Meet the first female leather professor Prof. Dr. Eser Eke Bayramoglu.
You are the first female leather professor. Could you please explain us where your love for leather comes from.
My father came with me on the day I went to my first leather training at Ege University in 1989. Actually, choosing the leather department was a bit of a coincidence for me. My father was a big reader and told me motivational stories about leather that day. He said that I had chosen the best profession and that I would be very successful in this field. He motivated me and was with me as long as he lived. I am grateful to my mom and dad for supporting me.
Can you please explain us more about your work.
I work full time at Ege University. I have lots of lessons Leather Microbiology, Marketing, Leather Handycrafts etc.. I provide various training programs in line with the demands. I give Leather Technology trainings especially for different groups. I had a graduate student set up a cosmetic company and I am a consultant there. Flamel Kimya is the first and only hydrolyzed keratin producer company in Türkiye. We also make natural products that have no equivalent for the skin.
Some while ago you gave a training on the leather industry in Kazakhstan. Why in Kazakhstan and what was the goal of this project?
I have a doctoral student at M. Auezov University in Kazakhstan that I am the second advisor. We have a bilateral cooperation agreement with this university. They invited me to give Leather Technology training. Due to this invitation, I went to Kazakhstan and gave certified training to school teachers, doctorate students and graduate students.
Are there any other recent projects you can inform us about?
For the time being with the partnership of the United Nations World Food Programme, the Izmir Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of National Education and İŞKUR, we provide training to train leather cutting and sewing operators at the Ege University continuing education centre. Within the scope of this program, mostly Syrian refugees are provided with employment. The photos you see were taken during this course.
In this context, I give leather technology trainings. In addition, I received an invitation to a training program from Uzbekistan and we are still in talks on this subject.
How do you feel about the sustainability of leather?
I think that for the sustainability of the leather business, it is necessary to make an environmentally friendly production, as well as that this business should be loved and adopted by young people. Leather work is actually a difficult job, but it can be done with love.
Why is leather such a unique material?
Leather is actually a waste material. A waste material turns into a unique product in the hands of an artist. According to Ahi Evran, who is considered as the master of this business in Türkiye, leather making is not only a craft, but also an art, even the highest of the arts, because it requires patience.
How do you think the tannery of the future looks like?
I think tanneries will be a piece of heaven because they will turn to natural chemicals. Maybe everything that will be farmed with the waste from the factory will be green… This is my dream. The next day will come.
What should consumers need to know about leather?
Leather makers use a material that is a food industry waste and transform it into very valuable products. Leather is obtained from animals, materials obtained from plants or fungi are not leather. We, leather tanners, do not harm animals, we protect nature. Leather is one of the oldest professions known, and good leather processing played a huge role in the establishment of civilizations.
Do you think should leather be the material of choice for consumers? If yes, please explain why.
Definitely. I don’t think any material can replace leather. Unrivaled products are made from leather and history is full of them. A parchment book is invaluable today. Leather creates a visually rich atmosphere. This is why especially artists prefer leather. Leather is both stylish and cool, comfortable and healthy. Wearing leather gives prestige. What more could a consumer ask for?