The new Leather Technician Certification program includes 240 hours of hands-on professional training. Students will achieve expertise in a range of leather product production and construction, including hand building/sewing, use of industrial sewing machines, pattern design, and CAD application. This program will allow the student to emerge ready to work in a variety of professional settings: including: See Careers.
Though our program is skills driven, we also offer ample design opportunities allowing students to personalize their projects.
The Leather Technician Certification curriculum provides the student with field and lab experience to advance their knowledge of modern elements of project construction and the use of diverse machinery, hand tools and other equipment.
Our program addresses 4 main areas of expertise:
1- Leather knowledge: tannages, leather usage, types of leather, weights, application, qualities, cuts, finishes, resources, terms and language, surface preparation, distressing, restoring.
2 – Construction and Artisan techniques: hand tools usage and maintenance, cutting, installation of zippers, stiffeners, hardware, frames, embossing, tooling, carving, stamping, heat braiding, repair techniques, hand stitching, gluing, edging, waxing, burnishing, polishing, painting, molding, shaping, proper tool use and care.
3 – Equipment and Machines: Usage such as threading, tension adjustment, thread weights, seam options, roller foot, walking foot, zipper foot, timing adjustment. Expertise on multiple industrial sewing machines including:
- Juki 1541S
- Juki DDL-8100e with roller foot
- Brother Zig Zag TZ-1
- Eagle-Toro TW2-341
- Singer 153 cylinder arm
- Adler cylinder arm
- Chandler 406 RB1
- Electric skiver
- 15 ton Hydraulic clicker press
- Kwikprint embossing press
- McKay chain stitcher
- Tippman Boss
4 – Designing and Patterning for leather products: Choosing the appropriate leather for a variety of products and applications, finishing techniques, hand drawing patterns, scaling, grading, CAD, Tech Pack creating and reading, seam allowances, steps for construction.
With a more-is-better philosophy, we are dedicated to sharing. We share patterns, knowledge and resources and expect students to do the same. Being a “full share” organization means that we delete the idea of intellectual property during our semester. This frees us to teach and learn from each other without outside marketplace constraints. It works.
Upon successful completion of the The Leather Knowledge and Fabrication Certificate program, the student will be able to:
- utilize effective, safety-enhancing workplace practices in multiple industries;
- demonstrate an understanding of quality tool practices and measurement;
- identify basic fundamentals of pattern making and tech pack reading;
- develop stellar skills in working with leather and associated materials.
- demonstrate use of basic to moderate math skills to facilitate technical competencies
- Get support with personal development to create best employee skills for future employment.
- Build portfolio of work and design to use in applications and interviews
- Finish your training program with an approved portfolio that demonstrates the skills you wish to promote in your job hunt and get feedback and rating from Instructors and Advisory Board members.
Students will complete a personal portfolio with photos and assigned leather projects and will have the opportunity to do a unique project design as well. All fees must be paid in full. Projects will be reviewed and assessed by instructors and presented to the Advisory board for critique. High standards of work will be set and maintained for certification. *Certification may be withheld if standards of work are not reached. If this occurs, every effort will be made to help bring the student’s work up to speed.
Program days are 9am-5pm Monday through Friday. Attendance is mandatory and make-up sessions for approved absences are limited to 2 per semester.
In order to expose our students to the best resources and information we are scheduling speakers and presenters on a range of topics with regard to business organization, best employee practices, portfolio design, tools and materials resources, time management, employment opportunities and marketing options.
Policy and School Environment:
Class size is a max of 10 students per sememster.
We maintain a welcoming space for all people at the Chicago School of Shoemaking & Leather Arts. We expect students to respect our policy of inclusion and treat others the way they wish to be treated. Dress code is casual and we have both a microwave and refrigerator for student use on a daily basis.
CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR WINTER SEMESTER
CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR SUMMER SEMESTER