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on 19 October 1999
I'd like all how-to books to be made this way. It just tells you everything you need to know in a clear manner, and moves you on the way of leatherworking through projects of increasing difficullty. If you wanna know about leathercrafting, you can't use your money better.
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on 4 June 1997
A breath of fresh air! It has been a long time since a book about Leathercraft held my interest like this one does. I have worked in this field for more than twenty years and books on the craft are fairly hit and miss with the subject.
Valeries book is well layed out and very informitive. Good descriptive text and pictures, make the projects therein, a breeze. Although it is a small selection of how to skills for the Leathercrafter, the selection is different and challenging. Highly recommended for schools etc.
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on 1 October 1999
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!
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on 16 July 2003
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.
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on 21 June 2014
I purchased this book after previewing parts of it using Amazon's "Look online" feature. Glad I did, as it is very well laid out & illustrated, with good photos, in black & white and colour, and clear line drawings, but most importantly it contains a lot of the information I was looking for, as a novice.

For example: tables showing the normal thicknesses/weights of leather (UK & USA), their uses, the types of leather, what tanning is all about, the standard cuts of leather and their respective pros & cons, advice on how to buy leather, the tools (basic and more advanced - but not the head knife). Excellent, concise advice on sharpening tools (I have read many descriptions on sharpening but none better than this). It provides a lot more besides (see table of contents in on-line preview) - enough to keep me busy for quite some time.

If, like me, you want to hand-sew veg tan (saddle type) leather in the traditional (high-quality, high-strength) English style, this is a very good book. It describes leather crafting from a traditional UK hand-sewing perspective and consequently it makes a good complement to English Master Leather Craftsman Nigel Armitage's excellent Youtube video series (his 2 saddle stitching videos, for example, cover the finer details of saddle stitch in far more detail than the book can; ditto his excellent awl sharpening video). Oddly, Nigel strongly recommends braided, waxed polyester thread over linen thread, while the author strongly recommends linen over polyester threads - such differences are common among leather crafters.

I'm absolutely delighted with this book. :)

UPDATE: Having now been through the book a few times now, I would now liked more information/detail on several areas - but perhaps that would have unnecessarily cluttered & spoilt this attractive, very readable & browse-able book "entry level" book. By the way, this book is a good complement to the classic "The Art of Handsewing Leather" by Al Stohlman (& Stohlman's tool book), rather than a replacement for it.
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on 28 December 2009
Great book for advanced beginners and those selecting their preferred craft methods. There was an insert for 2010 courses, which is great, too
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on 4 June 2013
This book was recommended to me to buy when I took an interest in leatherworking, and it was out of stock at the time from a different seller and I was told to come to amazon for it and lo and behold amazon had it. So bought it quick smart and I must say that I love the content as it has clear directions on how to use leather and mould it into the shape that you want - which was what was crucial to my being able to work with leather. The explanation on the type of leather to use and which is the best and worse kind is also a bonus. Valerie wrote a great and valuable guide to this craft.
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on 9 January 2016
An easy to follow, concisely written book which no doubt I will refer back to for many years ahead. I struggled with the Saddler's stitch until purchasing this book and look forward to trying the projects listed as Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Great book!
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on 1 June 2013
The book is laid out in a very easy to understand fashion. It's written in plain terms which makes it easier to understand. There are many illustrations which are helpful. Videos are about the only thing that would make this book better!
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on 20 August 2013
Great book lots of excellent tips on tools and techniques including hand stitching, and types of threads. Also useful reference guide to choosing suitable grades and cuts of leather most appropriate to your end product .
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