I'm looking for as many words (and corresponding definitions) as I can find for different specific types of leatherworking. Archaic words are fine, even preferred. Of particular interest is a single word for repairs performed by cutting away damaged areas and stitching together with lanyard, if available. I'm looking for words related to leather crafting and repair, not so much production.

Multi-word terms that aren't specific to leatherwork or may only be read as specific to leatherwork in context (like "rip work" for the specific term I describe above) are probably not useful to me.

  • 1
    To clarify: are you looking for specific operations (skiving, stamping, tooling, etc.), or the various types of jobs a saddler or cobbler might take in?
    – bye
    Feb 23, 2011 at 23:16
  • @Stan Rogers: Specific operations; your examples are definitely in the class of things I'm looking for.
    – chaos
    Feb 23, 2011 at 23:29
  • @Stan Rogers: I've put a bounty on this question now. If you put those terms in an answer you'd be the front-runner. :)
    – chaos
    Feb 26, 2011 at 18:22
  • ... and I'd also be at the extreme edge of my expertise. I worked for a cobbler for a short time, but since English was not his first language, all I learned was the names of current materials and machines for ordering purposes (and how to swear profusely in Pugliese). As a mangiacake (the Italian-Canadian derogatory equivalent of WASP) I wasn't entitled to learn the craft, and what I would have learned wouldn't have been the older English vocabulary. I don't want to be responsible for blatant anachronisms in your work.
    – bye
    Feb 26, 2011 at 18:38
  • @Stan Rogers: I'd be interested in whatever you've got, really. The work in question is one where I can easily justify blatant anachronisms by personal fiat (the world history is what I say it is), so that's all good.
    – chaos
    Feb 26, 2011 at 18:49

5 Answers 5


Lacing - a way of joining two pieces of leather with thin strips

saddle-stitch - a specific type of stitch used when both sides of the seam is exposed, like the edges of a saddle

skiving - thinning the leter at the edges to avoid a double layer at a seam

tooling - using a variety of methods/tools to impress designs into a piece of leather for decoration (much like copper tooling)

Oh, there was a Inuit one for softening the leather by having old women chew it - (I'm not being sexist or agest - the word is that specific ...) but I forget it - any Inuit leather worker would probably know it though.


Repair terms seem few, but here are some leather working terms:

  • barkened, tanned
  • barkometer, instrument for testing tanning solutions
  • box-grain, a grain put into leather where lines are crossed
  • catechu, a tanning material
  • chagrin or shagreen, a leather with a rough surface
  • chamar, an (east) Indian leather worker
  • chuckler, an (east) Indian leather worker
  • clout-leather, leather for shoe mending
  • codder, leather worker or saddler
  • cordwainer leather worker or shoemaker
  • cordwainery, shoemaker's work
  • crimp, to bend or mold leather, as in saddle making
  • cuir-bouilli, soaked leather molded into some shape which is retained when dry
  • currier, someone who dresses or colors leather
  • dub, to rub grease into leather
  • dubbing or dubbin, grease to apply to leather
  • fellmonger, a dealer or worker of hides
  • fisher, a tanner's implement
  • fluff, to buff leather
  • footing, material for footwear
  • frieze, an imperfection in leather
  • frizz, to rub leather to smooth and soften
  • frot, to soften leather by rubbing
  • grainer, a tool to impart a grain in leather
  • grindery, tools & materials of leather workers
  • hidebound, edged with leather
  • hided, made of twisted hide
  • jacked, hardened, as in leather
  • kench, a box to hold salted seal skins
  • leathern, made of leather
  • mace, mallet to beat leather
  • moellon, a wax for leather
  • mulled, treated to make softer
  • pannus corium, leather for footwear uppers.
  • patch leather. leather for patching
  • pebbling, using a roller to make an indented surface on leather
  • pommel, ribbed wooden tool to improve leather
  • pricker, tool to put spaced holes, as for sewing
  • Rexine, an imitation leather (proprietary)
  • riempie, leather strip used in chair backs, etc.
  • sammy, to dampen or dry leather slightly
  • scoring iron, tool to run lines on leather
  • shaganappi, cord made from rawhide
  • shamoy, to work grease into leather
  • skiver, worker who splits leather
  • sleeker, tool to smooth leather
  • slicker, tool to smooth leather
  • smoothing, an iron to smooth leather
  • snuff, to curry or smooth leather
  • spetch, a leather patch for mending leather items
  • stamper, tool to beat leather with
  • stark, tool to dress leather
  • stitch-wheel, tool to put spaced holes (pricker)
  • zug, a waterproof leather

Also, there may be a bunch of unusual terms for tanning materials and types of leather.



This provides additional wikipedia links to more detailed explanations about leather carving, swivel knives, stamping, dying, tanning, etc.


No one has said cobbler - A shoe maker - most shoes are leather ?? Hmmm might not be specific, a dutch shoemaker could work in wood I guess.

  • Yeah, fabric is used in shoes a lot too. It's not really leatherworking-specific.
    – chaos
    Mar 4, 2011 at 18:55

I could only help with some adjectives :





5)dermatic , See if this can help :)

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