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Here are details on LD by Ravneet Sachdeva, a graduate in Leather Design UG course at NIFT,
What you learn
We start with basic stuff, like pattern making(basic), design n fashion studies, leather science(how leather is made and differentiating between different leathers), a bit of accessories etc. Then we move on to more complex pattern making, surface techniques on leather, accessories (bags and hard goods etc), illustration.
Mostly its theory, be it illustrations, leather science, marketing, design processes etc. Lab work is only pattern making and construction.
One good part is that they leave the choice of specialization to you, in terms of garments or accessories. So you can pick your area and do your internship/Final Design Project in that. There are no restrictions.
Leather and what else?
Also, we do a lot of mix and match, they don’t limit us to only leather. We use fabrics, rubber, wood, plastic; name any material in the world! So that way there is freedom.
Last 2 semesters are very holistic. They don’t focus on leather only; like u have portfolio, visual merchandising, one optional subject and then finally your Final Design Project (also known as Graduation Project - GP)
What do you make finally?
GP consists of 4months industry experience where we are required to develop a collection (again, our choice, whether accessories or garments). This collection is presented on-ramp in the graduation fashion show.
The cost of the course is a little steep, as leather is a very expensive material (more expensive than fabric); otherwise, the rest of the material is the same, stationary, etc. At least 3 to 4K per semester; but yeah all courses at NIFT need you to spend.
In 2nd year, we go to tanneries too, to see how leather is processed.
Also in 2nd year, we do internships for a month and a half. For internships, almost all of us went to export houses (which I would recommend, as export houses give you max exposure and you get to learn a lot). Internships can be done with designers as well, but no Indian designer is doing leather on a large scale, so I won’t recommend it.
In 3rd year, we have a week long Craft Cluster Project. In this project, we went to a village called Doodhi for a week; learnt dholak-making there. Our seniors had gone to chamba and learnt how to make chamba chappals. Yep..raw skin to final processed leather! The whole gig! Craft cluster project is different from tannery training. In tannery training we only observe the process and take notes. In craft cluster, we use our own knowledge along with the craftsmen's know how to create actual products (after learning that particular craft).
And finally, in the 4th year we have 4 months of GP includes one in the industry as a professional.
As for job opportunities, in
Plus points of LD
But LD has an edge over FD in certain ways as you learn accessories as well as garments, so in the end you always have both the options open; the careers that LD takes you to as well as the careers FD takes you to. Also, since you are not very restricted in terms of material, you are comfortable working with both woven and non woven materials.
Frankly, the faculty is not that great, but then they keep changing, and once in a while we do end up getting some excellent guest faculty!
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