The interest in learning skills in working leather is growing all round the world.
At the recent All China Leather Exhibition held in Shanghai, most of the stands are for tanneries selling to footwear firms or other leather users or chemical companies selling to tanneries. Yet at every show there are few companies with a difference.
This year, hiding at the back of Hall 1, was a stand that was packed with visitors throughout, with eight or ten people always working away at a large table. They were being shown how to make small leather goods. The company, ATM Shanghai, uses some of the best vegetable tanned leather in the world.
Also on the stand their expert demonstrated a wide variety of skills at his own bench while samples of the work customers can do were laid out on the walls. A rack of leathers were available for clients to be taken through and to see the huge possibilities of this kind of work; it is an exciting hobby, but one that can be turned into a business very easily. Vegetable tanned leather is perfect for this work since it can moulded, will retain an emboss, cuts and skives (shaves) easily, can be stained and when finished looks beautiful. Over life it develops a beautiful patina.