Shopping

28
June
2022

LEATHER PRODUCTION PROCESS: FINISHING and RETANNING

FINISHING and RETANNING

As we have already seen in the previous article of our blog, the artisanal processing of leather requires a lot of attention and care and therefore we rely on many steps of processing.

We focused on the first two processes that leather must face, that of preparation and tanning.

After these two steps we move on to retanning and other intermediate operations until we arrive at the finishing.

The leather tanned up to here, as we read in the previous article, is not yet usable to produce articles. 

The leather must be subjected to further chemical and mechanical treatments: 

  • Pressing: thanks to this mechanical operation, most of the water that is present in tanned leather is eliminated. It is, in fact, a pressing that is carried out by crushing the leather between two cylinders.
  • Shaving of the leather: with this important operation the whole surface of the leather acquires a uniform thickness.
  • Retanning, dyeing and fattening of leather: all these operations are aimed at giving the first aesthetic characteristics to the leather, since it is attributed the chosen color, flexibility and softness. 
  • Drying of leather: as we have already explained in the previous article of our blog, there are various drying techniques and the choice between these depends not only on economic factors but also on the type of article that you want to get.
  • Staking of leather: this operation restores to the leather the softness that is lost after drying operations.

LEATHER PRODUCTION PROCESS: FINISHING

Finishing is the final operation, but also the most complex of the processes.

This is the set of all the operations carried out on dry leather. The aim of finishing is to improve the appearance and characteristics of the leather so as to enhance all the beauty and natural quality. This procedure eliminates all defects, both existing and workmanship, in order to guarantee the perfect aesthetic quality.

 

The finishing also consists in the application of chemical substances that form a sort of “film” on the surface, which must have different characteristics depending on the aesthetic result that you want to achieve.

LEATHER PRODUCTION PROCESS

The finishing of leather can be mechanical or chemical… let’s see in more detail:

 

Mechanical finishing of leather 

Mechanical finishing of leather can be done for:

  • Polishing” of the surface thanks to the use of a velvet wheel
  • Ironing and plating” for a flat, smooth surface
  • Pressing” with a relief plate (if it is intended to impress sign)
  • Bottalatura” by quickly rotating a dry bottale so as to obtain a moved surface.

 

The chemical finishing of the leather: it consists in covering the surface of the skin with a kind of film and varnish thanks to the use of rollers, glazers and sprays.

The ironing of the leather

The ironing of the leather: essential step to obtain a shiny leather

The leathers that, at this point, have received one or more applications of “protective films”, are ironed hot or with variable pressures in order to create a homogeneous and smooth surface both by sight and touch. The plates used to iron the leather can be heated for electrical systems or steam.

All the processing steps listed refer to a path that changes depending on the result you want to obtain. Although starting from the same point for all the processing of different articles, some leathers need to carry out more or less treatments than others.

This is, therefore, because some leathers, although starting from the same starting line, depending on the different paths of tanning, retanning and finishing, in the end are clearly different from each other and with different final prices.

Many of the operations that are part of the processing are optional, so the choice of the realization is made based on a matter of cost and the final result that you want to get for that particular article.

At Florence Leather Market we devote care and attention to every operation of the processing of our items, to ensure our customers a unique product that represents the Made in Italy quality in every detail!


Follow us on our social to stay updated on the manufacturing world!

28
May
2022

The sectors of the Italian leather industry

The sectors of the Italian leather industry

 

How Leather is Made

Today, the tanning and working of leather is much more complicated than it was in the days of those malodorous mediaeval tanneries along the Arno. In fact, the production and sale of leather products in Italy is an extraordinarily complex topic that touches culture, history, fashion, economy, and the very core of Italian self-identity. In order to grasp this complicated world of Italian leather, it helps to think about the industry as divided into three tiers:

Industrial 

  • Industrial:The industrial sector employs tens of thousands of workers and represents a major force in Italy’s economy. Many of the Italian leather jackets, purses, belts, gloves, and shoes carried in chic apparel shops around the world are produced in enterprises concentrated outside of Florence. The hides are prepared in small to medium-sized firms across Tuscany, with a concentration of such companies scattered between Florence and Pisa. Many of the items you see in the leather shops or pelletterie of Florence were made in these medium-sized industrial enterprises in the Tuscan countryside and distributed to the shops via wholesalers.

Luxury-branded

  • Luxury-branded:These leather goods are intended for resale in the boutiques of some of the most recognized Italian luxury brand names in the international fashion world. Here’s where things get complicated, since much of the perceived value of the luxury leather brands lies in the selection and treatment of the raw materials, as well as in the craftsmanship behind each finished piece. Many luxury companies subcontract at least some aspects of production to those companies in the industrial sector—the same ones who make leather for cars and sofas. They may outsource the procurement and preparation of hides, as well as the cutting and stitching of bags, jackets, skirts, dresses, gloves, and other items. On the other hand, most of the luxury brands also make sure that certain signature items are hand-finished in house by skilled artisans. For the most part, it’s accurate to view these luxury-branded items as a hybrid of industrial and artisanal production, as the fundamental business of these luxury companies relies on selling well-made, high-quality products on a large scale.
The sectors of the Italian leather industry

Artisanal

  • Artisanal:Last but not least are the individual artisanal leather producers. Florence boasts many of these unsung masters of leather, and it’s worth the effort to seek them out for their beautiful pieces, as well as the opportunity to watch them work. Here the focus is less on the preparation of hides and more on the craftsmanship of cutting, fitting, sewing, stitching, and hand-finishing a custom work. Today, fully handcrafted leather production in Florence focuses on bookbinding and the making of small objects such as boxes and desk sets. One such example you can see at Legatorio il Torchio di Erin Ciullaat Via de’ Bardi, 17. There are, however, a handful of leather artisans making gloves, shoes, bags, and other fashion accessories completely by hand, our personal pick is the historical Via Ferdinando Bonaventura Moggi, 11, 50127 Firenze FI. 

Come and visit our store in Florence and keep following our social media

 

 

 

 

7
May
2022

Emily Bag

Introducing the Emily bag: The new floral bag by Florence Leather Market

 

Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” It’s one of the most iconic quotes in fashion cinema.

Uttered in an unamused, flat tone by Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, the phrase has seared itself onto the collective fashion consciousness. The first time I heard her stern words, I purged every flowery outfit in my wardrobe, terrified to be deemed basic by my peers.

Since then, I’ve learned that the print doesn’t automatically ban me to sartorial Siberia. On the contrary, there’s a reason why it returns like clockwork every spring/summer season. But while florals do belong in our hot-weather wardrobes, this season Nordic and international designers alike have introduced the print for summer. And it’s not just any florals they’re focusing on; this season, it’s all about the granny florals.

Borrowing for your nan isn’t exactly new. Over the last couple of seasons, we’ve seen a surge of pearls, cardigans, silk scarves and loafers. The aesthetic – arguably brought on by Gucci’s styling – is the very best remnant of the 1980s exuberance, the very essence of granny chic.

The print is distinctive, to say the least. Daintily dotted petals in muted colours clustered together in a repetitive pattern. It’s the print you grew up with on your granny’s wallpaper, on her table cloth – even on her housecoat.

Emily

Emily

Introducing the Emily bag

 

So, if the floral is in fashion why not buy a bag with a floral print? Yes, why not? Today we want to introduce you to Emily-  the ideal handbag

Sometimes the best things in life come about as a result of an afterthought, and such is the case with Florence leather Market’s botanical-print Emily bag, a late addition to her Resort 2022 collection. “Florence leather Market was looking at gardening books from the fifties and found these old botanical drawings and was very inspired by them,” they explain. “They became a bold part of our spring collection, and then we adapted the print into the Emily bag for this season.” We love the idea of ​​a floral-embellished tote to carry us through the happiest summer months.

Emily is a handbag with modern and original details. The bag is made of shiny crust leather that makes it an indispensable accessory in the wardrobe of all women.

Attractive design

Emily is characterised by functional details and details.

This bag can be combined with outfits very different from them, and the high quality of the materials used in its construction make it resistant to time and wear.

This one lands in the Florence leather Market Florence store the week of May 13 (just in time for the holidays), but it can be pre-ordered now.

Hurry up! don’t miss this opportunity !!

 

 

 

21
April
2022

How to Clean leather materials

How to Clean leather materials

 

From handbags and purses to journals and wallets, we want you to enjoy your leather goods for a lifetime. From the moment they are crafted, until they arrive in your arms, they need to be cared for properly.

With our handy guide, your most treasured pieces will look beautiful for years to come. Covering all day-to-day care and maintenance to small repairs and specialist cleaning, here you’ll find everything there is to know about leather care.

How to Clean Specialist Materials

Exotic and delicate leathers and materials must be cleaned with extra care to uphold their sumptuous nature.

Buffalo hide and snakeskin

 

Buffalo hide and snakeskin are coveted for their exquisite textures and should be carefully cleaned accordingly. Continuous friction may cause fur and scales to wear away, so take care to treat the surfaces gently with a non-abrasive cloth and work with the grain of the texture.

A damp cloth will remove dust and debris from snakeskin. However, do not oversaturate the skin with water and ensure you allow it to dry naturally, away from artificial heat.

Buffalo hide will require soft brushing in the direction of the fur to loosen any build-up of dirt. Once clean, store your buffalo and snakeskin accessories away from direct sources of heat.

How to Clean leather materials - The Florence Leather Market’s guide

Suede and nubuck

 

Water and oil can stain suede and nubuck, so dry cleaning methods are advisable.

Begin by using a suede brush to lift away any dust and dirt and, if a little extra help is required, apply a short burst of steam.

Light oily or greasy marks can be lifted out by applying corn flour overnight and gently brushing away the excess afterwards, while for tougher stains, it’s advisable to use a dedicated suede or nubuck cleaning solution.

Print

Printed leather can be treated much like any other; dusted with a soft brush or cleaned with a damp cloth.

However, colour based balms and polishes should be avoided as they may alter the appearance of the print, and any conditioners or protective sprays should first be tested on an inconspicuous area such as a corner or under a pocket flap.

Velvet

Velvet is a sumptuous and luxurious fabric and should be treated with the utmost care.

Wet conditions should be avoided and water should not be used during the cleaning process, accidental spills can be blotted away with a clean, dry cloth. You may smooth the pile with a soft brush or the palm of your hand but ensure you do not vigorously rub the surface.

For stains and more thorough cleaning, we recommend using a professional dry-cleaning service.

These are just a few techniques you can use to keep your skin looking its best. To receive other useful tips for skin maintenance, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or visit our website.

28
February
2022

eco-friendly bag

Sustainable fashion

 

The stakes in the debate over leather are growing. Leather goods, largely handbags and shoes, are the biggest and highest margin category in the luxury sector. Fashion recognises the need to reduce its carbon footprint, and leather’s own footprint is relatively large as far as materials go because of the emissions associated with animal agriculture. The tanning process also relies on toxic chemicals that are harmful for workers and the environment. Even most vegan options are petroleum-based, which is not a particularly sustainable alternative. Still, leather proponents say that it would be wasteful to not use the hides left over from the process of meat production. It’s also durable, and therefore can fit into the “buy less, buy better” ethos.

What does ‘sustainable fashion’ mean?

Not to be confused with ‘ethical fashion‘ (although they often go hand-in-hand), ‘sustainable fashion’ essentially refers to how the clothing will affect the environment – in production, through sales and how it’s then transported and creates waste. Also, leather will never be an animal-friendly product: It is made of dead animal skin. However, the skin used to make leather comes from animals raised for their meat. In that sense, it uses a by-product from another industry, so it doesn’t actually need additional land and resources.

Conventional leather is heavily criticized for the environmental impact of the tanning process.  But leather can also be eco-friendly. There are not many options in the market yet, but they do exist.

sustainable bag that respects nature

How to shop more sustainability?

If you think shopping for sustainable brands means spending more money, you’re not alone – but Florence leather market‘s philosophy says first and foremost, a great way to be more sustainable is to simply work with what you already have. “Shop your wardrobe, it says. “Re-use what you have. Do clothes swaps with friends. And if you have to buy new, get informed and then seek out brands that are really trying to produce more sustainably, especially follow these good rules.

Here are some things you can do to curb your effect on the environment, when it comes to shopping for clothing:

  • Avoid trends, buy classic timeless designs                                                                                                            The absolute best, most sustainable thing you can do, when it comes to shopping for clothing, is to buy an item and wear it as frequently as possible, for as long as possible
  •  Buy the best quality you can afford                                                                                                                    With the same idea of avoiding trends so your purchases will last longer, you should also try to buy the highest quality (most durable) product you can afford.

 

  • Buy natural fibres, not synthetic                                                                                                                        Always buy clothing made from all-natural fibbers (like wool, cotton, linen, silk, hemp, etc), not synthetic fibres (like polyester, nylon, spandex, rayon, acrylic, etc).  

 

  • Know your size, and how to use alterations                                                                                                          One of the biggest reasons people throw-out clothing is because it doesn’t fit. Never buy the wrong size, even if it’s on a crazy last-chance clearance sale. You won’t wear it.

We hope this helps you. There should be nothing stopping you from dressing with style, in a sustainable way, on any budget. If you are interested in it, also read our article on “how Florence Leather market makes an eco-friendly business” 

Thanks, as always, for reading and doing your part. Together we can make a difference.