Luxury goods brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Hermés and Gucci are showing signs of growth in this tight economic climate and this is good news for the South African Exotic Leather Industry.

Based in Oudtshoorn, Klein Karoo International (KKI), supplies 65% of the world’s Ostrich products. Most of these products are fashioned into “must have” handbags and shoes from sought after fashion labels.

The exotic leather industry in South Africa is thriving and sustainable with much international attention. It was with this in mind that KKI invited EGAFD students to explore ostrich leather and feathers as indigenous high quality materials to fashion their creative ideas into. It is hoped that this initiative will stimulate an interest in the development of a South African based luxury goods market.

This exploration started with a 2-day tour to Oudtshoorn, where the 16 EGAFD students were given a guided tour of the following:

  • Ostrich Husbandry
  • Skin Tanning and Grading
  • Feather Sorting, Grading and Dyeing
  • Small-scale handbag and small goods manufacture

This tour informed the student fashion designers on the processes involved in getting finished material to market. With this insight, these young creatives can now look at ways of incorporating Ostrich leather and feathers into their ranges in future and perhaps use Ostrich a signature fabrication.

We would like to thank Klein Karoo International for hosting this tour and we look forward to future ventures together.

Ostrich Egss

Décor Ostrich eggs at the Klein Karoo Boutique

Ostrich leather handbag

Making of an Ostrich leather handbag

Selection of Ostrich skins

A selection of Ostrich skins

Ostrich farm

Ostrich farm

EGAFD student designers

EGAFD student designers


Pictures courtesy of Lerato Mtiya and Sarie de Wet.