MacGregor & Michael

Valerie Michael & Neil MacGregorWe are designers and makers of high quality hand-stitched leather goods. We began our leatherworking career’s in 1971. We make men’s and women’s bags, belts, cases, wallets, purses etc using vegetable tanned leathers sourced mainly from the UK and Europe. In our work we bring together our knowledge and experience with often challenging construction techniques, using beautiful leathers, in order to realise design ideas and meet the needs of our customers. We sometimes work with customers on commissioned pieces and have worked with many furniture makers including, Matthew Burt, Brian Jordan, John Makepeace, Richard Williams and Katy Walker. Recently we have worked with the shoemaker, Caroline Groves, on a collection of beautiful bags.

Over the years we have fine tuned our skills and feel we have developed an understanding of the training needs of aspiring makers of hand stitched leathergoods. Our courses are for people who want to learn these skills. Many of our students go on to set up their own workshops or get jobs in established businesses.

Work by MacGregor and Michael is included in the collections of :
Walsall Leather Museum, Walsall, West Midlands. UK
Museum of Leathercraft, Northampton UK
Museu de l’Art de la Pell, Vic, Spain.

We are members of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen and exhibit regularly with them.

For many years, Valerie and Neil were trustees of the Museum of Leathercraft.


‘The Leatherworking Handbook’ by Valerie Michael. Pub.Cassell 1993. This is a ‘how to’ book which continues to sell worldwide. Recently translated into German and Spanish.

‘Dictionary of Leatherworking Tools’ by R A Salaman 1986 – Neil contributed the chapter on leather decoration.

‘Leather in Life ,Art & Industry ‘- biographical survey of John Waterer’s life & work including an exhibition catalogue edited by Neil MacGregor for the Museum of Leathercraft 1992

Exhibitions which have featured work by MacGregor and Michael

1980-81 ‘Crafts South West’ mixed touring exhibition organised by South West Arts.

1980 ‘Skin/Vocations’, Ceolfrith Gallery,Sunderland. The first British exhibition showing the work of contemporary leather workers.

1985-86 ‘New British Leatherwork’, Brewery Arts, Cirencester.

1989-90 ‘Leatherworks’ – touring exhibition of 15 makers jointly organised by the Association of Designer/Leatherworkers and Crafts Space Touring.

1992-93 ‘Making Connections’, mixed crafts touring exhibition organised by South West Arts.

1995 ‘Leather by Design’, Walsall Leather Museum. An exhibition of our work spanning 20 years as designer/makers.

1995 ‘ Taschen’, Galerie Handwerk , Munich. An exhibition of European bag makers.

1997 ‘ Bags of Style’, Walsall Leather Museum. An exhibition of European bag makers.

1998 ‘ Hip Design’, Walsall Leather Museum. An exhibition of European belt makers.

1998 – 2003 ‘ Satellites of Fashion’ – a touring exhibition of bags, hats and shoes organised by the Crafts Council which toured the UK and South America with the British Council.

1999 ‘Everyone a Winner’ –a national touring exhibition of selected makers who had received awards from South West Arts.

2000 ‘Happy 21 st.’ Black Swan Gallery, Frome, Somerset.

2001 ‘Cut & Dried’, Collection Gallery, Ledbury.

2001 ‘Elemental 1’, Rope Store Gallery, Stroud, Glos.

2003 ‘Natural Selection’, the Great Oak Hall, Westonbirt, Glos.

1987 – 2014  Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen exhibitons and shows.

2015 – Tetbury Spring Show in May

2015 – Chipping Campden Summer Show in August.

2016 – 2 Make Touring exhibition

2016 – Tetbury Spring Show in June

201 – Chipping Campden Summer Show in August

We exhibited many times at Chelsea Crafts Fair, London. UK  and Art in Action, Waterperry House, Oxford.UK