A couple of years ago, a very good friend and leather goods manufacturer, introduced us to the managing director of a prestigious 3D lab located very near where our office is based. Right after this visit, quite a few ideas of how 3D Printing Technology could be applied to the leather goods manufacturing industry came to our mind.

These applications may be:

  • – Rapid hardware design where designs can be proved and perfected.
  • – Advanced prototyping of cases for electronic devices
  • – Development of new and innovative reinforcements, especially where the final shape is hard to get with the traditional materials used as reinforcements.

This technology (3D design – render) is also used in order to see the actual shape, measurements and overall look of a particular piece before moving to the physical making of the prototype.

Betangible_3D-Printing-Technology-and-leather-goods-manufacturing betangible-3D-Printing-Technology-and-leather-goods-manufacturing--render-3d-prototype-example

 

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We have just received the official figures about Manufacturing in Spain in the Fashion Industry (Textile, Shoe and leather Industries).

According to the official figures, the fashion manufacturing industry in Spain is gaining competitiveness. The Industry is getting record figures on exports and its Industrial Production Index (IPI) has increased by 20%. Leather goods and shoes were amongst the top three most produced products with more than 24 million units.

Despite the recession, the Spanish leather goods manufacturing industry enjoys good health due to the high quality standards and customer service that most leather goods manufacturers treasure.

betangible-Made-in-Spain-Leather-Goods-Manufacturing-is-growing-exponentially

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Innovation | Luxury Goods | Manufacturers | Products
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Posted on December 13th, 2013
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We strongly believe that there are certain processes that must be 100% hand made since this fact adds a unique soul to the product. On the other hand, we love to explore the unique and innovative results that occur when modern technology and design merge with traditional craftsmanship and artisanal skill. Technology may help a traditionally made products become part of the current way of commercialising and responding to the needs and demands of the market and clients.

leather-goods-traditional-work

 

Merging the tradition of craftsmanship with the advancements of modern production and communication enriches both ways of approaching to the manufacturing of an artisanal item.

leather-goods-technological-advancements

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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

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Bags made out of cork? Yes, and the result has been very satisfactory. Cork has unequalled features that make this natural product suitable for fashion accessories. There are many characteristics that are unique to cork, such as lightweight, waterproof, rot resistant, recoverable and durable. We made some bags out of cork and want to share them with you. We hope you enjoy them.

 

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Posted on May 31st, 2012
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British designer Tortie Hoare has created beautiful pieces by mixing two organic materials (leather and wood) and much of her proven creativity. Her furniture designs have been made using the process of shaping the boiled leather (learn more about the leather moulding technique here). See some pictures of her designs below.

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Today, we want to show you a good example that Leather can be applied in many different fields. Molami is a Swedish brand that makes headphones designed from a fashion standpoint. Molami’s headphones feature nappa and stingray leather that gives the item an exclusive and luxurious mood.  “Wearable sound” is the concept behind everything they do as they pay meticulous attention to the details of every single part of each pair of headphones.

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Many fashion designers look at older times and leather goods collections from the past in order to create their own styles and collections. This pretty recurrent source of inspiration focuses not only on the functional part that old items hold but also on the intrinsic beauty of lifetime craftsmanship. Best selling traditional leather goods, like those you can see below, are being reinterpreted and adapted to present times.

Mad hectic Neon leather accessories may be a good example for this. Old functionality and the current trends are united.

We will soon post some new examples of this.

 

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Betangible | Designers | Innovation | Know-How | Newsletter | Products
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Posted on October 14th, 2011
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Can a leather item be made more efficiently (time wise) without reducing the quality and the values that a handcrafted leather item holds? Craftsmanship is linked to the idea that the amount of time spent on the manufacturing of an item is not as important as the final result. On the contrary, many modern makers tend to focus completely on functionality and “forget” about the spiritual part of the item. The act of purchasing is based on the emotions and the story that is behind.

Tradition-Modernity-hand-in-hand

Keeping the above in mind, we must not forget that handmade items must also be sellable and meet the requirements and needs of our clients. In our experience, timing is a key factor here. Modern leather goods craftsmanship must keep its roots in order to make gorgeous leather goods, but also it must meet the new standards that the market is demanding.

 

What do YOU think about this?…

 

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Posted on September 23rd, 2011
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This is the first post of a series in which we will try to show you the different materials and processes evolved in the manufacturing of a leather item.

Leather is “animal skin dressed for use,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary . Animal hides are by-products of the food industry, and therefore we can find many different types of leathers and hides. Although today most leather is made of cattle skin, there are many other types such as lambskin, pigskin and deerskin, which are used in the manufacturing of leather goods. More exotic skins from crocodiles, ostriches or stingrays are also used for more exclusive and costly products.

Chrome-tanned-leather

Today, although more processes can be applied, most hides and skins are transformed into leather by two tanning processes:
  • · Chrome tanned leather is tanned using chrome sulphate. This chemical gives the leather a more supple finish. Colourfastness is better than vegetable tanned leather.
  • · Vegetable tanned leather is tanned using vegetable origin tannins. Vegetable tanned leather is less supple and harder. “Moulded Leather Goods”  must be manufactured with this type of leather.

Cracked-Leather

As for the forms in which leather is usually bought, we can mainly find:

  • · Split leather is obtained when the top-grain is separated from the hide and then, a non-natural layer is applied. Split leather is usually a cheaper type of leather. Split leather is also used to make suede.

  • · Corrected leather has got an artificial layer on it in order to correct the imperfections of the hides that do not meet the minimum quality requirements to make top or full-grain leather.

  • · Top-grain leather has less breathability than full-grain leather due to its “plastic-like” finish coat, which gives this type of leather a greater resistance to stains.

  • · Full-grain leather is the upper section of a hide that has not had any treatments to remove imperfections on its surface. Its breathability and natural touch are very appreciated.

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Posted on February 17th, 2011
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