Object and materials conservation

Conservation of Leather with Rosie Bolton

Ref: M3D09117

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About this course

Leather can be found in a wide range of objects and has been used over many centuries and across the globe. This course is designed both to explore the history, manufacture and chemistry of leather and to review current practice in its conservation. The format of the course includes lectures, demonstrations and practical sessions. It will be presented by two leading practitioners working and teaching in this specialist area.

Using a wide range of examples, the course will provide an overview and basis for understanding an approach to leather conservation and developing an appropriate methodology for solving conservation problems, including techniques and materials.

The practical sessions are designed to give an opportunity for conservators to test a range of techniques and materials which they may be able to utilise or adapt for future projects.

Course Description

Day 1

Welcome Talk

Presentation Talk. The Leather Conservation Centre

Day 2

What is leather and how is it made?

What is leather (continued)

Preventive conservation

Dyes (Part 1)

Cleaning materials and techniques; humidification; consolidation

Evening Repair materials; adhesives

Day 3

Species identification, tanning method identification and examination techniques pH/Ts

Dyes (Part 2)

Tour of Book Conservation Studio


Evening Surface infilling and replacement techniques. Taking moulds

Day 4

An opportunity for student presentations, to share problems and solutions.

Tour of Furniture Workshop


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Although, due to time constraints, we cannot undertake a conservation project, participants are invited to bring objects or details via photos/memory stick for discussion and treatment tests.
  • All materials required will be supplied but participants are asked to bring personal conservation hand tools. International students are not required to bring any tools with them.


Rosie Bolton

After her degree in Fine Art, Rosie completed a Graduate Diploma in Conservation of Book and Library materials at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation. She has been a full-time member of the LCC Team since 2016 and is the Studio Manager.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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