Walsall Leather Museum

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Walsall Leather Museum
Walsall Leather Museum Exterior.jpg
Established 1988
Location Walsall, West Midlands
Type Industrial Museum
Website http://www.walsall.gov.uk/leathermuseum/

Walsall Leather Museum is located in Walsall, in the West Midlands in England, and was opened in 1988 on the site of a Victorian leather factory, renovated by Walsall Council. It tells the story of the Walsall leather trades, and in particular the rise of Walsall from an obscure Midlands town into an international saddle-making centre.

The Industry[edit]

In 1900, at the peak of the industry, approximately 10,000 people were employed locally in preparing leather, and making saddles, horse bridles and related leather items. It is estimated that there are still at least 40 manufacturers of saddles and bridles in the town, as well as a number of makers of bags and light leathergoods, including three Royal Warrant holders.

Exhibitions[edit]

One of the reconstructed workshops at Walsall Leather Museum

Exhibits in the museum include a range of Walsall-made leathergoods, from saddles to gloves, bags, shoes, and leather fashion accessories. A 'contemporary design' section in the museum showcases the work of designers working with leather today. Leather crafts traditional to Walsall are demonstrated within the museum's workshops by a team of experienced skilled craftsmen and women. Visitors will experience the complex range of skills and processes that are required to create a variety of leather goods, many of which are still produced today.

The museum also houses a research library of specialist works on the subject of the leather craft and industry. You can watch skilled leatherworkers hand crafting leather goods such as wallets and purses; there are frequent live demonstrations of traditional leather crafts in the period workshops. Leatherworking demonstrations are held throughout the day, usually Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm. There is a seasonal events programme, including craft fairs, workshops and annual leather festival. For events and activities at Walsall Leather Museum visit www.whatsonwalsall.co.uk

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Glasson, Michael (2003). The Walsall Leather Industry. Images of England. The History Press. ISBN 0-7524-2793-8. 
  • Marshall, Geoff (2008). Walsall: An Illustrated History. The History Press Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-4656-8. 
  • Mills, David (1993 and 1995). In the Leather (2 vols.). Tempus. ISBN 1-873612-50-8.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Coordinates: 52°35′19″N 1°59′00″W / 52.5886°N 1.9833°W / 52.5886; -1.9833