What’s On

Upcoming Events

We are open!

The National Leather Collection will be open to the public on Wednesdays, 10am – 4pm. You can find us in the Grosvenor Centre. Our entrance is opposite Eurochange, and we are located on the 2nd Floor. The museum is accessible by lift and stairs. Please go to our visitor information page for more information.

Leather at London Craft Week: 9th – 12th May 2018.

From the 9th – 12th May, join us at London Craft Week for a showcase of exceptional craftsmanship. Bill Amberg curates an exhibition of fine leatherwork at Leathersellers’ Hall, juxtaposing historical pieces with their modern equivalents.

Blogs & Media

Spotlight On … (22/06/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and takes a look at a designer bookbinding of a first edition of Twenty Poems by Rupert Brooke, and the poet himself.

Spotlight On … (14/06/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley, and takes a step back to the 17th and 18th Centuries to investigate the truth behind the trend of wig-wearing.

John Waterer & Luggage; a tale of two trunks.

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and takes a look at John Waterer’s love of luggage and the untold stories behind some of the travel-ware in our collection.

Mrs Underhill’s trees, and an apology to Coventry.

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Philip Warner, with the help of some local leather industry buffs, and explores the story of our Bassett-Lowke model and the factory it represents.

Judging a book by its cover!

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Philip Warner, and explores the history (and mystery) behind our 16th Century illuminated psalter.

LCW 2018: Whitaker Malem

From the 10th – 13th May, Whitaker Malem hosted their first solo exhibition in their studio-space. With their ‘Transmorphic Superpeople’, the pair provoke thought about gender fluidity, objectification and sexuality, and show that leather remains topical.

LCW 2018: ‘Leather – Then & Now’

From the 9th – 13th May, Bill Amberg Studio presented an exhibition at Leathersellers’ Hall for London Craft Week. Leather – Then & Now juxtaposes historical objects from the museum collection with their modern equivalents in a celebration of crafting excellence and good design.

Spotlight On … (03/05/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and examines a unique set of Japanese armour from the 18th Century edo-jidai period.

Spotlight On … (26/04/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley, and explores the life of Dame Ellen Terry through two of her personal belongings here at the National Leather Collection.

Spotlight On … (19/04/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written especially for World Book Night by Graham Lampard, and explores three different bindings of John W. Waterer’s iconic book.

Spotlight On … (13/04/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and tells the dark story of 15th Century Hungary, and the bloody history of our little, leather-covered shield.

Spotlight On … (05/04/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley and investigates the mystery around one of our Shakespearean-style doublets, potentially owned by playwright Frank Gregory.

Spotlight On … (29/03/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Philip Warner and examines the cultural importance of an embossed panel, depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Spotlight On … (23/03/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding a 16th Century buff leather jerkin.

Spotlight On … (15/03/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Dr. Mike Redwood and talks about the rich tradition of glovers, and protofeminism in the industry.

Impressions: Civilisation & Leather (09/03/18)

Guest writer Tom Rusbridge gives his first impressions of the Civilisation & Leather exhibition, inspired by BBC Civilisations. Read his discussion of how leather has evolved throughout history and how this unique material is still just as relevant today as it was 40,000 years ago.

Civilisation & Leather (01/03/18)

Wherever humans have inhabited, we find leather. Inspired by BBC Civilisations, the National Leather Collection presents Civilisation & Leather: an exhibition telling the story of mankind, from prehistory to present day. Read more about what civilisation means to us in this week’s blog.

Article in NN Pulse Magazine (01/03/18)

Catch us in the March edition of NN Pulse Magazine, in anticipation of the National Leather Collection’s exhibition inspired by the BBC Civilisations festival. Victoria Green reflects upon what the term “civilisation” really means, and how we can tell the story of mankind with leather.

Featured in Kingfisher Visitor Guides.

Kingfisher Visitor Guides have featured the National Leather Collection as a must-see heritage visitor attraction in their latest Northamptonshire guide. These high-quality visitor guides are available in leading hotel rooms. You can read what Kingfisher have to say by clicking the image above.

Reflections on the Leather Industry Dinner.

At the beginning of February, our curator – Philip Warner – attended the Leather Industry Dinner at Leathersellers’ Hall. In his second retrospective blog, he reflects upon the up and coming designers featured, and our newest acquisition: a pair of James Bond’s shoes.

Featured on Being Human (22/02/18)

In November 2017, the National Leather Collection hosted “Leather at Lunchtime” in partnership with University of Northampton. With applications for the 2018 festival opening soon, Being Human talked to event organiser – Matthew McCormack – about the success of our lecture series.

Interview on ITV Anglia (14/02/18)

Did you catch us on the local news last week? Graham Stothard of ITV Anglia came in to talk to our curator and our lovely volunteers about the museum, and showcase some of our leather treasures. Not local? No problem. You can watch the full news piece on our YouTube channel. Just click the image above.

Article in the NeneQuirer (19/02/18)

An article published in the NQ, in anticipation of the National Leather Collection’s exhibition inspired by the BBC Civilisations festival. Victoria Green reflects upon what the term “civilisation” really means, and how we can tell the story of mankind with leather.

Spotlight On … (14/02/18)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Graham Lampard and looks at two weapons; a sword cane, and a Florentine quiver.

Reflections on the Leather Industry Dinner.

At the beginning of February, our curator – Philip Warner – attended the Leather Industry Dinner at Leathersellers’ Hall. In this blog, he reflects upon the companion exhibition provided by the National Leather Collection and the modern leather industry.

Leather x Disney.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse have been pop culture icons for decades, and are now breaking their way into the leathery world of fashion. This blog explores some of the most wanted Disney collaborations with luxury leather brands. Do you own any of these? Share and hashtag #NLCdisney!

WWI: Past & Present.

To mark the centenary, the National Leather Collection is exploring the impact that WWI had upon Northampton and the leather industry. This week, we are telling the story of Private William Green and his war, through his souvenir from the front line.

Hide & Seek: The Fur Debate.

Let’s talk leather and fashion! In our new microblogging series, Lindsey Riley of the London College of Fashion looks at how trends of the past are just as relevant today. This week’s post looks at fur, and how attitudes have changed through time.

Article in the Chronicle & Echo (11/01/18)

Last week, the National Leather Collection featured in the Chronicle & Echo. Our curator, Philip Warner, talks about the importance of saving this internationally significant collection from returning to storage. Click the image above to read the article. Click here to learn how you can support us.

Spotlight On … (11/01/18)

Newest post in our fortnightly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and explores the glamorous history behind King George III’s commode. Nothing like lowering the tone to welcome the New Year!

Hide & Seek: Signature Piece.

Let’s talk leather and fashion! In our new microblogging series, Lindsey Riley of the London College of Fashion looks at how trends of the past are just as relevant today. This week’s post looks at oversize branding and logos, comparing the modern and historical.

Spotlight On … (14/12/17)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and explores a leather harness used by carrier pigeons for the transportation of blood samples.

The UKLF on the Being Human Festival.

The UK Leather Federation reports back on the Being Human Festival and the “Leather at Lunchtime” lecture series. Bill Amberg, a contemporary leather designer, talks about leather in the modern world. If you missed the Being Human Festival, this is the perfect way to catch up!

Spotlight On … (07/12/17)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and looks at a Japanese officer’s map case from the Second World War.

Leather at Lunchtime: Being Human Festival.

Last week, the National Leather Collection hosted the “Leather at Lunchtime” lecture series as part of the Being Human Festival 2017. Over three days, we had lectures on Georgian boots, blackjacks and beer drinking and contemporary design. If you were unable to attend, catch up with us here!

Spotlight On … (14/11/17)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and talks about a recently acquired Hungarian helmet from postwar Budapest, and the city’s difficult history.

Leather at Cambridge Things (15/11/17)

Last month our curator, Philip Warner, visited Cambridge University to give a talk on leather as part of the Imaginative Things: Curious Objects 1400 – 2000 seminar series. If you missed the lecture, catch the podcast here for an insight into the history of blackjacks and the National Leather Collection.

Gambling with leather!

Graham Lampard explores a brief history of gambling and its relationship with leather. Gambling is still very much a part of modern recreation, and leather continues to play a role. This blog introduces you to a fur coat with a unique history, and the rules of cockfighting in 1754.

Leather at Cambridge Things (02/11/17)

Last week our curator, Philip Warner, visited Cambridge University to give a talk on leather as part of the Imaginative Things: Curious Objects 1400 – 2000 seminar series. This blog gives an insight into the themes of the lecture, and a look at some of the objects featured.

Spotlight On … (26/10/17)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and talks about our mysterious Ethiopian Manuscript, purported to be the ‘Vision of Mary’.

Spotlight On … (18/10/17)

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Dr. Graham Lampard and talks about one of our ‘unknown’ items, a vintage leather travelling bag from the turn of the century.