Every guild and brotherhood has an emblem that symbolises its background and raison d’être. One may say that the leather goods manufacturing industry in Andalusia (Spain) has its own symbol, which is also a tool that has been used from the very beginnings of the industry. This tool is called “Patacabra” (or “Petacabra”) and has traditionally been used by leather workers in this area. It is made from the hardest wood found in the trees in Andalusia. The “Patacabra” (or “Petacabra”) is used for plenty of different processes and tasks in the manufacturing of a leather good such as flattening the edges, shaping the item in moulded leather goods and polishing the leather.
When people are asked about luxury brands that specialise in leather goods, Spanish luxury brand Loewe is in the selected group. Loewe’s history started in 1846 but it was at the end of 1930s when Loewe’s flagship store was open in Madrid. The brand was soon associated to concepts like quality, craftsmanship and unique and in 1996 the brand joined LVMH, the world’s leading luxury brands group. Stuart Vevers became Loewe’s creative director in 2008 with the mission of giving a boost to the brand from the reinvention of the original values of the Spanish brand.
In a previous post , we wrote about the process of making patterns. Today, we want to share a video with our readers in which you will be able to see the different steps that leather goods manufacturers in Andalusia (Spain) give in order to make all necessary patterns for making a leather product. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.
Last week, Betangible had the opportunity of attending the fashion show of the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp . When you see fashion shows like this, you realise that fashion schools play an important role in the training of the emerging talents that will eventually become the creative directors and designers of new successful fashion brands. Fashion schools are also the breeding ground for creativity, new proposals and a “safe area” for taking risks. Although we did not see many leather accessories we really had a great time at the show and saw several interesting designers to follow. We are also happy that shoes are getting more and more importance in the show. We just want to recommend our readers to visit the website of the fashion show… you will see very interesting proposals.
The second part of the “leather moulding” manufacturing technique (video) contains the final tasks of the whole process . You will be able to see how the moulded leather piece is shaped and finished. Although the videos show a continuous process , all the tasks cannot be developed in a row, I mean the leather worker has to wait for some time before starting the nest step. We hope you also enjoy this second part.
Today, we want to present you the third interview of the series “Interview with…” . This time it is the turn of Esteban González. Esteban runs a company that specialises in pattern and prototype making and is responsible for one of Betangible’s prototyping workshops. Let’s get to know a bit more about his work…
Betangible: From where do you usually start your work? What is the first step?
I can start the process from three different points of view:
We already posted an article on leather moulding in which we wrote about the types of leather items that were first manufactured using this technique and how it has been adapted to the different times. After having received many emails and comments about this manufacturing technique, we have filmed how a workshop in Ubrique (Andalusia-Spain) makes a moulded leather item. Today, you can enjoy the first steps of the whole process.
In previous posts we presented three different ways of cutting the leather. Today, we want to introduce pros and cons of each technique and let you know which cutting technique is more appropriate in each situation. We also asked leather goods factories that are collaborating with Betangible. Below you can find the results of the poll. In order to show you this, we have made some charts:
As seen in the charts, the advantages of each cutting technique are the following:
Automatic Leather Cutting: Samples & Prototypes, Flexibility, small quantities
Hand Cutting: Craftsmanship, Tradition, low Investment
Die Cutting: Production Efficiency, Mass Production, Rapidness
In this forth chapter we will show you the third way of cutting the leather in leather goods workshops in Andalusia (Spain). Some of the leather goods factories that are collaborating with Betangible have automatic cutting systems in order to have better response time and be more flexible in minimum quantities. Another advantage of having automatic cutting systems is that it turns to be more cost-effective for productions with many different styles and products.