28
July
2021

How to match and wear a leather belt

 

To each his belt

The leather belt Made in Italy is a timeless accessory that can be combined with any look. 

To choose the most suitable model for you pay attention to:

– Size: to make sure your waist is right where you usually wear your belt, alternatively you can rely on the size of your pants (this option is less secure because often there is no match between the sizes of different countries). If you already own a belt but don’t know its size it measures the distance between the most used hole and the end of the buckle.The resulting number will be that of your waist to which you have to add about 15 cm;

– Height: can vary from 30 to 40 mm. The standard provides that the higher a belt is, the more suitable for a casual or sporty look;

– Fastening: usually the belts have 5 holes. To make sure that the belt is perfectly aligned and the buckle is in the center of the pants we recommend using the third hole.

Our belts are handcrafted Made in Italy and are essential leather accessories to complete and enhance any look.

Belt Yes or Belt No

If you are undecided whether to wear the belt or not, pay attention to the details of the dress: do the pants have passers-by? You want to wear your shirt in your pants?In these cases the belt is a must.

To make your look more sophisticated you can match the color of the leather belt to that of the shoes, while the buckle can be combined with the color of the accessories.

Usually the ton-sur-ton is the best choice, but remember that in the case of informal and casual looks, you can get a nice effect playing with contrasts and use different leather belts, such as cowhide or tassel leather.

The belt, of course, is not only a male accessory but can also be used by a female audience and not only with pants. For example, with a long and soft dress in order to enhance the waist;  a particular color contrasting with a total monochrome look, to brighten it up; but also as a finish of outerwear, cardigan or kimono.

Tip: make your outfit even more special, interesting, glamorous, choosing a bag that can be combined or in contrast with the colors of your look.

On our online shop you will find a wide range of belts, bags, suitcases and accessories (wallets, shoulder bags etc) in real Italian leather, suitable for all needs.

Belt Must-have

The belts that you absolutely must have in your wardrobe are two:

For evening dress and formal occasions – belt less than 4 cm wide with small and smooth buckle (gold or silver), black or brown shiny leather, simple and not decorated.

For informal occasions and leisure – belt about 4 cm wide with large buckle, natural leather or matt leather color, brown or blue, can be decorated. It’s the perfect accessory for jeans.

For women’s looks, the rules described above apply taking into account that there is a greater Variety of heights to make the belt even more versatile and can be combined with different clothing.

Why choose a leather belt

A leather belt is an investment, especially if of Made in Italy craftsmanship: It is very strong, it does not break and is not torn; is elastic and softens with the use, adapting better to your physicality, and also resists optimally at any temperature.

If well preserved it is an “eternal” and timeless accessory.

 

21
July
2021

All leather coloring techniques

 

When you buy a belt, wallet, bag or other leather accessory it is very important to check not only the presence of the logo made in Italy, but also the overall quality of the manufacture and the way it was finished.In this regard it should be remembered that over time the techniques concerning the colouring of hides have undergone profound transformations. The new methods are carried out by expert craftsmen in tanneries and ensure durability over time. Here are the most popular systems that are performed with colors of natural or synthetic origin.

Spray and barrel dyeing

The leather can take on various colors thanks to the use of a machine equipped with revolving guns that dispense the dye on the accessory.  In this case, we speak of spray painting, much appreciated by companies specialized in the production of leather objects because it allows to obtain impeccable results in a short time, while at the same time reducing the use of labor. Different is the bottal technique, which involves the immersion of the leather accessory inside containers that rotate and contain a solution based on water and color. The container is then heated up so that the liquid inside can reach a temperature of about 60 º C so that it can be distributed evenly on the artifact.

Tampon dyeing on the table

The coloring techniques made in Italy also include the buffering, otherwise known as a brush, which is most often applied in case of leather that is tanned with tanning or alum. To perform this type of procedure it is necessary to have a table with a convex top made of copper. The leather accessory is then placed on the top and carefully colored by the expert craftsman, thanks to the use of a hair brush that is previously immersed in the dye.

This technique, unlike spray and barrel dyeing, requires longer times, in addition to the use of highly skilled labour.

Skin dyeing with the use of natural dyes

A briefcase, bag or shoulder bag, as well as many other leather objects, today are often colored with colors of natural origin, especially derived from camping. It is a wood tending to dark red, quite common in South America, but also in other countries such as England and Spain.

The characteristics of this wood are to be found in its active principles that, as much as extracted and left to rest for the necessary time, form hematine, or crystals with a characteristic light yellow color. When this substance is combined with metallic oxides it generates different shades, which can be tending to dark blue, as well as black and red.

However, the leather is not only dyed with camping, but also with other woods that contain extracts. The sandal, for example, is used to give the artifact an intense red color, while the wood of fustello gives a yellow tint.

Other natural colours used for leather good

Natural colors are not only those that come from wood, but also include special lacquers called tannic, which are mostly used to color the bottom of the leather accessory. This kind of lacquer is obtained by extracting the tannins that are present in plants. More specifically, the somacco plant is mainly utilized, very versatile because it offers various salts, such as those of aluminium, lead and antimony which give respectively a green, hazel and yellow colouration. This plant even allows the leather purple, brown yellow and black, because it also contains salts of titanium, copper and iron.

Artificial dyes for skin coloring

In recent years, artificial or synthetic colors have also taken hold to color the leather. Compared to natural ones they offer great advantages because they allow you to complete the processing in a very fast time. These shades are also particularly intense and durable over time.

Called aniline, these non-natural colors can be acidic or basic. In the first case they are more suitable for producing leather objects tanned with chrome. Basic colours, on the other hand, are used on tannin tanned leather goods, that is vegetable.

Made in Italy leather goods quality

In the light of what has been explained, it is well understood that the colouring of leathers is a fairly complex and demanding operation, which can only be carried out by artisans who have acquired a certain competence. Otherwise the results that are obtained can not be resistant, up to expectations and above all to perfection. That’s why when buying leather accessories it is important to rely on serious retailers, highly specialized in leather and leather processing.

The manufacture of Florence Leather Market stands out and is designed to resist the continuous change of trends. Thanks to the wide range of leather accessories, available in different colors and models, it will be easy to find what you can do to your case.

 

7
July
2021

The history of Italian leather goods, origins and development

 

Made in Italy is synonymous with safety and quality all over the world and leather goods is one of the sectors where it excels most. Leather bags, suitcases, gloves and accessories are synonymous with tradition and exclusivity of our manufacturing industry.

Italy is leader not only in the production of leather, but also in the production of final products of high value.

How the leather goods sector was born

Since prehistoric times man has used the skins of animals hunted to cover, but given the biological nature of the medium it tended to decompose and rot in a short time. First with the drying and then with real chemical processes born from the repetition and experimentation, the tanning process was born that has developed until today with the introduction of safer and more sophisticated methods.

The first steps towards the development of a chemical-physical process that improved the quality, durability and resistance of the skin happened almost by chance, noting how drying and smoking lengthened the life of the skin immediately after removing it from the animal. 

As a result of this it remained hard and dry, they thought to add animal and vegetable fats to soften it and make it moldable.

The search for more and more effective methods to combat its putrefaction led to the development of the first real method of vegetable tanning, which consisted in immersing the leather in large tanks full of water, bark, leaves, berries. The earliest written sources of these tanning methods date back to the thirteenth century BC and, although there were developments in the techniques used, artisans and skins continued to use very similar methods until the late nineteenth century, working in small workshops with a mostly artisanal process

The birth of chrome tanning, whose patent dates back to 1910, was an important watershed, bringing production to an industrial level. The use of trivalent chromium allows the same process to be carried out for any type of leather, effectively automating all processes.

Currently all the treatment of the leather is carried out inside of great companies that can bear the costs for the realization of the complex passages that compose it, but keeping the prices as low as possible.

In Italy the tanneries are distributed in industrial districts, between which stand out the District of the Leather of Santa Croce sull’Arno, the District of the skin in Veneto, the Campania District and Lombardy. The tanning industry exports 73% of its production abroad and, qualitatively speaking, is valued as the most valid in the world.

Leather goods in Italy

Over the years, Italy has always maintained its status as the best producer of leather products. Whether it is the raw material or the finished product, the tanning and manufacturing tradition of our country has no equal in this sector.

Initially, leather garments and accessories were used as the only source of protection against the cold, but over time, given the durable and comfortable nature, leather was also used in the military for the construction of armor.

Around the twelfth century the production became such as to allow the realization of fine clothing, which sparked a great demand from the highest social classes. The new trade routes led to the spread of knowledge between different cultures and the tanning gradually became more effective and diversified. In 1200 in Florence was established the Guild of Cuoiai and Galinai, which in addition to bringing together all the artisans involved in the processing of leather, forced them to submit to regimes such as to ensure an excellent production quality.

From an element dedicated only to the highest social strata, already in the sixteenth century it became a material of common use for the realization of accessories. In a short time comfort and practicality then gave way to luxury and elegance, combining common use with the search for aesthetic beauty.

The term leather goods was born in 1835 following the realization of the first portfolio and from here the industry began its real expansion. Florence, the largest Italian district, as well as the entire area crossed by the Arno, had the opportunity to develop up to the current levels thanks to the presence of river waters. Finally, in the twentieth century, what is now the leather manufacturing sector was reached, with the development of the latest technologies and the creation of the various districts that characterize Italian industrial production.

The presence of these large production centres, combined with the expertise of craftsmen and designers, has made leather goods one of the most appreciated and recognized sectors in the world. Its millennia of history and development have led to the treatment of waste arising from farming to become a true art form that gives work to 1200 companies and represents about 22% of the world’s tanning production.

The artisans who work every day with the leather, to realize the final products from the highest quality, are among the main responsible for the great success that the Italian manufacture has all over the world. The skilful workmanship and the great attention to detail employed by our professionals is a source of pride and recognition of a tradition always in search of excellence.

7
July
2021

How exactly does the skin tanning process develop?

 

The tanning industry is one of the most appreciated Made in Italy excellences all over the world. Tanning is the processing that exploits the skin, usually of animals raised for food such as cattle, sheep, pigs, making it softer, pleasant to the touch and resistant. At present, tanning is a process carried out by medium and large companies, which can ensure a final product of quality at an affordable cost, thanks also to technological developments that have automated part of the processing.

The entire process is necessary not only for aesthetic purposes, but also to ensure that the skin, given its organic nature, does not undergo decomposition and can maintain its characteristics for a long time.

How the tanning of the leather takes place

Not all processes take place in the same way and the production line to be used is chosen based on what is the desired end product. In general, the entire tanning is divisible into three large phases, each of which is composed of various intermediate processes.

The three main phases are: Riviera processing, Tanning, Finishing.

Separating the skin of the animal, it is kept avoiding rotting and then sent to the tannery where the Rinverdimento takes place: with this method is replenished the natural moisture of the skin, lost during the storage and shipping period.

Calcinaio (name derived from the use of lime hydroxide) is the process that prepares the leather for the absorption of tanning agents and the Depilation provides for the removal of hair, both occur chemically and are followed (in the case of very thick skins) form the rift, which divides the skin into multiple layers through a mechanical action. 

The Scarnitura then takes care of removing the residues of excess fat and the subcutaneous tissues left after the skin of the animal, this process ends the Riviera Processing.

The Descaling removes the lime that has remained attached to the fibers of the skin and, thanks to the acids used in the process, lowers the pH, thus counteracting the increase deriving from the lime hydroxide. Maceration completes the work, relaxing the fibers so as to prepare them for the absorption of tanning substances. Piclaggio uses acids that further reduce pH to 4 and block decomposition.

Finally, the actual tanning can be done using trivalent chromium or vegetable substances (a sector in which the Tuscan Tanning Pole is among the most appreciated) and aims to make the leather more resistant, flexible, waterproof and breathable.

The leather is then pressed to remove excess water and is reconnected again to give the desired degree of softness, often to it are added dyes to dye the leather. The way in which tanning and retanning take place are among the main factors that determine the final quality. Thanks to the addition of oils and fats, we then proceed to Fattening, which serves to preserve the softness of the leather for a long time and makes it more hydrophobic and resistant.

Given the high water content, the leather must then be dried and, a revolt removed excess moisture, it will appear dry and rigid. To avoid this it is passed inside rollers by the wavy surface that “massage” and stretch the fibers, softening them: this process, called Palissonatura, is particularly suitable for leather that will be used for accessories, gloves, belts, whose processing also requires a certain degree of flexibility.Finally, the skin is ground with abrasive rollers to remove any residue from the inside and get effects like Nabuk. This step also allows you to remove some imperfections, filling the flower and then deburring the surface.

The last steps are those of the Finishing, which consists of a painting that can take place by spraying with airbrushes, by spreading a layer of paint or dabbing the skin, often by hand, with a sponge soaked in paint. Different types of finishing result in different aesthetic results. Finally, a step under the rollers can create special effects such as leopard print or python, applying an adhesive paper to the leather surface.

Finally, trimming (cutting) and surface and thickness measurement complete the entire tanning process.

A valuable result

This series of complicated chemical reactions and mechanical processes is able to give nobility to products that, in fact, are often nothing more than slaughtering waste. The methods used today are the result of centuries of technological development that has meant an incredible increase in the quality of the final product, which allows the creation of pieces of craftsmanship of spectacular quality. Leather manufacturing is a historical sector of Made in Italy and a source of pride all over the world, cities like Florence are its undisputed homeland. Although long and complicated, sometimes bloody, leather tanning has now reached very high production levels and allows you to use those that would otherwise be wasted resources, giving raw leather a future made luxury and exclusivity.

29
June
2021

What is the leather district, what does it mean?

 

The Tuscan leather goods

Leather goods and Tuscany are linked by years of experience and skills matured and handed down from hand to hand. Leather craftsmanship has had a slow and widespread expansion throughout the region. 

But the Tuscan art of leather processing has very ancient origins. Let’s go together to discover how the Florentine leather goods was born and why it developed in this area calls the leather district

From the Middle Ages to the present day

In the Middle Ages you could smell leather all along the bank of the river Arno, from Florence to Pisa. 

Leather tanning operations have been known in Tuscany since the time of the Etruscans, but the real thrust to this sector will take place at the time of the Middle Ages, thanks mainly to the influences of the Republic of Pisa, (then one of the four maritime republics). 

The art of leather processing found its greatest expansion in Pisa, in 1200. Why? Because Pisa was at that time an extremely rich city of raw materials, especially because of the skills of Pisan merchants who thanks to the port were constantly in contact with Spain, Sicily and Sardinia.

From Pisa to Florence. After the conquest of Pisa around 1400 by the Florentine Grand Duchy, the rich Florentine families understood that leather was a sector that could make much. For this reason the Florentine nobles decided to invest in the Pisan leather industries, moving them physically from the maritime republic to Florence.

The leather in Florence

The production, tanning and processing of leather in Florence took place mainly in a specific area of the city, that is in the small alleys that joined Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Santa Croce. It is no coincidence that in that area there are streets with curious names such as Via dei conciatori, or Via della Concia, in memory of the shops linked to the processing of leather that were there during the Middle Ages. 

Little by little, a rather large area developed within which there were artisans specialized in the processing of leather. This area included Santa Croce, Fucecchio and Ponte a Egola. This area with time becomes particularly important as it is located near the river Arno, which means, quality of water used for processing and production of the raw material, and simplicity in the transport of materials. 

The leather industry has been one of the few sectors able to remain standing following the serious crisis that occurred in 1600. 

The leather today

Nowadays leather continues to be a very fruitful field for Tuscany. Both for the high quality of the materials used, and for the high manufacturing skills of Tuscan craftsmen able to create real works of art with their expert hands. 

The district of Tuscan leather affects 28% of the total processing of Italian leather.

Come and discover all our accessories, made with quality leather, characterized by centuries of experience and history of craftsmanship.