DEVELOPMENT AND TOLERABILITY OF NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC LEATHERWORKS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN IN KANO STATE, NIGERIA

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DEVELOPMENT AND TOLERABILITY OF NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC LEATHERWORKS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN IN KANO STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study was on development and acceptability of natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano State, Nigeria. Seven specific objectives and six research questions were formulated to guide the study. R&D design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was552 respondents and 20 panel of judges who were academic staff of Saadatu Rimi College of Education, Kumbotso, Kano. The sample for the study was 217 and 20 panel of judges. Four rating questionnaire and hedonic scale were used as instrumentsfor data collection. The data collected were coded and analyzed to answer research questions using descriptive statistics of frequency and percentages as well as mean and standard deviation. The result revealed that leather carpet, pouf and wall hangers are mostly used among the available items for interior decoration. Other decorative items also used include leather sofas, throw pillow, mat, wall cover, hand fan and foot mat in Kano State. The findings revealed that natural and mixed (natural and synthetic) leatherworks have smooth texture while synthetic leatherwork has coarse texture. The texture of natural and mixed (natural and synthetic) leatherworks ere accepted by the consumers. The results also revealed that the natural leatherwork is lighter than synthetic and mixed (natural and synthetic) leatherworks is heavy. The weight of natural leatherworks was accepted by the consumers and that of synthetic and mixed (natural and synthetic) was not accepted. The findings also showed that the odourof synthetic leatherwork is good while that of natural and mixed (natural and synthetic) leatherworks is foul. The result also found that natural leatherworks are costlythan synthetic and mixed (natural and synthetic) hence, mixed leatherworks was more accepted. The study concluded among others that natural and mixed (natural and synthetic) leatherworks have smooth texture than the synthetic leatherwork and this made the consumers to accept natural and mixed leatherworks over synthetic. It was recommended among others thatindividuals, Home Economists and industries involved in the production of leatherworks should put efforts in producing leatherworks with soft texture since the leather users prefer leatherworks with smooth and soft texture.Home Economists and leatherworks enterprise should produce leatherworks that are not so heavy and weighty since the leather users prefer leatherworks that are very light and not opaque.

CHAPTERONE  INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Leather industry has made and is still making enormous impact globally on every sphere of man‘s life economically, industrially, socially, religiously and politically. From the Neolithic era to the beginning of the Egyptian civilization through the Romans‘ domination till today, man has regarded skins and leather as dependable materials for meeting his basic needs such as making footwear, tents, shields, sheaths, containers for liquids, boats and even armour (Landmann, 2003; Atiase, 2004; Kite & Thomson, 2007). Leatherwork has characteristically been regarded as a major contributing factor in the economic development and industrial transformation of several countries and this is simply because hides and skins are being processed into leather materials for production of varieties of products (Kite & Thomson, 2007).

Natural leather materials are used worldwide as shoes, coats, belts, gloves, hats, handbags, purses, clothing, among others. Factory workers, soldiers, the police and other security agencies wear heavy boots made from leathers; thus confirming the importance of leather in the development of every economy.In Nigeria, leatherwork has been an old vocation practiced over a century. Its practice is concentrated in the northern and western parts of the country and spreads southwards. The industry serves as the lifeline for the livelihood of several people across the country (Boahin, 2008). Fundamentally, the industry is built holistically highly on leathers tanned by indigenous methods and techniques, and focuses on the production of leather and leather artifacts to serve both aesthetic and utilitarian needs of Nigerians and beyond. These needs are served with the production of both natural and synthetic leathers.

Synthetic leather is a man made fabric that looks like leather. It has a leather-like surface

and is dyed and treated to make it have the look and feel of real leather. It is often used as a substitute for real leather because it is less expensive and it does not require using a real animal hide to create.Artificial leather can be dyed in a variety of colours. It is durable and stain resistant, as well. Artificial leather can be created to look like any type of leather desired. Many considered it superior to real leather because of its diversity in looks and use. There are a range of different types of synthetic leather. The type of synthetic leather is usually defined by what materials the leather is made of. It is very light weight, comes in a range of styles and textures and is easy to clean(Atiase, 2004). Many of the leather materials on the market are synthetic and have the feel of real leather which determines its acceptability.

The acceptability of both natural and synthetic leather materials and products by the users is largely dependent on the appearance (how good and attractive the leather is), texture (how smooth, soft, coarse and rough the leather is), weight (how heavy, dense, thick, opaque and light the leather is) and smell (this is the pleasant or unpleasant odours leather emits). Good leather materials are be attractive in appearance, smooth and soft in texture, very light in weight and discharge less offensive odour and any leather materials that possess the opposite of these named qualities is not a good one. The manifestation of these attributes and characteristics by leather materials determine their acceptability and utilization for interior decoration.

Interior decoration is the art of creating room space and other indoor tangible surfaces such as carpet, curtains, furniture, lighting, paints, wall covering and many other items that contribute to the creation of an interior. Okeke (2009) sees interior decoration as choosing the colour scheme and material forth inside of a house so as to add to its aesthetic value. The process of interior decoration involves careful selection of each item to suit the areas of the room, purpose and overall mood of the decorator,interior decoration involves a problem-solving process.To developa design plan for an interior, the designer must determine all activities that the area may be used for, consider who will use the area and what the area overall mood should be. Interior decoration with unique items made of natural materials such as leather can embellish rooms, transforming them into luxurious and exclusive place. Leather is suitable as home decorating material for any interior styles(Mcevoy, 2007).

The decoration of hides and skin by appliqué technique, the sharing and printing of designs and pattern on them is a craft for which the Northern States of Nigeria are well known (Farinloye, 2008). These hides and leather are later transformed into beautifully decorated interlaced bags, sandals, home and office interiors, as well as furniture. Tanners and leather workers exist in every main community in Nigeria, for example, Naraguta in Jos, Sokoto, Kano, Maiduguri and Oyo areas are well known centres of leather crafts, with the principal areas being Kano and Sokoto. Considering the dearth of literature in Kano State regarding development of natural and synthetic leatherworks and how the users accept them for interior decoration, the researcher is encouraged to develop natural and synthetic leatherworks to assess their acceptability.  

1.2       Statement of the Problem

In recent time, most Nigerians prefer the use of foreign interior decorations to locally made ones due to the fact that they substandard and less quality which results to the importation of foreign interior decorative articles. This scenario might not be unconnected to Nigerians‘ level of awareness on innovative use of leather for interior decoration and its importance in creating good products. Home interior decoration is one the esthetic values Kano people cherish most but the natural leather materials available in the market for sale is very expensive that many ordinary men and women cannot afford to buy because of their low income/financial status.

 

The researcher‘s observation and interaction with some people who cherish interior decoration in their homes in Kano revealed that natural leather is mostly found in the royal houses and individuals with financial muscles because they are very expensive. The question is that, Is there no alternative to natural leather for common people to make use of for interior decoration in their respective homes? In order to answer this question, the researcher developed synthetic and mixed (natural and synthetic) leathers with less cost implication and tested their acceptability for interior decoration in Kano state, Nigeria.

1.3Objectives of the Study

 The main objective of the study is thedevelopment and assessment of acceptability of natural and synthetic leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano state, Nigeria. The following specific objectives are set for this study;

  1. develop interior decoration items from natural, synthetic and mixed leatherwork
  2. identifynatural, synthetic and mixed leatherwork decorative items that could be produced for interior decoration.
  3. determinethe texture of decorative items produced from natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks.
  4. determine the weight of natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano state.
  5. determine the smell of natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano state.
  6. determinethe cost produced natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano state.
  7. Determine the acceptability of natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano state.

1.4       Research Questions

            In line with each specific objective, the following research questions are raised:

  1. What are the natural, synthetic and mixed leatherwork decorative items that could be produced for interior decoration?
  2. What is the texture of decorative items produced from natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks?
  3. What is the weight of natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in

Kano state?

  1. What is the smell of natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in

Kano state?

  1. What is the cost produced natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano state?
  2. What is the acceptability level of natural, synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano state?

1.5       Significance of the Study

The result of the study when published will be significant to leather industries, leather users, event planners, future researchers, Home makers and Home Economics. The outcomes of the research study will be accessible to the beneficiaries through journal publications, seminars, workshops, symposium, radio and television as well as school/university libraries.

The leather industries will benefit from this research study as it will enable them produce leatherworks which are purely synthetic and mixture of natural and synthetic for users who cannot afford the financial cost of natural leatherworks.

The events planners and leather users will also benefit from the outcome of this study as it will save them the high cost of buying natural leather to produce items and other decorating events.

Home Economics will also benefit from the findings of this study via teaching students the skills involved in producing mixed and synthetic leatherworks using low income for the production of decorative items.

The future researchers will benefit relevantlyfrom the findings of this study as they will used for reference purposes in any institutions of learning for students who want to carry out research in the same or related topic.

1.6       Basic Assumption

This study is based on the following assumptions

  1. Synthetic and mixed leatherworks are spongy than natural for interior decoration in Kano

state.

  1. Natural leatherworks is weighty than synthetic and mixed for interior decoration in Kano

state.

  • Natural leatherworks produce unpleasant smell than synthetic and mixed for interior decoration in Kano state is very good.
  1. Natural leatherworks is costly than synthetic and mixed leatherworks for interior decoration in Kano state.
  2. Synthetic and mixed leatherworks are more acceptable by the users for interior decoration in Kano state.

1.7       Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to producing/developing natural and synthetic leatherworks for interior decoration such as carpet, wall hangers and pouf. The texture weight, smell, cost and acceptability of natural and synthetic leatherworks are the indices measured in the study.The study was delimited to Home Makers in Kano Sa‘adatuRemi College education Kumbetso Kano.

DEVELOPMENT AND TOLERABILITY OF NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC LEATHERWORKS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN IN KANO STATE, NIGERIA

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