LTT Leather

Is there demand for leather restoration!?

Steven Butler

Cleantalk Member
Successfully become established carpet and upholstery cleaning and time to add a service/start something alongside. Genuinely I don’t think you could run a business just on leather cleaning but restoration is a diff game. Im considering everything but this does interest me, can anyone in the trade confirm there is money to be made?? Thanks
 

Andrew Evans

Cleantalk Member
Daniel Darlow and a couple of others are making a good business out of purely doing leather.

There is money in it, but it is like all things you need to market it right. I am happy just cleaning it. Time spent for pounds charged I found cleaning more profitable.

But if you have a passion for it then go for it.
 

Daniel Darlow

Cleantalk Member
Hi Steve.
If you were in Devon, Cornwall or Somerset, I would say there is no way you can make a buck from it.:evilgrin:
As you are in Sheffield I would say go for it BIG TIME as there is a massive market for leather so long as you broaden your mind, and as they say , and think outside the box.
If I was a younger man I would have franchised several parts of the business I am now doing and would be sitting somewhere warm, (hold on I'm in Devon and its smashing!) If you wish to PM me and I will give you some insights....real information comes at a price!
 

Paul Watchorn

Cleantalk Member
Without doubt, there is an abundance of new leather work out there. There is also a fair amount of work putting right what people have either done a diy job, or had someone in that didn't have the training to do the job properly.

The latter should make one stop and think for a minute.

Whilst leather can be very lucrative, one can get into trouble if training and practice hasn't been had.

It's essential to seek out good quality training, but as a novice, how do you know? Training differs a great deal.

Leather restoration is not really like carpet cleaning, and I'm not stating the obvious. However, with carpet cleaning one might do a recognised course for a few days, buy some equipment, and could well stay out of trouble and gain knowledge on the job.

It's a different learning curve with leather. You can learn the basic repairs etc in the classroom, it's a different story when you are in someones living room for the first time.

My personal advice would be to make sure you have a workshop, or some place to practice and test materials. Like everything in the world leather repair products vary in quality and usability. These all need to be tested to your satisfaction before you repair or re colour Mrs Jones sofa for large amount of money.

It's very rewarding though. Both financially and for other reasons. If one takes time to really master one part, then move on to the next and so on it is a career for life.

We started with a view to add leather cleaning to the carpet cleaning services some years ago. I called everybody I knew of for training in leather cleaning. The usual response was that you don't need a course, just buy this product.

I see now that 'proper courses' are popping up. Rightly so.

There is a huge difference in the quality of pigment out there too. Along with different 'training' with regard to applying it. So it's well worth testing for yourself. It may save a world of call backs.

In the first instance, if someone is looking to get into leather, I would seek out a decent course in leather cleaning. Here one can start to understand the different types of leather, what can and can't be done and will see the potential for moving forward.

One thing that always makes me smile is when we are off to say clean a five seater corner unit. We are still in the van with £1000's of carpet cleaning equipment, and pick up our little silver box which contains everything to make a tidy sum, inside, out of the rain with the coffee and biscuits flowing.
 

Judy Bass

LTT Leathercare
Wise words indeed Paul.

We have seen a massive increase in DIY and ‘hinching’ forums where everyone is an expert and incorrect advice that causes damage is rife. There is much work to do.

However thanks to these the number of ‘google’ fixes we now have in our workshops is ever growing!!!

On top of training it is also vital that support is given to new starters in the initial stages so that they have someone to turn to in those initial tentative steps after the course and we pride ourselves on our mentoring programme which is open to all our new trainees.

Our 1 day Leather Cleaning Course is a fab way to test the water to see if it is for you before taking the plunge into repairs or restoration, as Paul says it is vital you understand the leather you are dealing with and what is cleaning and what is not so this initial stage is hugely important.

Quality of products and methods of application are both massively important for the best results. We constantly reevaluate products to keep up with latest developments.

I wrote about choosing a good leather training course some time ago but it is still as relevant today.

How to choose a good training course.

I know training is an on going process and we are all still learning (I try to learn or invest in something new every day) but when complete newbies to the industry are involved it is imperative that they learn in the right way.
It saddens me when I receive so many emails and texts from unsuspecting people who have been drawn in to training courses with unqualified and inexperienced instructors/companies either by cost or a huge sales pitch.
I still receive many calls from people who have unwittingly chosen the wrong course and require help with problems caused by wrong advice, poor or completely wrong information and also a total lack of ongoing product or mentoring support after the course.
Small companies have a tight training budget and once spent there is usually little left for repeat training (although this would not be wasted) but it is sad that businesses are being seriously affected in this way. Too many people are being put off taking a lucrative skill forward by poor information and badly structured (if at all) courses.
  1. Check the credentials of the instructor - years experience, background and training qualifications
  2. Check out testimonials and how many they have received - how many courses have they run, delegates trained and which industries they cover
  3. Talk to people who have attended courses
  4. Speak to the instructor and ask as many questions as you can to establish their passion and credibility about what they do
  5. Check out what after course support and mentoring is available to help you establish yourself
It’s a tough world out there at the moment with many industries affected - please don’t be one of the ones that gets caught out by not doing a little research.

Cheers
Judyb
 

Alby Gill

Cleantalk Member
Just thinking about what Paul said in his post, about turning up at a customers house with a van full of equipment, and going in with silver boxes work on Leather. it's so true you do make a tidy sum out of those boxes.
We're getting to the stage were our leather work is taking over everything. My son will be attending Judy's training course in the near future, then he will be going out on his own with his own silver boxes. He only has to clean one leather suite a day and he will be earning good money for a young man.
 

Daniel Darlow

Cleantalk Member
We have a row of garages behind our flat (above shops) 1 I own which comes with the flat, as the business has grown I have been lucky to rent another 2. This enables me storage, cutting table, and spraying facilities. I did not want to go down the shop warehouse situation so this works like a dream. Customers now come to me, I still do visit but only on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, tea is on tap, the radio on, ecstasy!.
 

Mark Sutcliffe

Cleantalk Member
I'm waiting to do one of Judy's courses in the new year..

Want an example of what type of person she is?

She was willing to change her course dates for October to help me out as I have limited availability. Unfortunately having just spent over 3k on cc kit, I've got to wait a month or two :down:
 

paul jenkins

Cleantalk Member
To be honest, I done a course in Leather restoration years ago, bought all the equipment, but the work was very hit and miss, you will find people calling you to go and repair their leather sofa, and when you get their, you realise its faux leather, and they want you to repair all the plastic that has come away,,,,,, you will be surprised by the amount of customers that cannot tell real leather from Faux leather, in the end I sold all my equipment, best thing I done,, but that's just my own personal opinion.
 

Ian Morton

Cleantalk Member
...There is a lot of leather work out there...it’s all about how you position yourself and sell and market your skills and services...it’s the same old adage that if people don’t know about you then work can be a bit hit and miss...same applies to anyone adding hard flooring cleaning and restoration to their carpet and upholstery business...

Now I’ve completed the LTT Leather Technician course back in mid-October and most of my technicians kit gear has arrived from LTT, 2020 is going to be the year leather will play an important of my business be it automotive or otherwise...

Judy’s course was superb and I’m looking forward to creating a new and profitable side to Broomhill Contracts in the New Year...

And...don’t forget it’s not just cars and furniture there is so much more out in the market where high quality professionally trained technicians can find work: yachts, specialist decor, even in aerospace...wherever leather is used you will find work...it’s really interesting and amazing how widespread leather is used out there...
 

Stewart Cowie

Cleantalk Member
To be honest, I done a course in Leather restoration years ago, bought all the equipment, but the work was very hit and miss, you will find people calling you to go and repair their leather sofa, and when you get their, you realise its faux leather, and they want you to repair all the plastic that has come away,,,,,, you will be surprised by the amount of customers that cannot tell real leather from Faux leather, in the end I sold all my equipment, best thing I done,, but that's just my own personal opinion.
You could have saved all those journeys by just asking for photos of the piece needing restoration. I'm the opposite of you.....the best thing that I ever done was selling all of my carpet cleaning equipment!
 

Daniel Darlow

Cleantalk Member
Totally agree Stewart. 9 times out of 10, after an enquiry, I ask for a photo to pre-empt the situation. Saves a lot of time and for once I can give a 'rough 'guide on price and expectation, something I would not do on carpet and upholstery. But like everything in life, you either do or you dont, like or dont like, so if leather is not for you, fair enough. It is all about how you market your business.
 

Stewart Cowie

Cleantalk Member
Being able to give an estimate from photos comes with experience and confidence in your work, but your right, could never do that with carpets, that's why I gave it up. I can now cover a much larger area because I don't need to visit the customer twice, once for a quote and once for the job. Also, if I don't get the job it has cost you nothing.
 
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