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A perfect introduction to leathercraft.
Met with Nigel who delivered a well-paced step-by-step walk-through of the thought processes, tools and skills required to take a project from concept through to final product. Left with a wallet to be proud of, and a new hobby for life.
I had a superb day with Nigel. He helped to improve my skills at every step in the way the ubiquitous veteran pilot talks down the rookie in the seat of the Jumbo Jet to a perfect landing. Nigel's style is relaxed yet he imparts so much knowledge and information in the day that you are just eager to get home to put it all into practice. The workshop setting and facilities are really good, endless coffee (or tea) humour, skills and patience. I came away not only better armed and less likely to damage myself or my tools but with a better knowledge of the best leather to use for distinct projects and a lot of encouragement to experiment. I will definitely be back and thoroughly recommend the course to anyone wanting to improve and broaden their knowledge in leatherworking.
Ben - UK
Stefan Trebacz - UK
Attended an introduction to leather work course with Nigel, and had an informative fun day. Nigel’s knowledge is second to none, and he explains things in a way that’s both interesting and easy to understand. So much so that I am in the process of obtaining my own tools so that I can progress my learning further. Once I have practised, I will definitely be looking to do another course with Nigel again.
I took a one day course with Nigel, as a complete beginner, the only experience I’d had prior was from watching his series of Vimeo tutorials (which I found extremely useful). I thoroughly enjoyed my day and will be returning to further my skills. If you are a beginner or already have experience and want to further your skills, I have every confidence you’ll benefit from a course. I’m pleased I went down this route rather than trying to work it out by myself. Highly recommend.
Gary Dennis - UK
James Woodings - UK
I have spent two days on a beginners course. Nigel is very experienced and knowledgeable which is great in itself, and he is a great teacher as well. I found Nigel excellent at sharing the knowledge, while being very patient. Made me feel very welcome there. Communication was timely, clear and efficient. In the two days, I learned a lot about stitching, pattern making, tools - the whole process of making a leather item from initial idea to finish. It was a exceptional experience, I will be back to learn more soon. I'm very happy that I found Armitage Leather!
My name is Verônica,
And I book the 3 (amazing) days course with Nigel.
I'm a Brazilian leatherworker, and I applied for this course to improve my finishings and my knowledge in handbag design. The 3 days were more than I could imagine. Nigel is an enthusiastic leatherworker and talented enough to let you more involved with leather.
He helped and encouraged me a lot about how to build a bag and how to resolve design issues with some patterns that I already had.
Definitely, it's a master-apprentice mentoring as the old times. I highly recommend!
Filip Lazic - Romania
Verônica Passos - Brazil
Having studied under several master saddlers over the years, a skilled craftsperson doesn't automatically translate to be a skilled teacher. Nigel is both a consummate craftsman and a generous and articulate teacher. His knowledge is extensive, from historical references to the relative merits of pricking irons - I can listen to him all day! I wish I could have spent longer at his well-equipped workshop as one day wasn't really enough. I would heartily recommend this course!
I sew but have never worked with leather. The course responded to my interests, was hands-on and we covered a lot of ground. Nigel is a natural teacher, personable and encouraging, giving you space to have a go while remaining on hand so that errors can be caught early, resolved and learned from. I enjoyed working in such a well-furnished workshop and with the high quality tools. A door has been opened to me and I am so pleased I booked the day. The coffee was great too!
JoAnne Hughes - UK
Aletha Hanson - UK
Excellent in every sense of the word. Nigel is a natural educator but he's also someone who has clearly worked hard to perfect not only the craft of leatherwork but also his skills as a teacher. Often these skills don't go together but Nigel has both in spades. A highly professional approach at every step, from email communication to location instructions and throughout. A great training facility too with an abundance of tools of the highest quality and a well laid out and welcoming environment right the way down to the quality of the coffee! Add to that a first-class teacher and you can't really ask for more. It's not a surprise to me that even seasoned leatherworkers travel from far and wide to learn from Nigel.
I have just finished my second training course with Nigel and once again I had a fantastic day! Before the course I was concerned that the combination of things I wanted to learn and ask advice on was a bit scattered but Nigel was quick to determine exactly what I was after and tie them seamlessly into a well-structured day-long lesson. Once again I was impressed with Nigel's patience, positivity and mastery of the craft. If you are looking to further your skills in leatherwork and pick up some new techniques there really is no substitute for training of this quality. I left the workshop with greater confidence and a new dimension and direction to my leatherwork.
Thank you Nigel - I'll be back for more!
Rob Murphy - UK
Oliver Foulds - UK
I had been dabbling in leatherwork for about a year, trying to teach myself from the internet, but wasn’t really getting anywhere. I decided to book a day with Nigel, primarily to learn the skills to copy an old belt I had, but also to gain some more general knowledge. Nigel showed me some belts he had made and they were of so much higher quality than the one I had that I decided to ask Nigel to just show me how to do the job properly.
I would never have imagined how much thought, choice and detail goes into every step of making a belt, nor the level of precision to strive for. We made some templates and made good progress on a belt which we designed together (there was never any intention to finish the belt).
I then spent some time asking Nigel’s thoughts on leather types, tools, materials, suppliers etc. He seems to know everything (!) and provided masses of information.
Overall I had a thoroughly enjoyable day and went home feeling inspired. Nigel is a likeable chap and seems to love teaching. I gained more knowledge and information in one day than I would have thought possible and would recommend the course without hesitation.
I had two consecutive days under Nigel's watchful eye, and had an utterly fantastic time.
Nigel is an excellent teacher; insightful and amusing, he taught me a massive amount in the two days.
Before this course, I had never handled leather from a maker's perspective. My experience was so positive that I am inclined to delve much further into the medium, and I feel that Nigel's teaching means I stand a good chance of becoming proficient (with further tuition).
The full process of making my chosen item was covered, including measuring, patterning, cutting, riveting, saddle stitching and finishing.
Nigel made sure that I did every part of my final piece, while he demonstrated and instructed separately. As a result, I feel much more secure in the skills I learned.
I went home with a rather lovely scaled bracer (a fully functional and aesthetically attractive armour piece that I shall treasure for a long time), a confidence boost and potentially a new passion.
I cannot recommend this course enough; an absolute treat on every count!
Rob Kane - UK
Anya de Visme - UK
I booked a one on one with Nigel to learn the basics of making a leather sheath. I came away with lots of new skills and had a great day. Will definitely be booking a second day soon.
Nigel is a great teacher and his new workshop is to die for.
It is always hard turning a wonderful experience into words.
I booked a 5 days basic course with Nigel in order to learn pattern making, saddle stitching, and the proper use of right tools and materials.
What I actually got by those days is way more than that: He provides you with a step by step method to apply universally with a clear understanding of the handmade & hand-stitching philosophy.
Moreover, he is a wonderful person smart fun and helpful
He is going to see me again very soon!
Diego from Italy
Mark Seymour - UK
Diego - Italy
I had the privilege of spending a day with Nigel Armitage being shown the wonders of working with leather. What a fantastic experience. Without exception, professional in every way and an excellent teacher able to guide you patiently through each step of the course. As a complete novice at the beginning of the day, I am now inspired with great enthusiasm and excitement at the prospect of being able to work with leather to a standard I never believed possible. Thank you Nigel indeed for sharing your incredible talents, time, and coffee so generously!
Nigel's mastery of his craft, I would dare say, is second to none, and his passion for what does transfers to his instruction. In his classes, there are no questions left unanswered. If verbal explanation does not solve the issue, then he will take your spot and physically demonstrate what is to be done. What more can one ask for? The character of his personality is such that it allows him to teach with patience and without intimidation, and his sense of humor at times neutralizes those moments when one is letting their seriousness overtake them. If you want the " meat and bones" of leatherwork married to structure, a class with Nigel will be much to your appreciation.
Jean Higgs - UK
Traditional Saddle Stitch
Maynard Haverly - US
I took this class with a group in Berkeley, CA.
This was my second course with Nigel, and it was another fantastic experience. Nigel is an excellent, engaging teacher with a wealth of knowledge and practical skills. The lessons were well designed, planned to build upon techniques and to produce very creditable first forays in box stitching. I now have the confidence and techniques to continue honing my box making skill.
I highly recommend any and all of Nigel’s courses.
I really enjoyed my day brushing up on the techniques I already have and then moving onto learning new techniques. Nigel is very knowledgeable and teaches with great enthusiasm, I came away feeling I had achieved so much and am already booked for next date!
Guy Gendron - US
Rachael Fairbrother - UK
I recently had a course with Nigel. It is my second course with him and it was as good as the first, if not better. He perfectly pitched the course to the stage I am at now. He was able to build on the skills I already have, taught me new ones and shared his knowledge, so I can become a better leatherworker. He is so encouraging and has a great sense of humour. I can see a big difference in my leatherwork since coming back from the course.
You also get to work with some amazing tools!
I will definitely be booking another course with Nigel, he has made such a difference. I would highly recommend his course.
I took a 4-day introduction to leatherwork course, as I was an absolute beginner and wanted to see if I liked leatherwork as a way to relax away from my day job. I chose Nigel, as I wanted to learn the correct more traditional techniques, and after looking on YouTube etc, thought he was the best person to learn from. I wasn't wrong. Nigel is patient, witty and an extremely gifted teacher, putting you at ease straight away and making the days fly by. The instruction is thoroughly explained, with lots of tool options to try - especially useful if you are left-handed like myself.
The course far exceeded my expectations, so I am now looking to purchase some tools and get practising before a return visit for the next set of instructions. As people have said previously, it is also the knowledge that you can get in touch after the course has finished which is extremely important. Thank you for making for the days richly enjoyable and I left with a beautiful wallet and pouch.
Roslyn Whiting - Scotland
Paul - UK
Traditional Saddle Stitch
I took a One-Day Basic Wallet Making Course with Nigel after reading all the outstanding reviews and recommendations from this site, and I can honestly say that every single review is absolutely true. Nigel is a true master with years of practical and theoretical experience whilst possesses the rare ability to communicate his knowledge in easily understandable terms. He is enthusiastic and methodical in his approach, patient in his instructions, and instantly put me at ease the moment I stepped into his workshop. I am a complete beginner but at the end of my course I have gained a thorough knowledge of fundamental leatherwork skills, and crucially I know I have learnt from Nigel the absolute correct techniques and methods which is going to set me in good stead. I have now in my hand a card wallet which I made completely from scratch, and I am going to continue to practise my new skills by making more items with confidence. I cannot recommend Nigel highly enough, and I will definitely be back for more courses.
What a fantastic course! I have been on many courses but by far, this is the best course I have ever been on. I am so new to leather working and from the off, Nigel was so patient and took me through what the day would entail, and the processes needed to produce a finished item, as well as giving a very interesting insight on the history of leather.
I cannot believe how much I learnt. Designing, pattern drafting, pattern cutting, choosing leather, bevelling, slicking, saddle stitching and finishing and so much more all in one day! I am really chuffed and proud of what I was able to achieve with Nigel’s help and knowledge and cannot wait to move on to more challenging items. As I progress, I will most definitely be returning to do more courses. I left armed with knowledge, skills and confidence to work out a design on my own and to see it through to the finished product, but also know Nigel is just an email away for advice should I feel I need it.
I have also subscribed to Nigel’s Vimeo channel and would absolutely encourage anyone who wants to get in to leather work and produce well-made beautiful products, to do the same. The videos are brilliant, Nigel not only explains clearly, he takes you right through each of the processes with very clear tutorials and lots of tips on tools and much more.
Nigel, thank you for such a productive and memorable day, and for your generosity in sharing your knowledge willingly, to help others.
Wen Gregson - UK
Alison Harrington - UK
I highly recommend this course! Nigel's approach to teaching is thoughtful, focused and efficient. Improvements were made in every aspect of my leatherworking skills. I'll be taking another course with Nigel as soon as I can.
Had a day with Nigel on introductory leatherwork class - Absolutely brilliant! I had a lovely day.
Excellent tutor, learned all the basics and returned home feeling that I could progress further on my own but looking forward to going again.
Devin - UK
Julie Rockall - UK
This was my second course with Nigel and they just get better and better. Tub making is notoriously difficult to master but with the tuition, enthusiasm and overview of Nigel, I am well on my way to producing a quality, professional tub. I can’t recommend Nigel’s Leatherworking courses enough, just starting out or been working with leather for a while, do yourself a favour and spend a day with the best
Had an excellent introduction to leathercraft. Nigel is a very skilled instructor who guides you through every step of the process enabling you to leave with the confidence to go on and expand on the ideas.
Will be doing more courses to progress.