Majority of the demand is from the footwear industry. Other leather accessories such as belts, luggage and bags, jackets, gloves, purses and caps to toys, upholstery, baggage, musical instruments, garment tags, gift items, etc., capture the rest of the market.
Apart from being a fashion statement, the natural product is also valued for its strength, comfort and durability.
Leather technology is a branch of engineering that deals with the combination, production and refining of leather. It also deals with the mixing of natural and artificial leather.
A student aspiring to take up this career path can do a four-year B.E./B.Tech. course, and top up with a two-year M.Tech programme in Leather Technology. There are also many Diploma and Certificate courses in Leather Technology. Such courses can improve one’s chances of getting a higher paying job.
A few of the subjects covered under Leather Technology courses are:
- Analytical chemistry of pre-tanning materials
- Leather processing
- Computer-aided engineering graphics
- Leather-product designing and development, using software.
If you need to flourish in this industry, it is pertinent that you create and develop new and up-to-date patterns that are in vogue with the latest fashion trends.
With experience and a good academic backing, you can be at a managerial position in leather firms, export houses, production houses, boutiques, or government organizations in sectors such as footwear, leather garments and leather products.
You can also become a technical designer or a stylist.
An experienced leather technologist can find job opportunities in leather production, quality control, research management and buying, sales or marketing.
You can also become a teacher in one of the institutes that teach leather technology.
And for those that dare to dream further – After gathering work experience in other firms, you can set up your own production unit, too, and become an entrepreneur.