American Leather Direct Moves to New Location

May 7, 2020 – American Leather Direct has moved to a new location in Bowling Green, KY. You can also now shop online! Business owners, military and first reponders qualify for Business Pricing.
American Leather Direct, Inc.
275 Central Ave, Ste. A
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Ph: 1-800-624-7642
Ph: 270-526-3835
By |2023-12-24T10:44:43-06:00May 11th, 2020|News|

Texas Custom Dies Part of the COVID-19 Solution

Alvarado, TX – Texas Custom Dies is open for business and still making dies, including those used to cut materials for PPE: masks, face shields and gowns. Please note their new address as well:

Texas Custom Dies

12613 E FM 917 Suite A
Alvarado, TX 76009
817-473-2522 local
888-755-9025 toll free
817-473-9500 fax
By |2023-12-24T10:45:11-06:00May 11th, 2020|News|

Knipschield Leather Tools shop fire.

Terry Knipschield of Knipschield Leather Tools suffered a fire in his shop on April 19, 2020. The fire has destroyed the shop and it will need to be demolished and rebuilt. Terry had stopped taking orders for his knives long before the fire in an attempt to shorten the wait times for his highly regarded leather knives. We wish Terry the best of luck in the process of rebuilding

By |2022-05-08T10:22:32-05:00May 11th, 2020|News|

Dusty Johnson

The leather world lost a great author and teacher on April 24, 2020.
A full obituary is forthcoming.

By |2022-05-08T10:22:32-05:00May 11th, 2020|News|

Gene Flaten, March 9, 1962 – March 12, 2020

Gene ‘Beaner’ Flaten, 58, Velva, died Thursday, March 12, 2020 in a Minot hospital.

Gene was born March 9, 1962 in Williston, ND to parents Ronald and Lois (Unruh) Flaten.  He grew up and attended school in Ray, ND.  Gene attended trade school for welding at the ND State School of Science (NDSCS) in Wahpeton, ND.

Gene was united in marriage to Lori Lee on September 6, 1986 in Velva, ND.  He worked on various welding projects throughout North Dakota that included bridges in New Town and Grand Forks in addition to his employment at Enbridge in Minot.  Beaner eventually opened his own welding shop at his home on the farm located south of Velva.

Gene was a member of Oak Valley Lutheran Church in Velva.  Beaner was an avid braider, focusing on making artisan tack and jewelry.  He started entering the World Leather Debut held in Sheridan, WY in 2001.  He took home first prize in his category in 10 of the last 20 years. Beaner was well respected in the western art community and was considered to be a master.  He also enjoyed making time for his friends and family.  Beaner will be missed by all who were blessed to share in his life.

Gene is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Lori Flaten, Velva; sons Jake (Alana Kennedy) Flaten, Houston, TX and Zack Flaten, Minot, ND; sisters Ardy (Brad) Bingeman, Lewis and Clark Bay, ND and Tammy (Jerry) Ranum, Cole Harbor, ND; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents Carl and Anita Flaten and John and Mary Unruh and mother-in-law Nancy Lee.

Celebration of Beaner’s Life:  11:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at Oak Valley Lutheran Church, Velva, ND.

In light of the latest developments surrounding the Coronavirus and gatherings, the Family of Beaner wanted to express for those who are questioning to attend the funeral to please use your best judgement. The funeral is still taking place on Wednesday March 18, 2020 at 11:00am. The family understands that the health of everyone is of the utmost importance.

Interment:  Velva Community Cemetery, Velva, ND

Family Prayer Service:  7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at the Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Visitation:  Tuesday, March 17, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Thomas Family Funeral Home.
Memorials are preferred to the Souris Valley Care Center or Oak Valley Lutheran Church, both Velva, ND.

“Obituary,” Thomas Family Funeral Home (, Gene Flaten, died 12 March 2020.

Gene Flaten’s World Leather Debut Results
2003 First, 2006 First, 2007 First, 2008 First, 2009 First, 2010 Third, 2011 First, 2012 First, 2014 First, 2018 First
By |2022-05-08T10:22:32-05:00May 11th, 2020|News|

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Announces Postponing of the Western Heritage Awards

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – In support of the nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, and in accordance with recommendations from local and national health officials, the Museum will postpone the 60th Anniversary Western Heritage Awards, previously scheduled for April 17-18. The Awards will now be presented in conjunction with the Traditional Cowboy Arts Exhibition & Sale on October 2-3, 2020.

“This was a difficult decision to make, but the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is our top concern,” said Natalie Shirley, Museum president.“ We think we’ve been able to make the most of a tough situation by combining these two premier events. Guests will now have a unique opportunity to experience some of the best in Western art and culture in one weekend.”

The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) has been a partner with the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and home to their annual exhibition for several years. The TCAA is dedicated to preserving and promoting the skills of saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silversmithing and rawhide braiding. The pieces they create for the annual exhibition are regarded as highly collectible and are offered for sale during a special opening event.

The Museum will continue to monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Oklahoma State Department of Health. Any additional changes to our hours of operation or programming will be posted at and on our social platforms.

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City is America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture. Founded in 1955, the Museum collects, preserves and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts while sponsoring dynamic educational programs to stimulate interest in the enduring legacy of the American West. For more information, visit

By |2022-05-08T10:22:32-05:00May 11th, 2020|News|

‘Real Leather. Stay Different.’ Design Competition Kicks Off in the United Kingdom

Global competition celebrates the versatility, beauty and sustainability of U.S. hides and leather

Washington, DC, March 12, 2020 – Real Leather. Stay Different., the worldwide campaign that celebrates the versatility, beauty and sustainability of U.S. leather, announced the launch of its first-ever Global Design Competition in the United Kingdom. The competition, which is co-organized by the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) and Leather UK, will provide an exciting forum for design students from prestigious British design universities to develop and produce trend-setting, inventive and inspiring leather consumer products.

“Through the Real Leather. Stay Different. Global Design Competition, consumers around the world are increasingly realizing the impeccable quality, durability and sustainability of U.S.-sourced leather,” said LHCA President Stephen Sothmann. “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with our colleagues in the UK to support the next generation of British designers in their quest to design versatile, beautiful leather products that consumers love.”

“British designers are some of the most ingenious trendsetters in the fashion world,” said Leather UK Director Kerry Senior. “Our collaboration with the Leather and Hide Council of America provides a unique opportunity to showcase the enviable qualities that make leather timeless by providing young British designers a forum to develop chic leather goods that reflect their individuality and vision.”

Design students participating in the competition will feature U.S. hides and leather in their designs across several categories: apparel, footwear and fashion accessories. Students are encouraged to showcase their individuality by using leather to create unique, compelling designs that appeal to style-conscious fashion consumers. Leather can be used exclusively or in combination with other natural materials suggested by contestants, but must be the principal material of the final good produced.

Five respected design universities in the UK have agreed to participate in the competition: The University of South Wales, The University of Northampton, The London College of Fashion, Manchester Metropolitan University and De Montfort University.

Competition entries must include concept sketches, a technical drawing with detailed specifications and an illustration showcasing from where students drew their inspiration. Entrants will also have to produce a prototype of their design for the final judging stage, which will take place in May 2020. Participants will be assessed on the innovative, visually appealing style of their entries.   

The winners in each category will receive an all-expenses paid training opportunity in the U.S., sponsored by LHCA. Runners-up in each category will receive a free, one-week Creative Leather Applications course at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies at the University of Northampton. Plus, an opportunity to win a week’s work experience at one of the UK’s biggest fashion houses, Mulberry, will be decided through a public vote via Woobox on the Real Leather. Stay Different Facebook page.

Real Leather. Stay Different. design competitions are simultaneously occurring in China and Taiwan. Photos, interviews and videos detailing the progress of the global competition will be featured on our Facebook page and on

About LHCA

Formed by the 2020 merger of the United States Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) and Leather Industries of America (LIA), the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) is a full-service industry trade association representing the entire U.S. leather supply chain, including meatpackers, hides and skins processors, traders, leather tanners, finished leather goods producers, footwear companies, chemical suppliers, machinery producers, trade media and market reporters, freight forwarders, transportation service providers, financial institutions and more.  The association provides its members with government, public relations, and international trade assistance and support.  LHCA is a cooperator organization under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s foreign market development programs, assisting U.S. firms develop new markets for U.S. agricultural exports. LHCA is at the forefront of the industry’s needs, providing members with education and technical information to compete in today’s global marketplace.

About Leather UK

Leather UK is committed to protecting the unique identity of leather as a sustainable and beautiful product and working together as one united sector to promote the UK leather brand at home and abroad. Leather UK supports the whole of the leather supply chain, from processing raw hides to producing leather goods, and all businesses that work intrinsically within the leather industry. Leather UK’s members include tanneries, leather finishers, leather merchants, service providers, manufacturers, leather goods producers, students and anyone else working within the leather sector. Leather UK also works at the international level through membership of the EU leather association, COTANCE, and its role as the secretariat for the International Council of Tanners.

By |2022-05-08T10:22:32-05:00May 11th, 2020|News|


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