Interview with… Cristina Rubiales, Curtidos Zarco, Leather and Metal trims supplier

Interview with… Cristina Rubiales, Curtidos Zarco, Leather and Metal trims supplier

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.


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