Codman and Belter logo

And here we go..............


Nervous, yet excited about the opening of my store.  After many months of planning, research, thinking, prototyping and testing, I think I'm ready!

Firstly, a few words to explain why I'm called Codman and Belter?  You can't imagine how much thought I've put into coming up with a name for the company.  I didn't want anything too traditional, but likewise didn't want anything too bland, vague or obscure.  I needed it to not only reflect what I did, but also to contain a bit of humour. 

Trawling the internet, I came across the Old English term 'Codman', thought to originate from the 7th century it was a term given to leather makers and producers of leather goods.  Fits quite nicely as I come from Lewes, a small town in Sussex that can trace it's history to before Saxon times and would certainly have had many Codman working here.  I also love making belts and another Old English term I came across was Belter - someone who made belts (must have taken ages to come up with that one!).  Perfect...Codman & Belter was born.

So who am I, and why leather goods?  My professional backgound is in IT, with 30 years spent in software development and delivery management for major finance companies.  Lots of technical and organisational skills picked up here which has meant I've been able to pretty much do everything needed to get Codman and Belter up and running from an operational perspective.

More recently, I owned and ran a small cider company in Sussex, making craft cider for the pub and restaurant trade.  Let's just say that the closure of these venues due to Covid took the shine off that venture and I sold this in 2022 and look for something new and exciting to take on.

Leatherwork has been something I've always fitted in around the IT and cider work, undertaking a number of projects for myself and friends.  These include belts, holsters, wallets, bags and even masks.  We do weird stuff around bonfire night in Lewes, which involves dressing up in many different authentic costumes and people are always after accessories.  The first thing I ever made was a leather hat for a pirate costume!  After a break from other work, I decided to bite the bullet and make a serious go at producing leather goods on a commercial basis.

I'm entirely self taught, although the internet has been an incredible source of information which has allowed me to perfect the various techniques required for this craft.  It's also a great place to research leather and to see work created by other leatherworkers, who are always very willing to share their knowledge and skills.

Apart from some basic machinery to cut leather for the more intricate products, everything I do is by hand using traditional tools and techniques. 

I hand cut the majority of my pieces using old saddlers tools and have an array of cutting and edging tools that I use during the build of a leather piece.

All stitching is done by hand using pricking irons, needles, awls and thread, and I saddle stitch everything.  Saddle stitching is a traditional stitching method which involves the use of 2 needles, which effectively means you have 2 lengths of thread keeping the leather piece securely and strongly held together.  There'll be a blog saddle stitching in the near future.

A completed piece isn't finished until all the edges have been bevelled, levelled, burninshed and/or sealed.  Various products are used for this depending on the leather used and the desired finish.  These range from tallow, wax, water, edge kote and burnishing gum (Tokonole being the one of these that I use).

The leather I use is of the highest quality and I source most (if not all) of this from a Northampton based supplied, AA Crack.  These guys source leather from all over the world, the quality and service they provide is second to none.

A number of products use metal hardware.  This is sourced from one of the last remaining foundries in England, Abbey.  Their hardware is of the finest quality and perfectly compliments the leather belts, dog collears/leads and other pieces that I make.

Together, the leather, hardware and constructions result in leather pieces that not only look great but will last a very long time.

I've now set up a dedicated workshop in my home in Sussex, where I produce all of the leather goods you'll see on this site.  These are all designed by myself and are the result of much prototyping and refining.

Have a good look round the products.  Feel free to make comments and suggestions on anything you see, or that you might want to see.

Looking forward to posting more blogs in the coming weeks.  Until then, browse the shop and if anything takes your fancy.....


A.A. Crack - Leather Merchants -
Abbey England - English made tools and materials -


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