Kippler75

Hello from Nairobi,Kenya

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I am new to this site. I work in Nairobi at an informal leather market called Kariokor which has an easy access to East Africa's leading tannery,Alpharama where you can get all sorts of leather sourced from abattoirs across East Africa at really low prices.Besides labour here is reasonable at around 4 USD for days work.what we lack is access to tools and equipment and leather crafting learning materials which I believe we will find , thanks to this great site.Any one willing to collaborate with us or give a cents worth of advice is highly welcome.my b WhatsApp number is±254729318043. Thanks.

 

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Hello Kippler, and welcome to the forum!

I have a cold at the moment, and not feeling very lively, but if you could be patient I'll try to send you a longer message in 2 or 3 days

Meanwhile Search YouTube for relevant videos, there are lot's of them, too many to watch altogether. Narrow the Search by looking for techniques you want, such as saddle stitch or edge finishing, and particular items you might be interested in, like knife sheaths, bags, or belts. but remember that the same sort of techniques are used in various items. You will start to see how things are done, and the tools & materials that are used

Two good channels to watch are those by Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage

Regards, Zuludog

 

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Welcome to the forum @Kippler75. I hope that you find the help that can be gained here rewarding. I look forward to seeing some of the leather work you and the others at Kariokor can produce.

Regards Brian

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6 hours ago, zuludog said:

Hello Kippler, and welcome to the forum!

I have a cold at the moment, and not feeling very lively, but if you could be patient I'll try to send you a longer message in 2 or 3 days

Meanwhile Search YouTube for relevant videos, there are lot's of them, too many to watch altogether. Narrow the Search by looking for techniques you want, such as saddle stitch or edge finishing, and particular items you might be interested in, like knife sheaths, bags, or belts. but remember that the same sort of techniques are used in various items. You will start to see how things are done, and the tools & materials that are used

Two good channels to watch are those by Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage

Regards, Zuludog

 

Thanks,waiting and looking forward to hearing from you when you get well.

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Hello Kippler, sorry for the delay; here are a few comments for you

We are fortunate in Britain and USA that, despite the recent changes to Tandy, there are lots of leathercraft suppliers. Here are three main ones, to see what they can offer; I think they will all sell for export - Abbey England; Goods Japan; Tandy Leather Factory

However, as mentioned, most of the tools, materials, and thread for leathercraft are now made in China, Japan, Korea and other Far Eastern Countries, and there doesn't seem much point in shipping goods halfway round the world and back again; it would be better to obtain them directly. Unfortunately I'm not an expert on Chinese industry or international trade & shipping, and I don't know every manufacturer of supplier. But here are some names to consider - Kevin Lee, Vinymo, Amy Roke, Crimson Hides, Seiwa, Kyoshin Elle. Search The Net and contact them directly

I've  found that there is both a Chinese Embassy and a Chinese Economic Office in Nairobi, perhaps they could help you

Nigel Armitage has made lots of videos about different makes of pricking irons & stitching chisels. It is in effect a list of most leather tool makers and distributors. Again, Search the Net and contact them. Some of them are rather expensive; I'm afraid you'll just have to see what's available, and decide for yourself on the best choice. Of course, I can't tell you how the prices will be affected by duties and shipping costs, but there's one thing of which you can be certain - the prices won't go down!

You can make some items yourself -

Make a strop from oddments of wood & leather. This is just about the easiest piece of leatherwork you can do. Try to use a proper stropping or honing compound

A wooden edge burnisher. Search YouTube, the suppliers, and Google to see the sort of thing that can be done

Do you know of a mechanic's or engineering workshop? Old 25mm and 40mm hacksaw blades can be made into leatherworking knives. Search Google and YouTube for - skiving knife, Japanese leather knife, leather paring knife, kiridashi

Do you know anyone who does woodturning? If you want an awl then just importing the blade would reduce the cost and the shipping, then make your own handles

I can recommend these books - The Art of Hand Sewing Leather by Al Stohlman and The Leatherworking Handbook by Valerie Michael. Used/ secondhand books from Amazon are good value and in good condition

I'm sure a Search of YouTube and previous Threads on this forum will give you lots of ides & inspiration; or just ask again

 

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Zuludog you really researched for and given me a head start.The resources and contacts you mentioned are invaluable.I am scouring the net and will update you.For the umpteenth time,thanks.

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I found a site in China called Banggood that sells leather crafting tools.what do you think of them.methinks they are fair on pricing but don't know the quality.

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I have bought a few things from them including a lot of stuff for building my laser and found them alright. If there is a problem with anything you get make sure you notify them quickly.

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Hello Kippler, a few more ideas for you

I'm sure there will be lots of skilled craft people and workers in Nairobi. You could make all the wooden tools and some of the steel ones - strops, burnishers, mallets, mauls, stitching ponies, saddler's clams, knives. Get on to YouTube and play around, there are lots of videos. Use the Search Box and follow the links

There are organisations that donate tools to African countries, like Tools For Self Reliance; Work Aid; Tool Aid. I don't know how you'd contact them, and leatherworking tools are a bit specialised, but if you don't ask, you don't get. Search Google for 'Tools For Africa'.

I've just Searched Google for leatherworking tools in Kenya and found www.junia.co.ke and www.kilimall.co.ke Perhaps you know of them?

Also I Searched for leatherworking tool suppliers in Africa. There are several in South Africa, such as www.woodheads.co.za. Now, I'm not very familiar with the distances, shipping costs, or duties involved, but that might also be worth looking into

Edited by zuludog

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