A very well known fashion designer told us, during a visit in the leather goods industry in Andalusia, that the way Andalusian leather workers manufacture leather goods reminds him of Swiss watchmakers such as Tag Heuer , Rolex and Piaget . Today, we want to share a video titled “Rolex – The Movement”, in which you can see the making process of a Rolex… We hope you enjoy it.

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Know-How | Manufacturers
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Posted on April 7th, 2011
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Although quality control tests are performed in every single step of the manufacturing process, a final test is performed before packing the leather item. Leather goods are checked one by one to meet Quality Assurance minimal requirements.

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Know-How | Manufacturing Techniques | Products
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Posted on March 31st, 2011
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Did you know that a wallet could be composed of more than 50 different small pieces? Each of the pieces must be cut with the greatest precision in order to get the highest quality. Leather goods manufacturers in Ubrique (Andalusia) are using three main cutting methods.

Cardboard-Moulds-for-Hand-Cutting-Leather

  • · Hand cut: Only the most skilful cutters are able to cut the leather by hand. In order to do this, a cardboard pattern and a sharp blade are used. The cutter must also be able to select the proper areas of the leather for each part of the leather item.

hand-cutting-tools-leather

  • · Die Cutting (Press Machine): When there is a considerable amount of items to be produced, a metal cutting piece is made for each piece of which the leather item is composed. A press machine is used to cut the leather

press-machine-metal-cutting-pieces

  • · Automatic cutting system (CAD/CAM Technology) : Although the investment in this kind of technology is very high, automatic-cutting system provide manufacturers with a multifunctional tool for the current times. CAD/CAM technology is really helping manufacturers to meet the needs and demands of the market since it helps you develop critical processes in the manufacturing of a leather item such as pattern making, easy pattern amendment and prototype & sample making. Automatic cutting systems are ideal for small batch production.

automatic-cutting-system-cad-cam-technology-leather

 

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Know-How | Manufacturing Techniques
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Posted on March 1st, 2011
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Plenty of fashion designers and brands have asked Betangible to find a leather goods manufacturer for them. There is a repeated reaction when they observe the way in which leather workers perform their work. The majority of these designers get impressed about the great care they take over their work. When we ask designers about their feedback, they say things like…

  • ·“I can see the passion they have for their work”
  • ·“¿How can they make it?”
  • ·“Now, I understand why …”
  • ·“The more I see, the more ideas come to my mind”

At Betangible, we are proud about the fact that many leading fashion designers and brands appreciate the work that is being performed in this area. For this reason, one may say that “Made in Andalusia” leather goods can be found in the best stores in the world.

betangible-edge-dyed-leather-strapshands-leather-worker

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Designers | Know-How | Manufacturers
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Posted on February 22nd, 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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Innovation | Know-How | Manufacturers | Newsletter
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Posted on February 17th, 2011
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1 · Geographical Location: Ubrique is located between two Natural Parks, Alcornocales (Cork tree) and Grazalema Natural Parks, which have been widely exploited by the inhabitants of this area. For instance:

  • · There is an ancient farming tradition due to the favourable climate and the fertile soil. Cows, bulls, goats and sheep have traditionally been bred and, therefore, products like cheese, milk, meat and leather have always been associated to this area.
  • · High quality vegetable tannins from the cork were used for the leather tanning process.

Betangibe-Alcornocales-Natural-Park

2 · During the Arab occupation of Andalusia (Al-Andalus) there was an exchange of several manufacturing techniques, which gave the craftsmen of this area a worldwide-recognised reputation. In fact, the Spanish term “marroquinería” and the French word “maroquinerie”, which come from the word “Morocco”, are used to refer to the “leather goods industry”

betangible-embossed-leather-Cordoba-Mosque_Western-facadebetangible-embossed-leather-birds

3 · An important Roman Road, which can be visited nowadays, crossed Ubrique mountain range. This fact favoured the development of craft businesses related to the typical products of this area such as leather goods and cheese.

Betangible-Roman-Road-Ubrique-Benaocaz-Cadizbetangible-Nazari-Neighbourhood

4 · People in this area have a vast reputation of being intrepid entrepreneurs. This innate skill has made them be in the vanguard of several innovations in the leather manufacturing process.

5 · The Leather Industry in Andalusia has been able to adapt itself to modern times without loosing the positive values and positive aspects of past times.

Betangible-GR7-footpath-montain-cadiz

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Historical Background | Innovation | Know-How | Newsletter
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Posted on February 15th, 2011
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Using leather to cover objects has traditionally been linked to upholstery. This “wrapping technique” has evolved and it’s being used for many different objects and accessories. Just have a look at these items. Only the best craftsmen can adjust the leather to the shape of any object. Who dares…?

Leather wrapping manufacturing technique

Leather wrapping manufacturing technique

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Nobody questions the importance of preserving the heritage of a city, town or community. However, not many people are sensitive to preserving Industrial Heritage, which deals with buildings, artefacts, techniques and products which are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations, often forming a significant attraction for tourism.

The Leather Museum of Ubrique is modestly trying to spread the history, tradition and treasures of the leather sector in Andalucía. If you have the opportunity to come to Andalucía, it’s worth visiting.

betangible-industrial-archeology

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Betangible | Know-How | Products
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Posted on February 7th, 2011
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