About Leather & Trading



Leather & Trading is an Australian online leather shop by Lakes Leathercraft and is proudly owned and operated by Brian and Wendy Lake. Located in the historic Bungendore Village of NSW, Australia, this iconic Australian leather store is a short 30-minute drive from Canberra ACT.

Well respected for it’s long standing gallery which has been lovingly adorned with memorabilia and items for sale since 1994.  The Lake story is one of passion and appreciation for quality leather, skins and furs, and Australian made products.



Lakes Leathercraft has over 40 years experience in Art & Craft Shows and Markets & Festivals. Our Retail Galleries, still today, combine a retail experience with manufacturing & repairs. Our Australian online leather shop enables a worldwide audience to reach our store.

Lake Family History

Brian Lake was born into a family with a background covering a generation in leather craft.

Taught by his parents Meg & Barry Lake, with Meg being one of Australia’s finest leather artists. Having served his apprenticeship as a youth, Brian went on to win many awards as well as become renowned for his knowledge and skill in this craft.

Brian’s family started the business known as Lakes Leathercraft in Middle Head Rd Mosman, Sydney, in 1969.

The first gallery was opened in Narooma when the family moved to the NSW South Coast in 1976.

The secret behind Leather and Trading

What makes Leather and Trading outstanding is that by tradition, leather is presented as a unique natural product. The combination of the quality of the material with the age-old skills of the tanner and the creative ability of the craftsperson.

The range and concentration of leather  products on sale is not equalled anywhere in Australia. Making a visit to our retail outlet or Australian online leather shop is a memorable experience and an adventure in browsing.

Genuine Leather

Leather is unique, as one of, if not the oldest and widest occurring natural commodities in the world with many applications.

We all have or have had, a wallet, belt, purse, handbag or hat so prized that we rarely forget where it was bought or who gave it as a gift.

In a world of plastic and synthetic, leather enjoys an empathy in societies all over the world.

Australian Made

We strongly support Australian made products.

Nothing is more revolting than a synthetic Koala bear with ‘Made in China’ stuck on its backside……….so common.

Australian made products, generally, are better quality, albeit at a higher price.

Not everybody can or is willing to purchase ‘Australian made’, so we consciously provide our customers with a choice.

Quality, price, features and value for money all have their place as part of our decision process. Our in store and Australian online leather shop strive for top quality.

With imported goods, price generally dictates the level of quality and vice versa.
For this reason, only imported goods which have undergone strict quality assessment are displayed on our shelves.


Brian’s family started the business known as Lakes Leathercraft in Middle Head Rd Mosman, Sydney, in 1969. The first gallery was opened in Narooma when the family moved to the NSW South Coast in 1976. Travelling to weekly markets, setting up stalls & enjoying the community spirit were also a part of family life for the Lakes.

Brian took over the family business in 1990, moving it to Canberra. Situated on the Barton Highway in Canberra’s North, ‘Ginninderra Leather & Trading’ opened in 1992 and operated until 2009 when it closed and the gallery was moved into premises in the Westfield precinct at Woden. Eventually, another store opened in Westfield Belconnen, both in the Nation’s Capital, Canberra.

Our Bungendore store opened in 1994. Situated on the main highway between Canberra and the NSW South Coast, it has continued to operate strongly. The store has disregarded economic hits, divorce, pandemics, being surrounded by unprecedented fire storms, not forgetting the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

We thank our very loyal and faithful stream of customers both local, inter & intrastate, not forgetting the international tourist who will return.

This magnificent lady at Bungendore still has her arms/doors open every day 10am – 4pm, May – August [the cooler months] & 10am – 5pm September – April.

We look forward to welcoming all.

Awards and achievements

Leather & Trading Successes and Awards

Our business success has been recognised; having achieved many prestigious awards at various levels.


• Southern Tablelands Tourism Award for Excellence in Retailing.
• Capital Country Tourism Award for Excellence in Tourism Retailing.
• NSW Tourism Awards for Excellence in Tourism Retailing.
• Bungendore Chamber of Commerce Retailer of the Year.


Brian has been commissioned by The Attorney Generals Department, The Australian War Memorial – Canberra and The National Museum – Canberra, with requests to produce specific, specialised product/replicas. He is known locally for his ability in creating or repairing of anything leather.

Our business started primarily because there was a lack of traders who specialised in leather within our region. Commencing with a mobile display, we travelled all over the Monaro and MIA Regions of Southern NSW.

As business expanded, we were then able to establish our stores in locations that are tourist based, opening more recently in Westfield Woden to serve both our local market as well as Tourists and Diplomatic staff to our Region. We now also have an Australian online leather shop to cater for an online audience.


There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses — he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.

Banjo Paterson
The Man from Snowy River (excerpt)

All About Leather

How to care for leather, leather terminology and treatments. Find our leather care products in store or in our Australian online leather shop.

Leather Terminology

A listing of commonly used Leather Terms at our Australian online leather shop.


Leather that is colored all the way through with a transparent dye. The effect is applied by immersing the leather in a dye bath. Because the finish is transparent and shows the natural markings of the leather, only the best quality hides can be used.


Antiqued leather that is dyed with one colour over another (usually darker over lighter) so as to create rich highlights and an artificial ged appearance. Also called distressed leather.


Leather from which the top surface has been removed by abrasion. Often known as suede or nubuc.


Buffed leather to remove blemishes, then covered with a new, artificial grain created using pigments and other finishes.


Tanned leather (treated to become nonperishable) but not colored or otherwise finished.


Another term for antiqued leather.


The process of coloring leather by tumbling it in a rotating drum immersed in dye. A very effective method allowing maximum dye penetration.


Embossed leather has been “stamped” with a design or artificial texture under very high pressure. Used, for example, to create imitation alligator hide.


Any enhancing effect applied to leather after it has been tanned. Examples are dyeing, embossing, buffing, antiquing, waxing, waterproofing, and so on.


Full grain leather which has not been altered beyond hair removal. Most full grain leather is the most genuine type of leather, as it retains all of the original texture and markings of the original hide.


Aniline-dyed leather which has been polished to a high luster by passing through glass or steel rollers also under great pressure.


Lambskin or other very soft leather typically used for gloves.


A word used to describe the natural characteristics of an unprocessed hide, such as its pores, wrinkles, markings, and texture.


A word used to describe the feel (i.e. softness or fullness) of leather, typically upholstery leather.


Describes the soft, “fuzzy” effect achieved in leather by buffing or brushing.


Natural grain leather displays its original grain.


A leather whose surface has been buffed and brushed to create a soft, velvety effect. Differs from suede in that while suede is created from the flesh (inner) side of a hide, nubuc is created using the grain (outer) side, giving it added strength and durability.


Oil tanned leather that is tanned using oils to create a very soft, pliable finish.


The aura or luster that develops in a quality piece of leather with age.


Perforated leather in which a pattern of small holes is stamped using a die.


Pigmented leather that has been coated with a flat surface colour on top of or instead of the usual dye finish. Leather is usually pigmented to add durability and hide natural blemishes.


The process of pressing leather under a heated plate. Often used in upholstery leather to mask imperfections.


Describes the behavior of leather that has been treated with oils, waxes, and dyes in such a way that when the leather is pulled or stretched (i.e. on upholstery), the finish becomes lighter in the stretched areas. Considered a mark of high quality.


Retan has a second finish added over an underlying tannage.


A coloring effect created by blending two similar dyes to create a mottled or marbled appearance.


Aniline leather to which a matching pigment layer is added to even out the color and add protection.


Leather made from one half, or “side”, of a full hide. Typically refers to leather whose top grain (outermost layer) has been left intact.


Leather made from the lower (inner or flesh side) layers of a hide that have been split away from the upper, or grain, layers. Split leather is more fragile than side leather or full-grain leather, and is typically used in the form of suede.


Split leather that has been buffed and brushed to create a fuzzy surface feel.


Leather whose top (outermost) layers have been left intact, in contrast to split leather.


An effect created by applying layers of similar or contrasting dyes to a piece of leather in order to create a mottled or aged appearance. Antiqued and Sauvaged leathers are examples of two-tone leathers.


When a whole hide has been used to create a piece of leather. Intended for use in furniture, automobiles, airplanes, and other upholstery applications.


A method of hide tanning which utilizes materials from organic materials such as bark instead of the traditional chemicals. Vegetable tanned leather has greater body and firmness than traditionally-tanned leather.


A term which describes the heaviness or thickness of leather. Typically given in millimetres (thickness).


Refers to leather created using a full hide, as opposed to a side, and typically intended for use as upholstery leather.

Leather Care

Leather is a natural product, a skin, and needs to be cared for the same as your own skin. The right care and conditioning will ensure your leather stays in good condition and can also extend the life of your leather.

Before using any treatment, it is important to be sure of whether your item is made of leather, suede, nubuck, patent or a synthetic.  Generally, leather treatments should not be used on suede or nubuck and suede and nubuck treatments are not recommended for use on full grain leather.

Likewise, patents or synthetics have their own range of recommended treatments.  It is also important to fully read the treatment instructions and conduct any recommended pre-treatment tests.  See the bottom of this page for instructions.

Caring for Leather

Before treating any leather goods, the surface should be free from surface dirt or soiling.  Depending on the surface and level of soiling, it may be necessary to treat the piece with a leather shampoo before any conditioner or sealer.

To apply a conditioning or protecting cream or oil to a leather product, it is best to rub the cream into a clean cloth before applying to the leather. This assists in even coverage and absorption.

Zorbel Leather Conditioner:

Protects, cleans, polishes and preserves smooth leather products. Recommended for use on shoes, bags, garments and accessories made from natural and imitation leather, patent and plastic. A good all-round conditioner containing natural waxes and lanolin.

Oakwood Leather Conditioner:

Softens, protects, preserves and repels water on leather products. Best used on shoes, gloves, sporting gear, saddles and bridles, motorcycle leathers and jackets.  Australian Made formula containing natural Australian bush ingredients – Tea Tree & Eucalyptus Oils, Emu Oil, Bees Wax & Lanolin. A good generic conditioner for genuine leather products.


Cleans, softens and protects leather products. Recommended for use on small leather products such as wallets, purses and handbags.


An iconic Australian Made leather care product to clean, nourish, seal and waterproof leather products. Also used as a sealant after conditioning. Recommended for use on shoes, boots, jackets, sports goods and smooth leather products.

Saddle Soap:

This century-old formula used for cleaning and softening heavily soiled leather products. Can be used on saddles and riding equipment, car upholstery, leather coats and boots.

Neatsfoot Oil:

A natural oil for restoring leather products,  protecting against stiffening and cracking and also repelling water. Produces good results in leather restorations and badly aged or dried leather.


This thick beeswax dressing to soften and preserve leather products which can be buffed to a shine. Designed for regular use.

Caring for Suede and Nubuck

Suede & Nubuck are leathers with a shaved surface to give it a nap, the furry feel. Treating suede or nubuck with a leather conditioner will flatten the nap and ruin the feel so only specialty suede and nubuck products should be used. After any treatment, brushing the suede or nubuck will refresh the nap and also restore the furry feeling.

Suede & Nubuck Mousse Cleaner:

A good deep-fibre cleaner for suede and nubuck products such as shoes and boots, bags and jackets. Can also be used to clean fabric and synthetics and refresh colours.

Sheepskin & Suede Shampoo:

Specially formulated for cleaning Ugg boots or double faced sheepskin. Can be used to spot clean as well as full hand wash. Also good for helping to protect against mould and mildew during storage.

Sheepskin & Suede Protector:

This specially formulated for protecting Ugg boots or double faced sheepskin and repelling water and oil stains. Can also be used to protect suede and nubuck products including footwear and clothing.  Recommended for regular use to build up repellent properties.

Suede & Nubuck Brush:

A crimped brass wire bristled brush used to refresh the nap of suede and nubuck. Also effective in removing surface dirt from the nap.


Water-proofing leather or any other fabric will make a coating that repels water and light stains. Most protectors and water-proofers are ineffective against heavy soiling, oil-based stains or excessive soaking.

Water & Stain Protector:

Repels water and stains from leather, nubuck, suede and fabric while still allowing the leather to breathe. Ideal for use on boots, coats, gloves, shoes and any other leather item.

Silicone Waterproofer:

This heavy duty silicone based waterproofing agent for leather, nylon, cotton, canvas and other similar fabrics. Stain, moisture & also dirt resistant.

Pre-Treatment Tests

We advise to check care instructions provided by the manufacturer before attempting to treat any leather product.  Although, you should also carefully read and follow the instructions of any treatment product or conditioner to ensure best results.

Test for Colourfastness:

Wipe over your leather product with a wet tissue. If any colour residue transfers to the tissue, your product is not colourfast.  Some products and treatments should be avoided until the excess leather dye is naturally worn away.

Spot Test:

During a treatment, as products are absorbed into the leather, its appearance may become darker, brighter, more shiny or dull depending on your leather. To determine how the product will affect your leather, use a small amount of the conditioning or cleaning product in a small inconspicuous area of your leather. If possible, leave for at least 24 hours to allow the treatment to fully absorb into the leather to give an accurate indication of how the treatment may affect the leather.

Caring for Animal Hides

Animal hides (hair-on) are tanned skins in their natural shape and colouring. They are tough and durable but they also require some care and maintenance to maintain their look and feel. Most commonly used in a domestic environment, animal hides can be used for a multitude of purposes including floor or chair coverings, bed liners, wall displays and also infant rugs. Here are some tips from our Australian online leather shop.

The information below is designed to be used for animal hides supplied by Leather & Trading and considers the tanning processes used. While most of the information is generic, the chemicals and methods used in tanning, as well as the particular animal or breed, can result in some slight changes needed for the best care of a particular hide. If your hide has been purchased from another supplier, you should seek specific care details directly from them. You can also come into our store to ask our friendly and experienced staff about your product. Refer back to this Australian online leather shop guide at your convenience.

Cow and Calf Hide

Cow hides are most popular as floor coverings in a domestic environment and have a natural grip on the underside of the hide to prevent slipping and moving. On a tile, vinyl or wooden surface, small sticky dots on the underside of the hide will also keep to keep it in place and prevent the edges lifting. These hides should not be used as a floor covering in wet areas or areas with direct sun or concentrated heat. In a traffic area, it is unavoidable that a hide mat will show wear although rotating the hide occasionally will help to even out wear and traffic marks.

To keep your cow hide clean and free of dirt and dust build-up, simply include your cow hide as part of your normal domestic cleaning routine. Cow hides can be vacuumed as part of your normal vacuuming cycle and a shake-out outside will also help to loosen any particles from the hairs. Brushing the hide with a hard plastic brush, in the direction of the hair, will help keep the hairs soft and also loosen small dust and dirt particles from the hairs.

Spills should be treated immediately while the liquid is pooled on the surface of the hair. Spillages left to sit on the hide will eventually be absorbed into the leather and may not be able to be removed. Small spills and light soiling can be treated with a mild, non-alkaline soapy solution (eg. shampoo and water), wiping in the direction of the hair. Avoid soaking the hide. Heavy stains such as wine, coffee, tea, juice and bodily fluids should be soaked up immediately with a paper towel and sponge, scrape any solid matter off the hide, don’t rub. Wipe the stain with a damp cloth and a mild soapy solution to remove the excess fluid then rub vigorously to release the deep staining.

You can balance the PH levels of your hide and help eliminate unpleasant odours by wiping over your hide with a cloth damped in a solution of 5% vinegar and 95% water.

Cow hides can not be hand or machine washed or dry cleaned. You should avoid leaving your cow hide in exposed sunlight or concentrated heat which can warp or shrink the hide or cause the edges to roll up. Our cow hides can be stored folded, any creases will relax within a few days after unfolding.

Cow Patch Rugs

Cow Patch Rugs are made up of a patchwork of various cow hides, usually with a hide border and sometimes lacework edging.

Patch Rugs can be treated in much the same way as cow hides although additional attention should be paid to seams and joins during vacuuming. If the Patch Rug is used as a floor covering, lacework edging can loosen on occasion especially if in a traffic area. If this occurs, simply relace and hold the end in place with a dab of glue or a few small stitches. It is best to do this as soon as possible to avoid ripping or damaging the lace.


Sheepskin is available in longwool, shortwool, medical grade, sanitised, natural and trimmed. No matter what sheepskin you have, its care follows a few basic principles. If you have a medical grade or sanitised sheepskin, you should refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions in addition to the information on this website. If you have a patchwork or decorative sheepskin rug, you should follow the manufacturer’s specific care instructions only.

Your sheepskin should be kept away from direct sunlight or concentrated heat and damp or wet environments. Extreme heat or moisture can also affect both the leather pelt and the look of the fibres.

A regular shake-out of the sheepskin will loosen dust and dirt particles from wool fibres. Brushing the fibres with a wire brush will restore the fullness of the coat and assist in maintaining the look of the fibres. Although, longwool sheepskins are best not vacuumed as this can cause damage to the wool fibres.

Little spills and light soiling can be sponged off your sheepskin with a damp cloth and mild detergent. For heavy stains or soiling, dry cleaning is recommended. Sheepskins can be machine washed on a gentle cycle in warm water (38°C) using a mild wool detergent. To dry, lay the sheepskin flat, out of sunlight or concentrated heat and stretch to shape as it dries. Do not tumble dry. It is likely that the fibres will curl as the sheepskin dries, this is the fibres returning to their natural state. To restore the look of a longwool pile, brush the fibres with a wire brush when wet and again once dry.

If you are using your sheepskin as a floor covering, turning it occasionally will encourage even wearing of the fibres and reduce the impact of traffic, although you should expect a sheepskin to show signs of wear.

Kangaroo Skin

We stock kangaroo skins in greys and reds and usually include the tail. The pelt of a kangaroo skin is very strong leather (estimated at 6 times the strength of cow leather). If necessary, small sticky dots can be placed on the underside of the skin to help keep the edges from lifting or moving. These skins are great as a floor covering in a traffic area, but kangaroo skin will show evidence of wear. Although, rotating the skin occasionally will help to reduce the extent of wear.

Kangaroo skin is best cleaned by giving it a shake-out outside or a brush with a hard plastic brush. Hair length can be quite different on particular parts of the skin and this should be considered when cleaning as areas with longer hair may require extra attention or may contain a larger build up of dust or dirt.

These skins should not be hand or machined washed or soaked in any way. Small spills and light soiling can be sponged off your kangaroo skin with a damp cloth and mild soapy solution (eg. shampoo and water solution). For all other cleaning requirements, contact a specialist fur dry-cleaner. If your kangaroo skin does become wet, dry naturally lying flat out of direct sunlight or concentrated heat. Throughout the drying process, you may need to gently pull the skin into shape.

Goat Skin

Goat skin has a coarser hair than that found on many other animal hides. To care for goat skin, be consistent with cow hide care and the cow hide care instructions above can be followed.

If vacuuming a goat skin, be aware of the longer hair found around the legs, belly and spine. While this longer hair can harbour large amounts of dust and dirt, vacuuming may cause damage to the hair fibres.

Fox Skin

Our fox skins are Australian Red Fox from South Eastern Australia. Fox skins are commonly used as lounge or chair throws, display pieces or crafted into luxury clothing and accessories. They can also be used for household furnishings such as throw cushions, blankets or floor rugs.

Our fox skin is best cleaned by giving it a shake-out outside or a brush with a wire tooth brush.

As fox fur is a fine, soft hair that can be damaged by rough cleaning methods, all cleaning should be done gently and with the direction of the hair.

Fox skin should not be soaked with water or machine washed. It should only be dry-cleaned by a specialist fur dry-cleaner. If your fox skin does become wet, dry naturally lying flat out of direct sunlight or concentrated heat. Throughout the drying process, you may need to gently pull the skin into shape.

The Yard Whip
Short stock whips:

As the name suggests, they were developed to be used on foot in the cattle yard, rather than from horseback. Great for precision target work and energetic routines.

A Leather yard whip with a four foot thong has a reach of around 8.5 feet.

Spice up Your Craft Booth Show

Spice up your Market Stall:

Putting together a winning Craft show, Festival or Market stall booth takes a lot of thought. Too many sellers just set up a couple of tables and toss their crafts out there for people to see. I can tell you from personal experience that the more thought you put into your craft stall display, the more sales you are going to make. Read on for tips on how to make the best stall from the Australian online leather shop.

Once you get people into your craft stall, it is important to make the sale. While you never know if the person who comes in is going to make a purchase, you might be able to increase the chances by coming up with a really interesting and unique display that attracts the customer to your crafts.

It isn’t easy. You need to use your imagination, and you also need to use a little bit of creativity and marketing savvy in order to get those valued customers to open up their wallets and purses. Best of luck.

Australian Made Favourites

Lakes Leathercraft’s Australian made favourites have been sought after by customers across the globe. We are proud to provide Australia’s very finest and most well respected brands. Our aim is to deliver to those who appreciate the quality and care that goes into making these fine items.

Using our Australian online leather shop, view the Australian Made category to browse through this collection.







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