Leather shopping at J.T. Batchelor

Hello my crafty friends!

If you follow my blog you might remember that I went to a leather workshop last year. Since then I wanted to buy a piece of leather to make more leather goods and improve what I’ve learned further.

Similar to fabric shopping, there are so many variations of leather hides and cuts that it was nearly impossible for me to choose one online. I decided to visit a shop that Richard form Leather craft workshop days highly recommended and where my purple cross-body bag  leather was purchased from.

J. T. Batchelor is a hidden gem located in Islington, London where you can buy not only hides, skins and leather, but also a variety of hardware and leather tools. It is a one stop shop for anything you need. The shop was established nearly 40 years ago and it does not sell online…..can you believe that?

One free afternoon in the middle of the February, I packed my leather bag and went on a journey to find this hidden gem. Two hours later I finally found the building with a green doors and stepped inside…

The moment I stepped inside I felt a little lost. The shop is not your typical shop and I did not know where to start. Lucky for me I had a perfect opening to start the conversation with a person behind the counter. I simply showed them my cross-body bag and mentioned that I’ve made it during Richard’s workshop. He smiled and took me to the back end of the shop where they keep the exact leather in variety of colors. It was a dream….I fell in love!

I had spend 3 hours in the shop, stroking and smelling leather, choosing the perfect hide for my next project and talking to people who work in the shop. By the way…they are awesome! So helpful , friendly and patient.

Only with 20 minutes spare before the shop closing time I had settled on buying two pieces of leather, one brown and one blue. The colors compliment each other and with having different feel and weight I thought it would be good for me to experiment with. I also picked some silver hardware to go with it, such as belt buckles and rivets and went back home already planning in my head what I’m going to make next.

Have you ever spend too much money on fabric and did not want to cut into it because you were scared that it might get ruined? Cutting on expensive leather is even more terrifying experience. But I though if I start with something small, even if it does not work I still have enough leather left to try it out again.

I drafted an eyeglasses case and a passport cover and I must say I am very happy with how it turned out. It is not perfect, but with practice I will get better.

I really enjoy working with leather and would love to sell my makes online one day….when I get better 🙂



Monika xxx

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