it a try,… I have a very large job I am about to attempt to repair and would love to be able to hear your thoughts on the matter before I even begin just to hear what an actual leather professional has to say…..so I have a few medium-large leather Harley side saddle bags that all have knife cuts on the top closure flap and a few have some of the fronts…what would you say the best probable way to go a bout repairing them would be for a extremely fresh leather newbie like myself would be?!! I appreciate your advice and any insights you may have to share with me on this project!! I have literally been putting it off for a year now bc everytime I go to begin I stop bc I dont want to mess them up even more lol Bless you for sharing your time and knowledge 🙂