Humans are the only species known to adorn themselves with a second skin. This extra hide, leather, can be smooth, soft, and cosmetic, or robust, resistant, and protective. For thousands of years this versatile material has provided the foundation for the manufacture of clothing, jewellery, and accessories. Josephine Barbe encourages the reader to use this all-purpose material in a variety of ways. Thirty-five projects include a fancy book cover, a comfortable pair of moccasins, a handbag guaranteed to attract admiring eyes, and many more. Valuable tips for purchasing and assembling leather are also provided. Written for artisans and aspiring designers as well as history buffs, it traces the development of three major tanning methods in ancient and modern cultures, including Egyptian, Moroccan, and North American, and teaches essential skills along the way including dyeing, embossing, and stamping. All the projects can be completed with a sewing machine and a few simple tools.
Josephine Barbe studied textile design, worked at a leather boutique, and first manufactured leather clothing and accessories in Berlin. She is now a scientific fellow at the Technical University, Berlin, where she lectures and holds seminars about textile manufacturing.