We are proud to announce Sorcha O’Raghallaigh X Betangible collaboration. We must admit that the experience has been fantastic and the result is simply spectacular. We also want to thank Design & Sampling Studio ALEP  for their help.

We visited her studio in London last week and spoke with her about this collaboration. Find it below.


Betangible:  Tell us about your latest collection.

Sorcha O’Raghallaigh: The main source of inspiration behind this collection is the work of artist Alfred Gilbert, in particular his memorial sculptures. I am continually drawn to things that are quite dark and moody but at the same time have a romantic aesthetic — something which Gilbert’s work possesses. I never like to draw all my inspiration from just one subject so I also looked to Victorian Harlequin outfits for some additional inspiration; I wanted the collection to have a playful side in contrast to the darker moody side.


Betangible:  Why did you chose to work with leather?

Sorcha O’Raghallaigh: I really wanted to work with leather to create something which was practical, durable, good quality but that still embodied our aesthetic. A lot of the pieces we create are one of a kind; they can be very ornate and not really for everyday wear and due to the bespoke nature they are not accessible to everyone. I wanted to make something that was the opposite of all of this, however I did not want to create a watered down version of our aesthetic, I felt we could achieve all of this by creating a capsule collection of luxury leather bags.

Betangible:  How did you find working with Betangible?

Sorcha O’Raghallaigh: Last season we attempted to make bags ourselves, we found the whole experience tricky and it was difficult as we had no experience in making bags before, so we were extremely happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with Betangible on the bags for the new collection. Working with Betangible was an amazing experience as we wanted to develop our original ideas for bags as well as create something new. The Betangible team were very open, patient and helpful which made the whole process feel like an education. We learnt so much through the whole experience. I feel the bags surpassed our initial vision because of the support, communication and the quality of craftsmanship that Betangible provided.

Betangible:  What are your favourite features of the capsule collection of bags?

Sorcha O’Raghallaigh: Overall my favourite features are all the little details that make the bags such good quality. I love the rich colour of the blood red pony skin on the exterior and the the contrasting burgundy dyed edges, the leather lining, the quality of finish and craftsmanship is what really excites me the most.

Betangible:  How do you think the capsule collection works as a whole?

Sorcha O’Raghallaigh: I love the collection as a whole as I feel that the clutches are a great continuation from last season, they have our signature of hand embellished florals. I also feel we have moved forward with the round sculptural bag, I think the collection marries well together and I feel that it is a strong representation of our aesthetic. There is a Good choice of sizes, from coin purse right up to iPad sized clutches and the round bag feels like a really special addition.

Betangible:  As you’ve mentioned, your collections are usually quite ornate and couture – how did it feel to make something more practical?

Sorcha O’Raghallaigh: Really great it was so good collaborating with Betangible as I feel the object is not just practical but also beautiful, thanks to all the expert craftsmanship. I’m really excited by and proud of this collaboration.

Betangible:  Why Spain?

Sorcha O’Raghallaigh: The Spanish are world renowned for their leather products and to me “made in Spain” means quality — The standard of the bags that we received were so exquisite that it makes sense why they are so renowned for their leather goods. We could not have asked for more!

Not long ago, we started a collaboration with local supplier Pileus. Two young entrepeneurs, Alberto Moreno and Juan Manuel Rodríguez, who especialise in printing on almost all surfaces and, of course, on leather too. Printing on leather can be one of the easiest ways of customising and differentiating your collection from the rest. If you do not believe it, please see the photos below. We recently interviewed them for our blog.

Pileus - Leather Printers


Betangible: Why did you decide to start a business like this?

Pileus: We both have experience in visual communication and decided to put our experience in our own business. We wanted to offer the leather goods industry in Spain  something new. We really like the idea of mixing tradition and the latest technology and we think that we are providing Spanish Leather Goods Manufacturers with a touch of 21st Century technology.


Betangible: Are you also offering this service internationally?

Pileus: Yes. Several international brands that are producing in this area are hiring our services. We are supplying the printed leather to the local leather goods manufacturers.

But it is not only leather, we are also printing on wood, canvas and other fabrics, raffia, PU materials, and many other surfaces… 


Betangible: What types of prints and finish can we get on leather? 

Pileus: Well, the choice isl amost infinite, it all has to do with creativity, but we can differenciate between three finish , regular print (natt or shine), a sort of colourless (transparent) varnish and  high relief (3D) print.

The thechnology that we use does not apply an extra layer that makes the leather lose its natural characteristics. It is real print, just like if it were a print on a piece of paper. It is a high performance print.

Pileus - Examples of Leather Prints


Today, we want to present you a video interview with a leather goods expert who is currently working for Coach Leatherware (USA), Iñaki Xalabarde. The interview deals with many different topics and especially with Iñaki’s point of view about leather goods and leather goods manufacturers in the global world. We hope you enjoy it.

Video Interview with… Iñaki Xalabarde, Leather Goods Engineer and Tech Designer at Coach Leatherware from Betangible on Vimeo.


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Posted on November 15th, 2011
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For our fifth interview  we have a vey good example of the thriving new generations that eventually will lead the companies of the leather goods industry in Andalusia (Spain). Cristina is the daughter of the current manager of leather and metal trims supplier Curtidos Zarco S.L. , Mr. José Antonio Rubiales. We hope you enjoy the interview.



Betangible:Tell us a Little bit about the background of Curtidos Zarco

Cristina Rubiales: Well, the link with the leather goods industry in Ubrique (Spain) started in 1887 when my great grandfather established the first company. It was a tannery that was not far away from our current warehouse. He used to work as both a tanner and a leather worker (link a nuestro post) for a local leather goods manufacturer. After a few years he gave up the profession of leather worker and he concentrated in the tannery and started representing some of the top quality tanneries of the times. In fact, he and his brother started to supply leathers that were tanned in Spain, Italy and UK.


Betangible:Where does this leather come from? How much leather have you got here?

C.R. We are the official suppliers of some of the most successful tanneries in countries like Spain, Italy and France. In the past, we used to stock several hundreds of square feet of each type of leather. However, this is not affordable anymore due to the many types of leather that we have here. In spite of this fact, we always have more than 50,000 square feet of leather in stock.

Betangible:What type of leather is your best seller?

C.R. About 90 % of the leather that we sell is cattle skin. The remaining 10 % is divided into lamb skin, goat skin, pig skin, reptiles and Shagreen / Galuchat skin


Betangible:What is your customer profile?

C.R.  Most of my clients are leather goods manufacturers in Andalusia (Spain). They come here to buy the leather that they will use in the production for their clients. We are also getting more and more clients from other countries such as UK, Belgium, Germany, France and USA. They are mainly designers and brands that want to buy the leather, metal trims or reinforcements directly and ask the manufacturer to source it from us.



Betangible:Can you tell us some designers or brands that are using (or have used) your products (leather, metal trims or reinforcements)?

C.R. Just to mention some international designers or brands… Carolina Herrera, Loewe and Chris&Tibor. Many local brands and designers are also using our products. Some of them are Carla Sade and Barada


Betangible:We are observing that price of leather is increasing sharply. Which are the reasons for this increase?

C.R. There are two main reasons for this.

– Due to the financial situation we currently have, human consumption of cattle meat is decreasing. Therefore, fewer animals are scarified. There is not as much hides as there used to be in the past.

– There is a huge demand of leather from China and emerging countries such as Brazil and India.

These two reasons have led tanners increase prices.



Betangible | Interviews | Leather Auxiliary Industry
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Posted on September 6th, 2011
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In this fourth interview, the interviewee is a person that also belongs to Betengible’s team. He is the person in charge of the prototype and sample development. We hope you enjoy the interview..

Betangible: What do you do? What’s your speciality?

Antonio Gómez: Well, I am responsible for the prototyping and sampling area. I try to combine craftsmanship and engineering to help designers design products that people use every day. Therefore, I must be both creative and practical because, in the end, the leather pieces that we create must be sellable. We also help manufacturers in the production process when they have questions about the construction of certain parts of the lather item.

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Posted on July 21st, 2011
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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?

Esteban Gonzalez:

I can start the process from three different points of view:

  • A detailed drawing with measurements and information
  • A simple sketch
  • Some pictures that will be used as an inspiration for the new style
  • A real bag to which I have to make modifications so that the new style can communicate the concept of the collection.´

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Posted on June 14th, 2011
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Today, we want to present you the second interview on Betangible. In the first interview, a leather goods manufacturer responded our questions about the work they develop in the leather workshop. Now, it is the turn of Belgian brand Les Deux de Cock which, in spite of its short trajectory, is becoming more and recognised by its timeless geometric simplicity of the styles.


Betangible: Who are Les Deux de Cock”?

Les Deux de Cock: We are two sisters from Antwerp, Belgium. The label started in 2009.

The handbags have an architectural and monumental character by the way the leather is stitched. The inspiration for the structures is the square. By the repetitive use of the patterns, the bags obtain a tight simplicity. In some models it creates a strong 3D effect. We have created “quirky collection” where creativity and originality prevails.

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Designers | Interviews
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Posted on May 12th, 2011
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Betangible is proud to publish the first interview of a long series in which we will try to bring the leather goods manufacturing industry in Andalusia and its main characters (manufacturers and designers/brands). Today, José Sánchez, owner of SPS-Leather Goods & Manufacturing Services , will answer our questions.

How long have you been linked to the leather goods manufacturing industry in Ubrique?

Stefano Pallas (SPS) was established in 1960. It’s been more tan 50 years producing leather goods. I these years, we have worked for both Spanish and international luxury fashion brands as well as for smaller fashion firms and independent designers.


What types of leather goods do you make?

SPS is specialised in the manufacturing of small leather goods such as wallets, purses and other small items. We also have different production lines of men’s leather handbags and bigger items.


Which are the main handicaps that you usually find when you produce for a fashion brand?

The beginnings are never easy. The initial steps of the business relationship between a manufacturer and a fashion brand are crucial to get a long lasting collaboration. Our company pursues trust-based collaborations with our clients. I am obsessed with transparency and honesty in the projects that we begin with new clients.

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Interviews | Manufacturers
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Posted on May 5th, 2011
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