Beautiful leather goods mean first of all remarkable skins, all coming from privileged breeding. This is the way we get high-quality cowhides spared from any assault, scar or scratch. Then we send this very singular raw material to the tanneries, where thanks to the alchemist's savoir-faire the fragile skin is turned into a strong piece of leather.
Working at the river
We first clean the skins off, removing the specks, salt and grease stains. Locked up in grinders with liming agents (a mix of sodium sulphide and slaked lime), the inflated skin is separated from the epidermis. Thus it gets more flexible and it is ready to receive the tanning agents. While the skin is defleshed, the subcutaneous tissue is removed from it. The piece of leather needs a second passing in the grinders to take the lime away.
The “wet-blue” skins are immersed in the grinders, stirred together with chromium sulphate and water. After that, they are damp, with a blue-grey sheen. The next step is the ripening, when the skins are left on trestles to let the chemical agents within the fibres get stronger.
After a few days we can see the magic of tanning. The skins, now pieces of leather are ready for the last treatment that gives flexibility, thickness and perfect colouring. First wrung, the leather thickness is maintained through the slitting process. One last time, we put the leather back in the grinder for the dye, and then it is nourished with oil and finally dried and stretched.
Dry but stiff … it is time for the last touch. We dampen the leather – it is called mise en humeur – and the material is stretched in order to separate all the fibres. This process gives softness and flexibility to the leather piece. Then you have to choose whether you want it with pigments, grains, or glazed, so it can be turned into an exceptional customised item that will cross the ages with you.
Design is above all an idea, a purpose, an emotion, an imaginary, that becomes an innovative, graphic, contemporary shape, full of history. And that, thanks to the magic stroke of a pen … Then comes the making, the time when the artistic dimension meets technique to strengthen, find the right proportion, and bend the leather into the chosen curve.
Cast iron and polishing
Cast iron and polishing. We chose and create the shape of the plaster mould; hence the molten metal changes the idea into an object.Later, the melted pieces have to be deburred, brightened and emerized, in order to be softer, and ready for the hand-made finishing touch. But, this is only during the last step – the mirror polish – that the idea that once became a design now becomes a jewel.
The bare buckle is improved by being electroplated, and can therefore dazzle. Once dipped in chemicals, the polished brass is covered with metal coat, and that process avoids oxidisation, and makes it brighter. Shinning or not, gold or silver, black, each touch will make the difference for the item that goes with the leather