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February 3, 2017

Great Hobby Idea: Leather Craft Work

One of Rekaystyle’s 2017 New Year resolutions was to challenge myself to try something new! The first meaningful challenge started with working with leather.
It is an area that many people are interested in nowadays and many people also try this as a hobby or even beyond that as a mean of self-development.

Rekay always wanted to try it out but through a great opportunity, I got to know a fancy leather workshop named Via Maffia to learn the basics of leather work every Sunday as I dream of becoming a master artisan of leather. On the Rekaystyle Instagram photo and story videos, I have shown you all the contents of last class and the area of the class. Please look forward to my play on leather and the various pieces of arts that will be continually updated on my blog. I also hope that this will be useful information to people like Rekay that was interested in leatherwork.

Situated on a quiet hill of Seochon, the Firenze style leather workshop, Via Maffia. It is the best place to take a break from busy daily life and to heal our tired souls. Simply finding place made my heart flutter. In the leather workshop Via Maffia atelier, bright light shined in every crack and crevice. I could trace the handwork and passion of the professional by simply looking at the place. My heart started to skip a beat as if I would have an incredible experience. Rekay’s choice was once again a success!

After its first opening last November, Via Maffia has been a modern and stylish leather workshop for leather specialists and also for ordinary people that would like to experience special leatherwork and classes. Along with the one day experience program, there is a more professional curriculum in which people can learn leatherwork. The courses are done step by step. A one day class is definitely not enough to feel the charm of leatherwork so it would be better to start with at least a one month/4 session course.

Rekay started with the three month completion process with the single class course. It is done at least three hours a day in a week and it starts with the basic pattern making, tailoring and bonding, as well as the most important needlework. In addition, there is the finalization and monogram. It is a process where you can master the basics of leatherwork. Today’s posting is the first class of my very first day.

The first mission of the class was to make a leather card wallet!

With my apron on, I observe the leather material meticulously as if I am a master artisan of leather at Hermes. The most important and basic of all craftwork is the ingredient. Even in fashion design, the most important and basic is the choice of material and color. The same goes to leatherwork. What kind of leather I should use was a difficult choice. As I learn more about leather step by step, I chose a natural vegetable leather to make the card case that is the assignment of the first class.

Cutting the pattern based on the size of the card and cutting the leather material in the same way. The cutting was done by measuring the size of the card and fitting the cuts in the design of the card wallet. It was a bit of a headache to do some math in a long time but without any mistakes, I’ve succeeded in cutting to the shape of a card wallet.

In order to fix the panel where the middle card goes in, I punched the needle hole with a hammer (I will update next time with some sophisticated words for leatherwork.) and pierced with a gimlet to the very back to finish the needle hole. And last but not least, it is finished with the Hermes saddle stitch!

Choosing the color of leather and choosing the right thread color, and with the Hermes saddle stitch sewing, the card wallet is finished. It was difficult to punch equal needle holes but I had to learn from the very start of how to insert thread into my needle. The thread had to be inserted three times into the needle then tied into a knot. One piece of thread had two needles and by crossing the two needles, a saddle stitch is placed upon the leather. Concentrate, concentrate!

Based on the arrangement of colors, I thought that it would be perfect to stitch with a bright gold colored thread but as I sew, I soon regretted. My weak sewing skills stood out even more because of the contrasting colors. If I rather matched it to the body color, wouldn’t it be hidden?

Through some difficulties, this is Rekay’s first handmade leather card wallet completed! From the color and design to the making process, it has been made 100% through Rekay’s hands. It is a real custom card wallet that I love more than anything else. Thanks to my teacher who taught me for three hours one by one, it is not perfect yet I was able to complete it.

By increasing my skill, I hope the day comes when I can skillfully use a variety of materials, colors, and stitches. I am currently making a passport case. What color card wallet would you like to make?

Rekay’s leather workshop at Seocheon | Via Maffia leather classes are to continue!

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Korean Fashion blogger & youtuber, RekayStyle

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