Although they’ve been around since prehistoric times, leather goods have over time acquired a certain nobility thanks to the work of craftsmen and artists in the advancement of this noble endeavor.
A noble genesis
Indeed, leather goods are nothing new. One of the first resources of early man by virtue of being another bounty of the hunt, humans have always worked with leather.
In the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece, man’s first cultures used leather as protection from injury and cold and to carry tools and currency.
By the time of the Renaissance, leathersmithing had taken on another dimension and become a symbol of a certain wealth, with the creation in France of a Royal Manufacture of leather.
In the nineteenth century, the craft became synonymous with luxury when enterprising artisans and other visionaries saw in leather the makings of great fortunes.
Greater means of transport, eventually leading to worldwide travel, also strengthened this impulse.
A perfect mastery …
Over the centuries, leatherworking has evolved to become a real expertise, calling on many skills.
Seeing a pelt transformed into an accessory requires numerous steps; all quite technical, yet exceedingly subtle. It takes a master’s hand to control and a sharp eye to appreciate. No fewer than fifteen craftsmen will have this hide in their hands before it is transformed into a fine leather good.
Organic and consequently fragile material, the rawhide must first be trimmed, then salted, and finally dried. After sorting, it is then broken to be tanned and wrought. And it is only after successful execution of these steps that it can finally be shaped.
… for luxurious creations
Here again, great talent is needed to shape this raw material. It all starts with the creative vision of an artist. Then enter the various craftsmen. Patterns are created and hides are cut, selecting the most beautiful sections. Pieces are assembled through artful use of sewing. Then it’s time for finishing: rimming, slitting, and dyeing. Finally, each luxurious item is ready to go out into the world to meet the lovers of fine craftsmanship and materials who are always looking for just such beautiful and original things.
From prehistory to the present day, leather goods have always adapted to the progress of our society. Ancestral know-how, lovingly passed down through the ages with each new generation discovering their own innovations, makes the working of leather a truly evolutionary art.