I thought I would start a discussion on the International Federation of Leather Guilds, what is it and what the IFOLG does. Also what benefit does it have to join a Leather Guild that is also a member of the IFOLG.
First what is the IFOLG. It is a world wide organization that has a leather competition every year. During that competition a leather worker that belongs to a guild that is recognized by the IFOLG is eligible to enter leather pieces that will be judged. There a 4 main levels of competition, Open, Advanced, Master and Grand Master. In each level there are many classes that a person can enter, pictures, belts, wallets, purses, motorcycle gear and the list goes on. There are also special classes for those over 65, those under 18 and partners.
The IFOLG is the only organization in the world that has the ability to classify a leather worker by their ability. Anyone can enter the open division and after you win 10 1st places you are moved to the Advanced level to show. In advanced you have to win 10 1st places in order to be moved to the Masters. To be moved to the Grand Masters you must win 1st places in many different areas and be nominated by the show committee and be voted on to advance to the Grand Masters. Also if you enter into the Advanced category and win a ribbon you are stuck in advanced palmately. You can't go back to open any longer.
Also during these shows we bring in top notch instructors from all over the world to teach classes. These classes go on over a 3-4 day period. There is a vendor room where vendors of the leather world bring their wears to demonstrate and sell. The is also the Guild Display room where each Guild sets up a table with a display to be judged by your peers. There is always a raffle room, many businesses and individuals alike donate items to put in the raffle. The raffle is usually on Sunday morning at the end of the show. Friday morning starts with the competitors entering their items to be judged. Judging starts at 6:00 pm on Friday night. Saturday the Competition room is open to the public so you can look at all the awesome items people have entered as see how they placed. Saturday night is the Awards banquet where everyone who placed are announced and given their Awards and or find if they move up to another level.
It is a good time and I personally look forward to the show every year as it is the only time I get to visit with old friends, make new friends and do some networking. I also get to spend some of my money with the vendors. There is nothing like getting to feel and look at the leather and the tools before you buy.
I guilds if you don't know is like a club of leatherworker who get together and you learn from each other. But in order to compete you must belong to a guild that is recognized by the IFOLG. If you are a member of a guild that is not, and you want to be, you must make application to the governors board to be approved. I am a member of the Santa Fe Trail Leather Artists Guild in Kansas.
If this is something that you would like to be a part of. Let me know. If you have questions, let me know I would love to answerer them or just get involved in a discussion about the IFOLG.
For more information on competition and rules and classes you can go to the website.... WWW.IFOLG.Net