Getting into jig making/skirt making is a great part of fishing. You can now start customizing your tackle to match the hatch or to just make something you haven't seen before.
I wouldn't say that I am a professional, but I was where you were at about 6 months ago. At that time I did a lot of research as well and I took $80 and bought some basic intro supplies. Here is where I got all my things to start doing my own jigs and skirts:https://fishingskirts.com/
Now when I was first researching, I looked into pouring my own jigs and using the wire to wrap my skirts...I came to the conclusion that this would cost considerably more to get into and it may not be something I would want to continue.
Soooo....I decided to buy these items;
-An assortment of silicone and live rubber skirts. (I just picked the colours I liked)
-Some different types of jigs that were unpainted
-About 5 different enamel paint colours for the jigs
-The skirt making tool
-Some brush guards
-Some extra "O-rings" for putting the skirts on
Some extra items you will want that are not on the site would be;
-A small tackle box to keep everything in
-Gel style super glue
-1/8" drill bit
All of this together gave the perfect starter kit to try my hand at customizing jigs and making skirts.
Now as for the question of Tying VS using the bands....
Since I am not super serious about the custom jig making and skirt making, I decided on the O-rings...YES they will dry rot over time, but for the cost and time factor, it is a decent trade off...Another point is that if you are out on the water and you wanted to switch things up on a jig with a different skirt, it is easier to remove the band VS a tied skirt. You can also make a skirt while fishing using the bands. Not to say you couldn't tie one out there, but it is easier with the bands.
If I were to get into tying my skirts on, I would use wire. The type of wire really doesn't matter, just make sure it wont rust easily. A lot of guys use floral wire that you can pick up at any craft store. It is usually black or green, rust resistant and works really well. You would just want to have a vice to hold your jig while you wrapped the wire around the skirt.
-Some guys will tie the skirt on initially with a thread and bobbin just to easily position the skirt. They will then go over it with wire to secure it down.
Either way, I would recommend trying your hand at making your own skirts at the very least. This way you can use some baits you already have like spinner baits, buzz baits, swim jigs, etc...and practice skirts on them.
Below is an example of a DIY lure that I made and added a skirt to: