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Understanding Leather

Understanding Leather

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Fiona Campbell


Leather is an adaptable and durable material used extensively in the fashion industry today.  With so many functional and decorative properties it is used to produce garments, footwear and handbags as well as luxury leather goods.

This leather course will look at selecting appropriate leathers for your product and examine the diversity of leather from stretch to exotic grains. We’ll discuss leather sourcing, terminology and the impact of technology on finishing techniques, along with new trends in leather and leather alternatives.  We’ll also examine why leather varies so much in quality and price by looking at grades of leather and studying samples to gain an understanding of the different skins and hides.

A full range of complementary Understanding Fabrics courses are available, view all courses on our website


Beginners. You should have an interest in the subject area and a desire to learn but no previous experience is required.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.


Your course place is confirmed once you have booked online or via the phone using a credit or debit card. There is no deadline for booking. Places are offered on a first come, first served basis, and all courses have a maximum number of students. We suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.

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Tutor Description

Fiona Campbell is a Footwear Design alumnus of Cordwainers College, now LCF. She commenced her career with a fashion company supplying Miss Selfridge and the High Street, before setting up her own footwear label. From here she moved sectors and undertook training in luxury bespoke footwear, later combining her work with teaching at UAL and pioneering teaching courses in Design and Production in Dubai and Singapore. She completed a Postgraduate Certificate followed by an MA in which she researched sustainability. From this she created a collection using recycled materials and recycled leather aimed at reducing the use of chemicals, and started her sustainable shoe business. Since then she has continued to research and offer advice to companies on sustainable materials and practices.

Fiona has a broad knowledge of production, from design through to all technical aspects of construction, gained from her experience of sourcing and manufacturing in Italy and Spain whilst working with designer labels and producing her own designs. She partnered in the launch of an online shoe brand where individuals could customise a shoe design by selecting the shape, heel height, and material through a 3D platform and was an early adopter in transferring her combination of knowledge into digital technology. From first-hand experience , through luxury leathers to sustainable materials, she is happy to advise clients from start-ups to Selfridges within all areas of her practice.


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the class:

  • Notepad
  • Pen

Available dates