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The 11th edition of Craft the Leather is coming up!

The training project will start next monday on May 20th in San Miniato and it is aimed at inviting aspiring young designer/makers from the most prestigious Schools of Fashion and Design in the world.

What is Craft the Leather? 

Craft the Leather is a project powered by Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium and it is coordinated by Diane Ellen Becker.

The Craft the Leather workshop was created to experience Tuscan Vegetable-Tanned Leather: a Tuscan product of excellence hand crafted by master tanners in the strict compliance of sustainability of our Tuscan Leather District. 

By introducing this traditional product to a new generation of students, we look forward to tomorrow’s Design professionals discovering new uses for a heritage material. We will experience together the great potential of the vegetable-tanned leather by using a mixture of creativity and classical techniques.

Who will participate?

Coming from three different continents, eight  Schools of Fashion and Design, among the most prestigious worldwide, will take part in the 11th edition of Craft the Leather.

Craft the Leather is by invitation only; each school selects the most deserving student and their tutor, representing the culture of the institute to take part in this unique learning opportunity.

Project phases

The project will be divided in three different phases:

PHASE 1 – The Training Workshop

The training workshop will be held from 20 to 25 May 2024 in the Tuscan Leather District and the eight participants will be hosted, with their professors, at the Conservatory of Santa Chiara in San Miniato throughout the week. It will be an immersive experience in all aspects of vegetable-tanned leather: from the visits to the tanneries and research centers to explore local production best practices, to the creative and technical experimentation during the craft workshop

The master craftsman leading the exploration of techniques and tools of the craft of vegetable-tanned leather will again be Giorgio Testi.

Testi will lead the workshop not only demonstrating traditional techniques of working vegetable-tanned leather but he will assist participants by supporting their personal and experimental creative interpretation of the material. Using both classical leather working tools, and the instruments of their own practice designer/makers will lay foundations for developing their personal unique and original project.

PHASE 2 – Creative development

The Consortium will provide the designers the Vegetable-Tanned Leather offered by associated tanneries.

The design challenge is to create a three-piece collection highlighting the intrinsic characteristics of Vegetable-Tanned Leather.

PHASE 3 – The Final Contest

The works created by the young designers will be presented together as a group show exhibited during the February 2025 edition of Lineapelle, the most important international leather fair where a contest will determine the best collection.

The winner of the contest will receive a scholarship with the aim of continuing their studies and skills.

Follow us on our social media and stay tuned to find out more about the designers/makers!