Don't hide those skills

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 February, 2012, 12:00am

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Most products made from leather are regarded as expensive, luxury items.

Taking classes in leather craft techniques can give people the skills needed to make personalised products for themselves or to give as gifts to friends or family.

'Many people who attend our courses want to produce things that are different from mass produced items,' explains Baldwin Pui Bing-wang, co-founder of Fungus Workshop (www.fungusworkshop.net).

'They want to make leather products that contain their own personal style based on the type of materials, their choice of colours, decorations and size. Some people even like to stamp their names or a message on the products they make.'

The workshop offers courses that cater for both beginners and advanced students.

While the standard course comprises four, two-hour sessions, the number of sessions a student needs to attend will depend on the product they want to make.

Basic skills and techniques taught include cutting, punching holes, stitching, adding lining, finishing and polishing, and knowledge of leather quality and methods of protection.

Cost is HK$1,600 per four-session course, including materials. Additional classes are available at HK$400 for a two-hour class.

'Most people can make two or three small products in a course such as mobile phone cases, coin bags, cardholders or small camera bags,' Pui explains. Anyone interested in developing their skills as a long-term hobby should do some research on the products they want to make he says. They should look carefully and try to understand the structure of the items, think about the steps and process of construction.

'The best way to learn is from your own failures. People need to try more new things, enjoy the process and above all have fun,' Pui says.

C+ Leather Workshop (www.cplus leather.com) offers a basic, four-hour course for beginners in which participants make products such as a key bag or card holder. Cost is HK$400.

A nine-hour, comprehensive course is available in which students are able to make more complicated products. Comprising three, three-hour classes, students are able to make two or three items during the course.

The course at HK$1,000, teaches detailed knowledge relating to the choice of leather for a product, leather cutting, processing the underside of leather, sewing, leather polishing and oiling.

Ah Moon (www.ahmoon.com) offers a two-hour trial class for beginners. Cost is HK$250 for tuition and HK$65 to HK$250 for materials depending on the product chosen.

It also offers two-hour, single product workshops that teach students how to make an iPad or iPhone case. Cost is HK$250 for each workshop and HK$300 and HK$180 respectively for materials.