The Travelling Pixie in Hong Kong
Leather Collar Workshop
My mum has been on the recent craze for hand-crafting her own leather goods and accessories! From leather wallets to passport holders, she has given everyone of us her own specially crafted gift. This time back to Hong Kong, my mum brought me to C+ Leather Workshop to have some fun making LEATHER COLLARS for our three little devils at home!
The workshop is located on the third floor of a small building in the heart of Causeway Bay. I was panting by the time we arrived the workshop, but at the same time was in awe of how this boutique workshop is actually so spacious while being hid in a rather old building.
It was laid out such that the workshop was divided into three sections, the working area – where the work benches are set up, the leather storage area – where the dyed leather rolls are placed, and the semi-finished leather packs that are displayed for customers who wish to only sew the leather pieces together can purchase these easy to complete cardholders and passport holders.
To my further surprise, as I turned my head, I saw little Summer! This little toy poodle was brought home just that morning! Still a little baby, she was either sleeping or whining for mommy to give her a hug all those hours while we were at the workshop! But as she still hasn’t had all her shots done, we couldn’t let her roam free around the workshop, she had to stay in her own little hand-made wooden pen for at least another month! Poor Summer Sweetie <3 She was so cute that we ended up using a lot of our time taking photos of her and cooing her! Doesn’t that face just make your heart melt?!
After about 45 minutes of oooo’s, ahhhhh’s and awwwwww’s, we’ve finally managed to sit still and start choosing the dyed leather to make our collars with. We chose purple for my brindle whippet, cobalt blue for dad’s fox terrier, and a fuschia leather for mum’s schnauzer.
So lets get started!
So the first step is of course, to cut the leather into the right size to work with! We’ve already measured the circumference of our dogs’ neck prior coming to the workshop, so we only had to tell the workshop leaders of the measurements and they helped us cut two pieces of leather accordingly – and then we have to stick the two pieces of leather together.
Before we stick the leather pieces together, there’s a second step, which is to ‘scrape’ the back of the leather clean. I have no idea what’s the proper name for this procedure, but we had to apply some solvent, use a wooden tool and keep scrubbing the back of the leather. By scrubbing and removing the tiny hairs from the back of the leather, the leather strips would ‘stick’ better when we apply the glue to stick them together.
After letting the solvent drying a bit, we apply glue to both strips of the leather and stick them together. Then we used a metal roller – which was a lot heavier than what I had expected, and roll back and forth over the leather to make sure it is properly stuck together.
We then use a ‘cutter tool’ – again I have no idea what’s the name of the tool, to cut a rounded end to the leather. You place the cutter tool at the end of the leather piece, and with all your might, hammer down and hope that it cuts through the whole leather piece! You might have to do that a few times to get through to the bottom, but eventually you’ll get there! haha When you do the other end, don’t forget to measure the length your leather strip is supposed to be before hammering down! You don’t want your leather strip to end up being too short!
So this is what your leather strip is supposed to look after having cut the edges off.- pretty neat right?
Next up, we have to again, ‘scrub’ off the hair on the side of the leather, and apply a cream-textured solvent to smooth-en the side of the leather strip.
After that, it’s time to choose the buckle clasp for the collars!
It’s important to choose a clasp that fits within the leather strip, so that it doesn’t fall loose.
These are the ones I chose for Vodka and Whisky.
Next, we have to engrave the names of our beloved dogs onto the collar.
Finally! After three hours of hard work, we’ve got all three of them done!
The buckle and the clasp to hold the name tag in place was done by the workshop leaders.
Well, the engraving part went a bit ugly – Mum’s to blame! hahaha! But Vodka’s name looks alright, so I’m happy :D !
I had a brilliant time at the workshop, although the leather-collar making is probably one of the easiest crafts there. Not to mention it was only HKD400 for all three collars! I definitely hope to go again sometime soon, and to visit sweet little Summer! They also have a dog-cafe next door to the workshop, and I’m hoping to drop-in in the near future as well!
Here’s their contact details if you would like to try leather-making out! :D
C+ Leather Workshop
3/F, No.520 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
(852) 5114 2515 (Whatsapp)