I set up Leather Needle Thread in 2016 teaching handbag making workshops in Bristol, UK. Having guided over 300 people to make their own DIY leather bags (and the odd espadrille and leather sneaker!) from scratch I learnt what they found challenging, what they enjoyed and how they developed a sense of pride in their abilities.

I have been a leatherworker for over 10 years and studied bag design and construction at the London College of Fashion before going on to work in the industry as a leatherworker and sample maker.  The bag making kits were dreamed up because I wanted to give people a way to easily make covetable leather bags from beautiful materials, minimal tools and pared-back techniques in their own home.


All the leather I use is a by-product of the European beef industry. Sourced from UK suppliers - all of the leather comes either from Italy or Belgium. Where possible, I source vegetable tanned leather which is preserved with organic botanical extracts from Mimosa, Québracho and Chestnut barks. Vegetable tanning is a slower, kinder means of production that has less impact on the environment, and results in a stronger leather where the fibres of the original skin are preserved. Where the colours of veg tanned leather are darker and more muted, responsibly-produced chrome tanned leather results in brighter hues. The bag making kits use a mix of both types of leather to give a broad choice of colours. Each product is labelled as to whether it is vegetable tanned or chrome tanned to place the choice in your hands.


Each maker kit has been thoughtfully designed to enable sewing novices and leathercraft beginners to hand make beautiful, functional leather bags in just a few hours using simple techniques, and a few key leatherwork tools.  I have broken the making process down into easy steps and rooted out over-complicated techniques in favour of simpler ways of doing things - making making more accessible!  Less daunting.  Each kit comes with the leather pre-cut and pre-prepared.  Video tutorials and illustrated easy to follow instructions take you step by step through each of the processes.  I want to give you the tools and skills to empower you to hand make beautiful bags that will be coveted, worn and used every day.


The bag you make is designed to work for you and to be used. Superfluous, fussy details have been eliminated in favour of clean lines and purpose-driven features. The subtle design details result from the construction - the way the bag is put together is laid bare and is both an aesthetic and functional feature. The beauty of the tactile, aromatic and resilient leather is central to the design. The bag you make is simple, beautiful and totally covetable.