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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.  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.

Tutor Description

Fiona Campbell is a footwear design alumni of Cordwainers College, now London College of Fashion. She commenced her career with a fashion company supplying Miss Selfridge and Topshop, before setting up her own footwear label which focused on fast moving fashion. From here she moved sectors and undertook training in luxury bespoke footwear, later combining her work in Industry with teaching and learning at UAL. She completed a Postgraduate Certificate followed by an MA in 2008, conducting research on sustainable materials for footwear and accessories, gaining a Leathersellers’ Guild Award for her innovative sustainable shoe collection. She pioneered teaching footwear courses in Dubai and Singapore, such as Designing a Shoe Collection to Producing Footwear and Branding. 

Fiona has extensive experience of sourcing and manufacturing in Italy and Spain through putting her own designs into production and working with designer labels. This has given her a broad knowledge of production processes from design to all technical aspects of construction and digital technology. From fashion to bespoke she has sourced and worked with a variety of materials from luxury leathers to alternative sustainable materials. She partnered in the launch of an online shoe brand in AW 14/15 where individuals could customise a shoe design by selecting the shape, heel height, and material through a 3D platform and was an early adaptor in transferring her combined knowledge of bespoke and production into digital processes. From start-ups to Selfridges, she is happy to advise within all aspects of her knowledge.


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

  • Notepad
  • Pen

Available dates