The SA Leather Craft Academy (SALA) has been in existence since 1983 and has compiled the only Training Manual on South African Leather craft. SALA is also part of Leatherclassics who has been manufacturing, designing and marketing leather crafted products for more than 25 years. SALA is also a manufacturer and supplier of leather craft hand tools.
The course is presented full time over a period of three weeks with 105 hours actual theoretical and practical training. To ensure quality attention to each trainee only 10 learners per course can be trained. Each learner will during the course, manufacture at least three complete products of which the last one will be for evaluation. The members of SALA are qualified instructors with more than 30 years experience in several fields of personal and course evaluation and one of the instructors is the author of the SA Course in Mentoring skills.
The major problem with training in the past has been that trainers only passed on basic skills. SALA does not only present training but is extremely active in the market which allows them to be aware of market needs. The specific skill of each learner whether it is classic hard leather or softer fashionable leather is strengthened during the course.
Quality assessment guidelines are taught and SALA teaches learners to test their products constantly according to these guidelines.
The course naturally progresses. After learning to use a knife for leather cutting, the learners make a top quality leather belt worth around R250 in the open market. This also teaches them to make slings for bags. The next step is to make smalls like bracelets, pouches etc. During this stage they have total freedom of design. This allows the instructor to see which of the learners have which aptitudes. This is then strengthened. Following the “freedom day” the learners then have the opportunity to make a combination satchel/backpack which seems very difficult to the learners but ALWAYS ends up in total success. This teaches the learners assembly skills as well as the role of components and manufacturing process. This part is done in teams which are determined by the instructor according to learner aptitude and skills.