The curriculum of leather art, the predecessor of the current curriculum, was founded in 1965. From 2000-2013 the head of department was Professor Rutt Maantoa, 2013-2019 the head of the department was Maila Käos and since September 2019 the department is being led by professor Rene Haljasmäe.
The curriculum of leather design and restoration respects tradition, while encouraging students to seek out innovative solutions in both technique and design. Students gain competence in fields ranging from leather processing to book binding, conservation/restoration and the design of various leather products.
Students work with clients and participate actively on exhibitions and competitions, where many students have won awards.
The first year and a half students take general courses, and in the spring of the second year, they specialise in either design or conservation/restoration. The design track provides in-depth knowledge in the production and design of leather accessories, bags and clothes. The conservation/restoration track is based on the vocational standards of conservators. Students acquire skills in restoring books of different covers and structure, paper materials and leather objects, as well as developing different conservation instructions.
The faculty include many recognised practitioners from Estonia and abroad: Hans-Peter Frolich, Michel Frolich (Germany), Jeff Clements (the Netherlands), Enrico Flaiani (Italy), Manfred Mayer (Austria), Illu Erma (Estonia), Stella Soomlais (Estonia). Principal faculty include Rutt Maantoa, Maila Käos, Tõnu Ojaperv, Kristel Suigussaar, Tiina Karu.
Head of Department