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Basic Information

A cobbler is a craftsman who repairs worn or damaged shoes or boots - traditionally a lower status occupation than the cordwainer or shoemaker that created the shoes in the first place, much as a tinker was considered lower than a blacksmith. An apprentice cordwainer might conceivably have been set to cobbling for his master's clients, but in general the two were separate trades.

The cobbler was normally a leatherworker, but might also work with cloth, rope or wood if those are materials commonly used to make footwear in their culture.

In the modern era, cobblers frequently combine their trade with general leather work, key-cutting and occasionally laundry or dry cleaning as well. In many countries "key and heel bars" are a common occurrence on the high street or shopping mall

For some reason, this is one of the trades that the fae seem to like to get involved in.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Aside from needing to get their shoes fixed, PCs might conceivably visit a cobbler for information about a distinctive footprint - perhaps one showing signs of recent repair (or of damage that would require cobbling).
  • Actually, the cobbler might do all sorts of leather repair - or at least be able to fix leather goods including tack and saddlery, leather armour, gloves and the like.
  • Much like a tinker, a cobbler might an appropriate choice of travelling craftsman, either as a random encounter on the road, as the cover an NPC uses for spying or even an additional source of income for a PC.
  • Cobbling was also a common trade for soldiers to pick up - especially in the days before modern logistic support (which is still now in some places).
  • In the modern era, it is often taught in prisons as a skill for "going straight" and the UK's largest chain of cobblers makes a point of recruiting ex convicts on the same basis.
    • The frequent combination of this with key-cutting has been known to worry more cynical people…
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