Professional terms of Leather Business in HONG KONG



The leather industry has been in Hong Kong for many years. In 1842, when Hong Kong Island became a British colony for the first year, the British government conducted a simple census on Hong Kong Island. A total of about 8,200 people lived in the “Queen’s Town”. Among the urban population of the town, there were 2 shops with a total of 17 leather craftsmen (the English original was Tanners), and there were 5 shops with a total of 28 shoemakers. And the data did not count in Kowloon and the New Territories, which were still controlled by the Qing Dynasty.

We can also see from the old photos that some companies engaged in leather trade in Hong Kong before World War II. As a place where co-existence of Chinese and foreign cultures and people, it was also an important trading port. During the century-old development of Hong Kong’s leather industry, many Western-introduced trades professional terms were translated, according to the predecessors who have been engaged in the leather trade for decades, we can recognize those leather industry terms with the “Hong Kong local taste”.

In recent years, due to the rise of DIY hand-made leather goods, the public outside the industry has a deeper understanding of leather (hopelly). However, the terms used by many small local leather workshops in the market are quite different from the terms of the traditional leather industry in Hong Kong. This is because they learnt those knowledge from the leather introductory books which are mainly written by Japanese and translated into Chinese by Taiwanese publishers, so there is a big discrepancy between the wording in old Hong Kong way. The most common differences are deliberately written in the following articles for comparison to make it easier for the public to understand.

(Below 2 photos took in the mid-late 90’s, at Tunenic Leather old office in Lai Chi Kwok, and Hong Kong Leather Fair)




Sorry this article is in Traditioal Chinese only.