The use of leather dates back to ancient civilizations. Already 9000 years ago, tanning was being carried out by the South Asians inhabitants of Mehrgarh (now part of Pakistan) for items such as water skins, bags, harness, boats, armour, arch quivers, sward scabbards, boots and sandals. Around 2500 BC, the Sumerians began using leather, affixed by copper studs, on chariot wheels.
Tanning consists of a series of successive operations converting raw hides and skins into leather. The raw material in the production of leather is a by-product of the meat industry. Tanneries recover the hides and skins that are discarded by-products of the food industry producing meat for human consumption and transform them into a stable material that can be used in the manufacture of a wide range of products.
The process is a complex sequence of chemical reactions and mechanical processes. Amongst these, tanning is the most important stage giving the hide or skin the required stability. Leather is an intermediate industrial product with numerous applications in downstream sectors. It can be cut and assembled into shoes, clothing, leather goods, furniture and many other items of daily use.
Preserving them from decay by tanning pre- and after-treatment generates a final product with specific properties:
• High tensile strength.
• Resistance to tear.
• High resistance to flexing.
• High resistance to puncture.
• Good heat insulation.
• Leather contains a great deal of air, which is a poor conductor of heat.
• Permeability to water vapor.
• Leather can be molded and will retain its new shape. It has both elastic and plastic properties in wear.
• Leather is inherently resistant to heat and flame.
Italy has a unique tradition and knowledge of producing high quality leather, and to guarantee the highest possible quality of our products, we exclusively use leather from leading Italian tanneries serving global fashion brands. Transforming raw hides into a material that will resist throughout time is a process of 30 - 40 days combining modern technologies and machineries.
Whenever possible, we strive to use leather derived from the vegetable tanning process which by far, apart from being the classic traditional method, is the most natural and eco-friendly type of tanning. This process is based on the use of tannin, which is the main ingredient responsible for transforming animal hide into a compact and resistant material durable over time. These tannin extracts make the vegetable tanned leather unique and immediately recognizable from leather tanned with other methods. The most common and antique type of tannin is the Quebracho tree extract, a tree indigenous of Argentina. From its bark, a characteristically red-colour powder can be obtained that gives the leather a warm and brilliant shade which together with a compact texture, makes it more resistant to water and atmospheric agents.
Another important reason why we strive to use leather produced with natural tannin is that the production process of our suppliers is strictly monitored to ensure a low impact on the environment. Being tanned with natural tannins, the leather can be easily recycled at the end of its life thanks to its chemical-biological characteristics. Many substances being used during the tanning process are recycled, and reused in different fields. Hair removed from raw hides is transformed into agricultural fertilizer; sludge produced by the depuration plants is reused in the construction field to make bricks.
Vegetable tanned leather does not contain any toxic substance such as azo-dyes, nickel, PCP or chrome and is highly tolerable for people who suffer from metal related allergies. Vegetable tanned leather ages with grace without ruining. The natural ageing does not compromise its resistance and gives it a vintage look with warm color shades showing proof of being a genuine natural product.
Calf skin is a type of leather produced from the hide of a calf. Calf skin is particularly valuable because of its softness, and non-fine grain. It is commonly used for high-quality shoes, wallets and similar products, as well as traditional leather bookbinding. Calf skin usually refers to leather from animals less than three years old and baby calf skins from animals less than 3 months old. In Italian, these two types of skins are usually referred to as vitello and vitellino.
Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish, commonly used for jackets, shoes, purses and other items. The term comes from the French "gants de Suède", which literally means "Swedish gloves".
Suede leather is made from the underside of the skin, primarily lamb, although goat, pig, calf and deer are commonly used. Splits from thick hides of cow and deer are also sueded, but, due to the fiber content it has a shaggy nap. Because suede does not include the tough exterior skin layer, suede is less durable but softer than standard "full-grain" leather. Its softness, thinness, and pliability makes it suitable for clothing and delicate uses; suede was originally used for women's gloves. Suede leather is also popular in upholstery, shoes, bags, and other accessories, and as a lining for other leather products. Due to its textured nature and open pores, suede may become dirty and absorb liquids if not treated with a protective layer.
Nappa leather is a kind of full-grain leather first made by Emanuel Manasse in 1875 whilst working for a tanning company in Napa, California. That is how the leather got its name. Nappa leather is a full-grain un-split leather made from kid, lamb or sheep skin. Nappa leather is typically dyed so as to obtain various colors.
• The leather is very soft and pliable. It is not hard like other types of leather and does not crease.
• The leather is tough and durable in spite of being soft. It is not easily spoiled.
• The leather has an intact top-grain. Hence, it is more "breathable" and does not retain moisture.
• The leather often develops a patina over the years that adds to its beauty.
Nappa leather has been commonly used to make what are referred to as specialty goods - bags, wallets, footwear and goods of personal use. It is also used for car furnishings and can be found in cars like Ferrari, Porsche or a BMW. Goods made of Nappa leather look really beautiful, preserving the original texture and marks or blemishes of the animal skin.