The Leatherworking Handbook was written as a practical guide for those wishing to make hand stitched leathergoods. It is based upon my own experience and knowledge as a designer/maker, and is the book I wish was available to me when I first started. It was first published in 1993 and it has been continuously in print ever since. As 2013 will be the 20th anniversary of its publication we are planning an event at Walsall Leather Museum in September.

In 2005 the German edition was published followed by the Spanish edition. Approximately 100,000 English language copies have been sold to date which makes The Leatherworking Handbook an international best seller in the world of leather textbooks.
I started running leatherwork courses as a result of the success of the book and the many requests from people from all over the world, who needed help to realise their ambition of becoming designers and makers of hand stitched leathergoods.
Perhaps one day there will be a sequel…….

You can now buy signed copies of The Leatherworking Handbook from Valerie Michael
and have it posted directly to you.

Book Reviews

‘All you need to know’
Reviewer: marcwhiffen , London UK

‘It is often difficult when you approach a subject with little or no knowledge as to the best place to start. This was the same with me and leatherworking.  However, this book has proved to be invaluable to me. It is clear, concise and easy to follow, taking you from the basics to advanced with confidence. There are no corners cut and the manner is authoritative without being intimidating. A thoroughly good manual and an essential for anyone taking up this fascinating craft.’

‘Ideal for the beginner, informative yet accessible.’
Reviewer: Paul New, Wiltshire.UK

‘From fumbling blindly and trying to learn the basics of what seems to be a dying skill I was delighted to discover Valerie Michael’s book. It is well written and illustrated clearly, the background information is useful without being baffling to the novice, and the projects are easy enough for developing essential skills but challenging enough to maintain interest. I feel I am no longer fumbling blindly, and know how to direct my practice of this enjoyable craft. Well done Valerie!,

‘A different perspective than US Western’
Reviewer: Liana Winsauer, USA

‘This book is a welcome addition to my leatherworking library. Particularly since the styles are similar to my own tastes – very plain, but elegant. Very different from the typical US type of leatherworking with lots of tooling, buckstitching, etc. Not that I don’t appreciate that style also – I have a huge stack of Ann & Al Stohlman’s books that I regularly re-read – but it is nice to see something *different*. The techniques, also, are a bit different in some cases, which I also appreciate. As the author is British, some of the terms and tools may seem unfamiliar at first. However, there are either the “American-English” equivalents listed, or it’s clear what is meant from skimming the text. A definite addition to any leatherworkers ‘library.’