Manipulating Ghanaian indigenous vegetable tanned leather for the production of ladies fashionable accessories
Most occasions in the Ghanaian society demand casual body items and containers. The slippers and sandals are easy to wear as compared to shoes and boots. Most containers become easy carriers for handy items such as make-up kits, purses, keys, handkerchiefs etc. Those items sell faster as compared to the other body items. Those imported decorative items with good finishing made with synthetic leather sell faster as compared to those made with, Ghanaian indigenous vegetable tanned leather, due to its poor decorative design and finishing, hence the identification and selection of body items and containers. What is it about leather handbags that make them so intriguing? They come in a wide variety of sizes, colours, and styles. Maybe it is the butter soft material they are made from. There is also a fashion status attached to a good leather handbag. Many famous fashion conscious women carry them, making them even more popular. A nice bag that completes an outfit can give someone a little extra confidence as they go about their day. Leather in its most basic form is made from the hide of an animal. First they are cleaned to remove the hair and any other debris. These skins and hides are stretched and tanned through the use of a chemical process. During this time, depending on the process and chemicals used the type of leather produced is determined. It can be from very soft leather to suede to hard stiff leather depending on how it is treated. Fashion designers use this leather to make many products, not just handbags. There are also shoes, belts, and hats. So an entire ensemble can be achieved. No one wants to have the wrong shoes with the right bag. Leather is a very durable material that can withstand the everyday use, wear, and tear the average person can put on it. It is one of the reasons leather is such a popular material to use in clothing. There are still many vintage leather handbags out there, and rarely do they go out of style. Leather goods are made to last a lifetime. But have to take care of them. The best way is to keep them clean and supple with the use of good leather cleaner. Leather cleaners can smell bad so if you are planning to use your bag on the weekend it would be better to clean it earlier in the week. Before cleaning your bag with any product it is always recommended to test it on an area that won't be seen. Just in case the cleaner is too harsh and changes the colour or texture of the leather. There are many animal rights groups that are trying to ban or just discourage people from the use of leather in fashion. Some of these groups are very aggressive and will try to destroy animal goods by throwing paint on them, or just make the owner feel immense guilt over the use of leather. What these groups are fighting against is an age old tradition. The earliest man made his clothing from the hides of the animals he killed. In most cases these animals are not killed just for the hide, the whole animal is used for a variety of purposes. Most importantly they are used for food. Research design; this describe the type of research methodology adopted. Population and sampling; this describe details of the population for the study. Instrumentation or research instruments; it indicates the information gathering instrument, information accumulation methodology, information examination, legitimacy and reliability. Working procedure, this is the main experimental area of the research where the research questions are addressed in response to the purpose of the study. The discovery of the Indigenous vegetable tanned leather has been beneficial, especially to the Indigenous folks who use it as their containers for their daily purposes. Indigenous tanned leather has been used over the years to produce a variety of fashionable items, however, the handling and application of designs have not gone through much modification as required in modern fashion, and this has not helped the fashion industry in Ghana. It is interesting to note that consumers of fashion accessories in Ghana embrace items made with leather, unfortunately they prefer imported ones which come in different designs with good finishes, although some of these are made with imitation or synthetic leathers. The study therefore sought to the potential of handling and using Indigenous Ghanaian vegetable tanned leather for the production of ladies fashionable accessories with beautiful designs and finishes to meet the contemporary fashion. For the promotion and improvement of leather fashion accessories in this country, the following recommendations are hereby made:Local industries that deal with leather should take up the project to produce leather fashion accessories to aid the local tannery industry. They should take interest in using indigenous Ghanaian vegetable tanned leather for the production of fashion accessories to boots the Ghanaian economy.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Integrated Art (Leather Technology), 2015