Leather goods materials


The wide range of materials used in leather goods production: leather, leather substitutes (synthetics or artificial materials), textile, etc; the way of distinguishing among various materials based on their properties, advantages and limitations.

Alternative labels

materials for leatherwear
leather goods raw materials
leatherwear materials
materials in leather goods production
materials in leather goods
materials for leather products
leather products materials
materials for leather goods

Skill type


Skill reusability level


Relationships with occupations

Essential knowledge

Leather goods materials is an essential knowledge of the following occupations:

Leather goods production supervisor: Leather goods production supervisors monitor and coordinate day-to-day production activities of a leather goods manufacturing plant. They oversee quality control as well as manage the leather goods production staff. The work also involves organising the work flow as well as taking care of production plan and costs.
Cutting machine operator: Cutting machine operators check leather, textiles, synthetic materials, dyes and footwear. They select areas of materials to be cut in terms of quality and stretch direction, take the decision of where and how to cut and programme and execute specific technology or machine. The equipment used for large surfaces of materials is frequently an automatic knife. Cutting machine operators position and handle leather or other materials. They adjust cutting machines, match footwear components and pieces, and check cut pieces against specifications and quality requirements.

Leather goods hand cutting operator: Leather goods hand cutting operators check leather and their materials and cutting dies, select areas  to be cut, position pieces on the leather and other materials, match the leather goods components (pieces) and check cut pieces against specifications and quality requirements. All the activities and tasks are performed manually.
Leather goods quality manager: Leather goods quality managers manage and promote the systems of quality assurance implemented in the organisations. They carry out the tasks in order to achieve predefined requirements and objectives, fostering the internal and external communication, while aiming for the continuous improvement and the customer satisfaction.
Automated cutting machine operator: Automated cutting machine operators send files from the computer to the cutting machine, place the material to be cut, and they digitize and select the fault in the materials surface in order to perform the nesting of the parts,  unless the machine makes it automatically. They give the order to the machine to cut, they also collect the cut pieces and does the final quality control analysis against specifications and quality requirements. They also monitor the status of the cutting machine working devices.
Leather goods manual operator: Leather goods manual operators handle tools to prepare the joint of the pieces in order to ready the pieces to be stitched or to close the already existing pieces stitched together in order to give shape to the leather good products.
Leather goods CAD patternmaker: Leather goods CAD patternmakers design, adjust and modify 2D patterns using CAD systems. They check laying variants using nesting modules of the CAD system. They estimate material consumption.
Leather goods warehouse operator: Leather goods warehouse operators are in charge of the warehouse of leather, components, other materials and production devises. They classify and register the purchased raw materials and components, forecast purchases and distribute them across different departments. They ensure that all the necessary raw materials and components for the production are ready to be used and to be placed in the production chain.
Leather goods quality controller: Leather goods quality controllers perform activities of analysis of visual aspects of the leather goods regarding appearance, robustness, absence of wrinkles, straightness of seams and overall aspects such as cleanliness, colour uniformity, compared to the specifications. They also perform expedite tests.
Leather goods machine operator: Leather goods machine operators tend specific machines in the industrial production of leather goods products. They operate machinery for cutting, closing, and finishing luggage, handbags, saddlery and harness products. They also perform routine maintenance of the machinery.
Leather goods quality control laboratory technician: Leather goods quality control laboratory technicians perform laboratory control tests according to the national and international standards. During laboratory control tests they prepare samples, address test procedures, analysis and interpretation of the results and comparison with guidelines and standards and prepare reports. They make the linkage with outsourced laboratories for the tests which cannot be performed inside the company. They propose corrective and preventive measures.
Leather goods patternmaker: Leather goods patternmakers design and cut patterns for various kinds of leather goods using a variety of hand and simple machine tools. They check nesting variants and estimate material consumption.
Pre-stitching machine operator: Pre-stitching machine operators handle tools and equipment for splitting, skiving, folding, punching, crimping, placking, and marking the uppers to be stitched and, when needed, apply reinforcement strips in various pieces. They may also glue the pieces together before stitching them. Pre-stitching machine operators perform these tasks according to the instructions of the technical sheet. 
Leather goods stitching machine operator: Leather goods stitching machine operators join the cut pieces of leather and other materials to produce the leather goods, using tools and a wide range of machines, such as flat bed, arm and one or two columns They also handle tools and monitoring machines for preparing the pieces to be stitched, and operate the machines. They select threads and draw thread through guides and needles. They select threads and needles for the stitching machines, place pieces in the working area, and operate with the machine guiding parts under the needle, following seams, edges or markings or moving edges of parts against the guide.
Leather goods artisanal worker: Leather goods artisanal workers manufacture leather goods or parts of leather goods by hand according to the specifications of the customer or their own design. They do repairs of leather goods such as shoes, bags and gloves.
Leather goods quality technician: Leather goods quality technicians perform tasks related to the quality system, by controlling quality, executing laboratory tests (finished products, used materials and components) according to the national and international standards. They analyse and interpret the result of the laboratory tests, prepare reports, advise on corrective and preventive measures, contributing for the accomplishment of requirements and objectives in the with the aim of continuous improving and the customer satisfaction.
Leather goods finishing operator: Leather goods finishing operators organise leather goods products to be finished applying different types of finishing (e.g. creamy, oily, waxy, polishing, plastic-coated, etc.). They use tools, means and materials to incorporate the handles and metallic applications in bags, suitcases, and other accessories. They study the sequence of operations according to the information received from the supervisor and from the technical sheet of the model. They apply techniques for ironing, creaming or oiling, for the application of liquids for waterproofing, leather washing, cleaning, polishing, waxing, brushing, burning tips, remotion of glue waste, and painting the tops following technical specifications. They also check visually the quality of the finished by paying close attention to the absence of wrinkles, straight seams, and cleanliness. They correct anomalies or defects that can be solved by finishing and reported to the supervisor.
Leather goods industrial engineer: Leather goods industrial engineers analyse product technical specifications, define productive operations and its sequence, refine working methods, calculate operative times by using time measurement techniques. They address human and technological resources to each operation and define distribution of work according to production capacity. All their activities and tasks have the objective of maximising productivity and reducing production costs, assuring the functionality and quality of product and customer satisfaction.
Leather goods designer: Leather goods designers are in charge of the creative process of leather goods. They perform fashion trends analysis, accompany market researches and forecast needs, plan and develop collections, create concepts and build the collection lines. They additionally conduct the sampling, create prototypes or samples for presentation and promote concepts and collections. During the collection development, they define the mood and the concept board, the colour palettes, the materials, produce drawings and sketches. Leather goods designers identify the range of materials and components and define the design specifications. They collaborate with the technical team.
Leather goods manufacturing technician: Leather goods manufacturing technicians perform a wide range of activities and tasks related to the leather goods manufacturing process including cutting, closing and finishing, according to pre-defined quality criteria, resulted from the direct relationship with the costumer. They use manual techniques supported by simple traditional equipment to produce exclusive models or very small orders.
Leather goods product development manager: Leather goods product development managers coordinate the leather goods design and product development process in order to comply with marketing specifications, deadlines, strategic requirements and policies of the company. They communicate and collaborate with other cross functional teams or professionals involved in leather goods production, such as logistics and marketing, costing, planning, production and quality assurance. They are responsible for the leather goods product collections development which involve activities such as tracking style development, reviewing design specification in order to meet the design vision, the manufacturing environment, and the rent-ability of the companies.
Leather goods packing operator: Leather goods packing operators perform the final revision of the leather goods products. They apply accessories such as the handles, padlocks, or other features of the product (e.g. labels). They introduce products in textile sacs if applicable, fill them with paper to maintain the product’s shape and then place products in boxes using adequate tools for products’ protection. They are in charge of general packaging, and checking the completion of each order by getting the boxes into the parcels and preparing the documentation for expedition by the transport agency.
Leather goods product developer: Leather goods product developers perform and interface between design and actual production. They analyse and study designer’s specifications and transform them into technical requirements, updating concepts to manufacturing lines, selecting or even designing components and selecting materials. Leather goods product developers also perform the pattern engineering meaning to make patterns manually, produce technical drawings for various range of tools, specially cutting. They evaluate prototypes, performing required tests for samples and confirming the customer’s quality requirements and pricing constrains.
Leather goods production manager: Leather goods production managers perform a wide range of activities and tasks in the field of management, namely, they plan, distribute and coordinate all necessary activities of the different leather goods manufacturing phases envisaging the accomplishment of the quality standards and production and productivity pre-defined goals.
Leather goods hand stitcher: Leather goods hand stitchers join the cut pieces of leather and other materials using simple tools such as needles, pliers and scissors to close the product. They also perform hand stitches for decorative purposes.
Leather goods maintenance technician: Leather goods maintenance technicians programme and tune different types of cutting, stitching, finishing and specific equipment related to leather goods manufacturing. They take care of the preventive and corrective maintenance of the various equipment by periodically verifying their working conditions and performance, analysing faults, correcting problems, repairing and substitutes components and performing routine lubrications. They provide information on the usage of equipment and its energetic consumption to decision makers inside the company.

Optional knowledge

Leather goods materials is optional for these occupations. This means knowing this knowledge may be an asset for career advancement if you are in one of these occupations.

Footwear quality control laboratory technician: Footwear quality control laboratory technicians perform all laboratory tests of footwear and materials or components according to the national and international standards. They analyse and interpret their results, and prepare the report for the quality manager, advising on rejections or acceptances. They apply previously defined quality management tools aiming for achievement of the objectives stated in the quality policy. They participate in monitoring and control of the quality system, namely internal and external auditing. They collaborate in the preparation of documents related to quality and in the linkage with outsourced laboratories for the tests which cannot be performed inside the company.




  1. Leather goods materials – ESCO


Last updated on September 20, 2022