Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Advanced Leather Solutions Training Programs

Over the past few months I've received numerous requests for information on our training options.  This gives the full details.

Advanced Leather Solutions Training -

To become an effective leather technician requires knowledge and the right products.  The market offer choices:

  1. Buy a Franchise for a bucket full of money.
  2. Attend a one day “Training Program” in a class room with a few dozen other people and see a sales pitch.
  3. Join our program where we teach the basics first so you are armed with the ability to think through each leather repair and restoration project your client presents.  Our program is not just theory or a sales pitch.  It’s founded on the real world experiences of over 23 years and tens of thousands of repair and restoration projects under our belt. 

Our training program offers multiple options tailored to the needs of the individual.   

This is NOT a franchise offering yet has all of the essential ingredients of a business opportunity.  Our program has: 

*       No Franchise Fee

*       No Territorial Limits

*       No Royalty Fee

*       No Contracts

*       No Monthly Technical Support Fee

*       No requirement to purchase products from us

*       No non-compete agreements

Our program is not a sales presentation with demonstrations at the front of the room.

Our program is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Ours is an in depth immersion where you learn the “how” but more importantly the “why” as well.  The goal is to teach the underlying fundamentals so you can think for yourself, not simply do by rote.

There are training 3 options: Full hands-on, Distance learning, Custom

Hands-On Training

We offer a complete hands-on training program and an optional full Leather Repair and Restoration business starter kit. 

The class is scheduled on as needed basis at either our
Hayward, CA (San Francisco Bay Area) facility or in our Redding, CA (Northern CA) production factory.

The following is a general overview and some additional information that includes:

1. The course objective
2. A sample lesson from the Training Guide
3. A detailed course synopsis, including fee structure, and accommodations for our out-of-town guests.
4. Course outline


Objective Statement ---

This course is intended for people who repair leather.  The candidates include independent leather service technicians, automobile detailers, leather furniture manufactures, leather supply houses, transit companies, warranty companies and retailers to name a few.  At the conclusion of this course, the attendee will have a basic grasp of how to access a problem, develop a strategy for repair and execute the appropriate steps to create the most effective solution possible.

Course Includes ---

1.  3 1/2 days of hands-on training with each attendee working from his/her personal kit.  The lead trainer has been repairing leather furniture for over 23 years, having successfully repaired thousands of damaged leather furniture pieces. The course takes that deep practical experience and brings it to each attendee.

2.  180 page Leather Technician Field Guide that covers the course material. It is written in an organized, easy-to-read fashion. The attendee can focus on the hands-on activities without the need to take notes as the specific techniques are all well documented in the training guide.

3. Access to our DVD library of “How-To” instructions with a three year subscription and access to our technical library of on-line video instructions.

4. Toll-free telephone support for three full years.  Our technical support team is ready to answer any questions and assist in any way possible in solving the problems faced by the attendee when back on the job.

5. Addition to our Web-site with a link to you in your market as a lead referral source.

6. Certification by Advanced Leather Solutions as a trained professional leather technician.

7. An attendee can bring to the class specific leather problems they may have encountered and see how our technicians solve them.

Course Fee:  $3,000.  If another attendee from the same entity (like a business partner of husband and wife team), the second person can attend at ½ price ($1,500).


  1. A fully outfitted professional level mobile kit with electrical wiring built in to support the included compressor, top-of-the-line airbrushing equipment, professional quality heat gun, etc. Additionally the kit contains all the other necessary tools and chemistry for repairing damaged leather.  This is the same kit our service technicians use.  It has evolved over the last 23 years of field repairs by our technicians to be as reliable, efficient and complete a repair kit as possible.  If purchased at the time of training, the kit fee is $1500.  If purchased at any other time the kit fee is $1750.  We can ship anywhere in North America via UPS.  You will be responsible for shipping cost.
  2. Business Development Plan for starting a leather repair business which identifies markets, recommends pricing and offers samples for marketing materials. Customer relations issues are discussed so the repair technician is guided with effective answers to the difficult questions the consumer may be asking.  Three year on going marketing support going forward is included.  Fee is $1,000.

Course Synopsis

This course is intended for those who desire a fundamental understanding of the leather repair process. The goal is to impart sufficient knowledge for an individual to accomplish simple repairs to damaged leather.  This includes a basic grasp of key principles and concepts including:

1.       The nature and types of leather
2.       How to assess the damage and develop a repair strategy
3.       The repair processes for typical damage to leather
4.       The compounds and chemistry necessary to affect a repair
5.       leather finish color matching
6.       Finish application techniques to conceal and disguise the repair

It is important to note that this training program is based on the real-world experiences of our field technicians who garnered this knowledge through 23 years of leather repair and restoration.  Its focus is solutions to common problems encountered on leather furniture. It is not an academic exercise.  Nor a sales pitch for a franchise.  Rather, it’s a practical, solutions-oriented program dedicated to sharing the hard-fought knowledge, tricks and short-cuts that only experience teaches. 

When completed, each participant will be able to create strong, invisible and long lasting repairs to damaged leather. However, we believe that the practical training process is on-going and will continue well after the formal training is concluded.  The true test of your skills will come when you are in the field faced with real-world challenges under the harsh lights and discerning eye of a client.  In that regard, we commit to have our technicians available to answer questions and help guide you through difficult repairs as you encounter them.  Thus the training continues after the formal training ends, boosting your confidence and improving your effectiveness.

Each participant that successfully completes the formal training program, followed with three months of direct field experience, will be certified as a competent leather repair technician, and will be added to our qualified professional resource base.  This list will be posted to our web-site so those in need in your area can find you easily and have confidence that you are appropriately trained, using state-of-the-art materials, and backed by a leader in the industry. 

Course materials

Each attendee receives a fully out-fitted, professional leather repair kit with all the tools and materials necessary to solve leather related problems in the field.  Additionally all attendees receive a Leather Technician Field Guide entitled the Basics of Leather Repair.  The guide is complete with all the pertinent concepts and procedures defined and outlined, with ample room for notes. Its structure follows the course outline.  This document will be your “Bible” of leather repair.  It’s to be used as your field reference guide.

The Training Process

This 3 ½ day program consists of two primary methodologies:
1.       Instructor-led concept workshops
2.       Hands-on direct application of concepts and procedures

Each day consists both instructor-led and hands-on training.  We believe in as much one-on-one training as is practical, therefore each session will have limited attendance. 


All hands-on training will be conducted at our shop facility in Hayward, CA or in our production facility in Redding, CA.  Hayward this is the heart of the beautiful San Francisco bay area, a highly desirable travel destination for people from all over the world.  Stay an extra few days and enjoy the bay area.  Redding is the gateway to California’s fabulous Mt. Shasta region with the northern Sierra nearby.


From outside the bay area, Oakland International Airport is the closest air travel access.  Oakland airport is a hub for Southwest airlines.  The airport is 15 minutes from the training site.  Additionally, San Francisco International Airport is only 30 minutes away and San Jose International Airport is a 40 minute trip.  For those traveling via car, or are local to the bay area, the Marriot Inn and Suites Hotel and our shop facility are at the junction of Route 92 (San Mateo Bridge) and Industrial Blvd.


The Marriot Inn and Suites Hotel in Hayward is a three diamond award-winning facility.  It’s an affordable new hotel with comfortable amenities.  A full, buffet-style breakfast is included in your room rate. Please be sure to mention that you are booking for the training program for best possible rates.

Here is the outline of the course:


1.       Leather Fundamentals and Terminology
a.       Tanning Process
b.       Finishing Process
                                                   i.      Examples
                                                 ii.      Application
c.       Dye – Pigment
                                                   i.      Differences
                                                 ii.      Examples
d.       Basic Care Issues
                                                   i.      pH issues
                                                 ii.      Cleaning
                                                iii.      Conditioning

2.       Leather Repair Tools
a.       Kit Review
                                                   i.      Chemicals
                                                 ii.      Finishes
                                                iii.      Tools
b.       Safety considerations
                                                   i.      Electrical
                                                 ii.      Drops and rags
c.       Maintenance considerations
d.       Kit management

3.       Assessing Damage Strategies
a.       Type of leather
b.       What is damage vs. natural characteristic
                                                   i.      If natural, should it be “repaired”
c.       Nature of damage
                                                   i.      Cuts and tears
                                                 ii.      Rubs, scuffs and abrasions
                                                iii.      Stains
1.       food
2.       oil
3.       urine
4.       slobber or saliva -  animal, child
                                                iv.      Burns
                                                  v.      Scratches
                                                vi.      Ink
                                               vii.      Animal chews
                                             viii.      Cat claws
                                               ix.      Body oil
                                                 x.      Holes
                                               xi.      Odor
d.       Location of damage
e.       Environment
                                                   i.      Lighting
                                                 ii.      Attitudes and expectations
f.         Set-up procedures
g.       Spill and overspray controls
h.        What is repairable – what isn’t
                                                   i.      Knowing when to walk away
i.         What is an acceptable repair
                                                   i.      Strive for perfection – be willing to accept less
                                                 ii.      Remember – you didn’t cause the damage
                                                iii.      Goal is to improve the visual
                                                iv.      5 foot rule
                                                  v.      Independent observer rule
                                                vi.      Full disclosure before you begin
j.         Demonstration of a repair
                                                   i.      Remember – less is best.

4.       The Preparation Process
a.       Checking nature and condition of finish on leather, if any
                                                   i.      Delicate leather considerations
                                                 ii.      Adhesion testing
                                                iii.      pH damage
                                                iv.      Body oils
                                                  v.      Fading
                                                vi.      Finish oxidation
                                               vii.      Dye transfer and related conditions
b.       Chemicals for Cleaning and Priming – Role for Each
                                                   i.      Water
                                                 ii.      Alcohol
1.       Denatured
2.       Isopropyl
                                                iii.      Methanol
                                                iv.      Degreaser
                                                  v.      Acetone
                                                vi.      OMS
                                               vii.      Leather Cleaner
                                             viii.      Spot Remover
                                               ix.      Ink Remover
                                                 x.      Conditioner
                                               xi.      PUP and Derivatives
                                              xii.      Replenishing oils
c.       Sanding

5.       Sub-patching
a.       When is it necessary
b.       Why
c.       What
d.       How
e.       Adhesives
f.         Technique

6.       Fillers
a.       How they work
b.       When to use what
c.       How to fill
d.       Curing
                                                   i.      Bulb
                                                 ii.      Other heat source
e.       Problems and pit-falls

7.       About Exotics
a.       Calf skin
b.       Pure aniline
c.       Brushed (Nubuck)
d.       Suede
e.       Pig skin
f.         Deer
g.       Ostrich
h.       Others

8.       Leather Finishes
a.       Basic chemical composition
                                                   i.      Water base
b.       Color
c.       Top-coat
d.       Effect of feel (hand)

9.       Color Theory
a.       Chroma
b.       Hue
c.       Value
d.       Color wheel
e.       ROY G BIV

10.   Color Matching

11.   Application Methods and techniques
a.       Air brush
b.       Sprayers
c.       Rub technique
d.       Brush
e.       Curing considerations

12.   Introduction to Mottled Colors
a.       Basics of base and print
b.       Tipped leathers
c.       Interaction of two or more colors
d.       Methods
                                                   i.      Stencils
                                                 ii.      Sponging
                                                iii.      Splatter
                                                iv.      Dusting

13.   Grain matching
a.       Spray grain
b.       Graining tools
c.       Application techniques

14.   Top Coats
a.       Importance of sheen
b.       Protection characteristics
c.       Feel modifiers
d.       Coverage
e.       Curing

15.   Concluding the repair
a.       Clean-up strategies

Distance Learning:

This is a highly affordable entry level program.  It doesn’t require travel.  It's considerably less in-depth than the full hands-on program.  This will get you started.  The program is particularly effective for those already in the furniture repair business but lack the essential knowledge about leather.  It opens up additional revenue opportunities to address the enormous need of leather repair.

This program includes…

1. A starter kit of colors, primers, repair compounds top coats, etc.
2. An air brush (Badger 250-3)
3. The Technician's Field Guide
4. 5 DVD's on aspects of leather repair
5. 3 hour introductory consultation via web cam or telephone
6. Sample leather pieces for practice.

Fee is $795. plus shipping of materials via UPS

This program is a low cost entry to get your feet a bit wet in this industry.  If you are serious about the business then it is much better to go with the hands-on program. Otherwise it’s like trying to teach yourself how to play piano with a book and 3 hours of over the phone conversation with a piano teacher.


You define for us what you want to learn and we’ll create a training structure to accommodate your needs.  If you are a franchisor or perhaps a major corporation with many locations throughout the world and want to pick up a fully mature training program that is tailored to your specific needs, we’re happy to offer a solution, including an in depth “Train-the-Trainer” program.

Copyright  2010, Kevin Gillan

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