A Guide to Leather-Working in Skyrim

This skill guide for Elder Scrolls V Skyrim will give a brief overview how you can use Leatherworking crafting recipes to quickly boost your Smithing skill while making some decent Septum’s in the process. Skill Boosting is a term that commonly refers to methods used in the game, to quickly raise your skill level of a certain type through the most affordable or beneficial means possible. Boosting your Smithing skill has the benefit of allowing you to speed up your access to far more powerful varieties of armor to craft through advancement in the perk constellation system. This is also an effective method for Thieves to fence stolen hides and materials, since crafted items do not retain their ingredient’s stolen flag.

Leather Armor in Skyrim

Step 1 – Collecting Leathers

The first step to Boosting your Smithing skill is to head out into the wilds of Skyrim, or rather the shops and pockets of Skyrim citizens if you are a cunning thief, and start accruing a nice stockpile of crafting materials. Leatherworking supplies come in three varieties, the first being leather pieces  which can be found scattered throughout the game world, used directly as ingredients in Leatherworking recipies. Next you will find leather straps, which are usually more common than leather pieces themselves, and are also directly used as ingredients or alternatively harvested from breaking down full pieces of leather using a Tanning Rack. Finally, you will find various animal hides in Skyrim, either off the corpses of animals themselves, or on characters, in store shops and various other locations general items can be found or looted.

Step 2 –  Breaking Down Leather into Workable ingredients

Now with a large collection of hides, straps and leathers, find yourself the nearest Tanning Rack and get to using it. All hides should be broken down right away, with the larger and more valuable hides like Saber Cat or Bear hides often granting you several pieces of leather while smaller hides like wolf ones, tend to give only a single piece. From there, you may want to further break down some leather pieces into leather straps, however do take note, leather straps cannot be reformed into leather pieces, and you must be careful as to not create too many straps and thus limit the ability to make as many armor pieces as possible, since both are necessary as ingredients.

Step 3 – Get to Leatherworking!

Now the best payoff per materials spent, in terms of skill gain and resell value, is the Leather Armor chest piece, which requires 4 Leather and 3 Leather Strips to craft each one. At lower levels, it only takes 1 or 2 crafts of these chest pieces to gain a level in Smithing, thus one with a large stockpile of leather’s and hides garnered through thievery or general exploring, will find themselves potentially netting a couple character level gains from the entire process as well.

Step 4 – Profit!

The final part of this plan is to take your crafted leather armors and sell them to the nearest vendor (minus any you’d like to keep for personal use) which have their base value of 125 Septums. Often you can find yourself being most efficient by crafting at a Smith’s shop, like the Warmaiden’s in Whiterun or Alvor’s in Riverwood, since you won’t have to go far to hawk your crafted goods.