‘DIY = Do It Yourself’
Since 1988 when DIY goods were introduced in Korea, the industry has been flourishing until recent years. The original purpose of DIY merchandise was to minimize production costs by cutting down on the labor force. It originated in the United Kingdom by a social movement that supported the idea, ‘Try to be independent,’ due to the lack of goods and labor forces after World War II. However, its cause has been changed as the circumstances have improved, especially since 2000 when leisure time as well as thriftiness increased and life styles also changed.
DIY is available in a variety of areas and materials from fabric to wood and even to items of interior decoration. Other types of materials are also been tried for DIY beyond the materials above, but failed to become popular. That is because it’s difficult to discover and apply unusual materials, and also there is not much chance to acquire fitting manufacturing methods to maximize the distinctive characteristics of the materials. A notable example is leather, which is loved by the whole world, coining the phrase leather mania. Lots of people are crazy about leather since it allows people to carve their preferred design and logo. Moreover, as time goes by, it naturally tans, adding leather’s natural deep color and natural sheen. However, at the same time it has not really been widely popular among people as it is weak to water and scratch, and prone to be turned into rags by trivial mistakes.
Then, is it impossible that we manage leather and make goods out of it? No, there is a special place that can even realize the rebirth of leather. Hansaem Leather Craft: The only place that can create priceless works of art using real leather.
Hansaem Leather Craft is a small craft shop located in B1 of One building, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu in Seoul. It may not look neat or charming but you can feel the craftsmanship of leather-craft experts. While experiencing leather DIY there, you don’t have to worry about the final result because a teacher will always help you nearby. Also, compared to the other crafts, the fee for experience craft is on the low side as you only need to pay for materials. Fees can fluctuate from 4,000 won to 100,000 won, depending on what you make. Most couples make bracelets at the cost of 4,000 won to 8,000 won; pouches, pencil cases and card wallets are from 20,000 won to 40,000 won. In addition to this, a bag costs more than 50,000 won. If you have any questions, please refer NAVER Café http://cafe.naver.com/hsgajuk).
We decided to make three pouches and a card wallet. Let’s go through the process of making.
1. Decide what you want to make.
- It would be easier to decide if you take a look at expert’s art works.
2. If you tell what you will make, your teacher will cut the leather. Meantime, you can draw your design by graving various patterned stamps on sample leather.
3. Decorate your leather with patterned stamps on your leather.
- You can decorate whatever you like as there are many patterns to choose such as initials, animals, flowers and so on.
- Or you can make a rough sketch and paint, using pencil and marker without using stamps.
4. Put on cotton gloves and paint the ground color by using dye. The typical ground color is reddish brown but you can adjust brighter or darker, depending on how you paint.
5. Glue both sides together.
6. To fix the attached sides, drill a hole on the edge of the leather using an awl. After that, do fine stitching using a needle and thread.
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It took 4 hours to finish the work. The expert expected it would take 2 hours in the beginning, but I like to believe that our passion for the best quality was higher than the skills we had---we only had basic skills. We had to spend more time to make it better. None of the reporters slacked off, focusing on making leather goods. So when we completed the final works, we all looked satisfied with our work. We could understand why so many people are crazy about DIY.
If you are tired of common ready-made goods, which seem to be created by the same old duplication processes, how about trying a leather DIY project? You can actually participate in the manufacture processes!
Dan-bee: I was always reluctant to buy leather products because of its price. But now I feel really good that I can have my own leather goods at an affordable price.
Hyun-jin: Though it was very time-consuming, it was definitely a very worthwhile experience. Plus, I felt really great about myself making my own stuff.
Min-sun: It was very entertaining to make it by myself. It was a good chance to realize the beauty of leather.