5 key factors for the birth and development of the Leather Sector in Ubrique, Andalusia (Spain)
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.
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”
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.
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.
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