Each season, tanneries go to great lengths to surprise designers with their ingenious new developments.
Read on for a round-up of some of these truly astonishing innovations.
Distressed but high quality
The luxury sector also has its rebellious side, which it displays with products that adopt a worn and torn appearance while managing to maintain a certain sophistication. Thus, Cuirs du Futur washes a stretched pigmented lamb leather, or decorates another stretch item with transfers, giving it an irregular worn metallic finish. It should be noted that this is not a simple procedure and that it requires great expertise: the film applied to the leather must be flexible enough to follow its movements and requires prior application of a special adhesive that allows it to bond perfectly with the skin. Rial 1957 deliberately leaves the hair of a very woolly French sheep in a dry and raw condition to give it an authentic appearance and a history. The bleached goat nubuck from Alran boldly displays a certain ageing over time, but is nonetheless suitable for modern life thanks to it being waterproofed during the wet phase. Meanwhile the Opéra tannery proudly exhibits the fibrous and torn appearance of the unbuffed flesh side of a calf flesh split.
Washed pigmented stretch Old-style wool-on lamb
lamb leather from Cuirs leather from Rial 1957
Bleached goat nubuck Flesh side of a calf split
from Alran from Opéra
Playful and inventive, tanneries enjoy giving some of their articles a deceptive appearance. Richard takes a rather thick (10 – 11) and firm lamb leather and produces the sporting and chic appearance of deer leather thanks to a printed mechanical grain. By using a particular finish “that marks” and then crumpling the leather by hand, Tanneries Roux transforms a simple refined young bull leather into kangaroo. At Curtidos Badia, a calfskin takes on the typical wrinkles of a buffalo hide by the printing of a mechanical grain that is very regular, even “geometric”. The felting and brushing of a merino lamb from Sanlorenzo creates the appearance of camel hair.
Mechanical deer grain on Calfskin like kangaroo
thick lamb leather from from Tanneries Roux
Calfskin like buffalo Merino lamb like camel
from Curtidos Badia hair from Sanlorenzo
Cracks, pleats and wrinkles
Through the use of a variety of techniques, tanneries crack, pleat and crumple leathers without undermining their premium quality. This allows them to add a pattern and decorate the surface. With a waxed finish, the hair-on lamb leather from Inducol is then given an evocative cracked appearance. Re-tanned and drummed after being given a shiny finish, the calf leather from Conceria Superior takes on the more rebellious appearance the tannery was seeking to achieve. Bonded and then drummed, the surface of the lamb leather from Alric becomes slightly crispy. The alliance of metallisation using transfers and crumpling gives the midnight blue calfskin from Mastrotto a relaxed elegance that is ideal for making an evening bag. Machine creasing of varnished washed black lamb leather from Falco Pellami gives it a sparkling finish that is also very nocturnal. Valori crumples leather with a box side given a metallic finish and then compressed. Indutan takes a lamb leather with an iridescent finish and marks it with long vertical pleats made by hand. On varnished baby calf from Bonaudo, it is impossible to tell whether the surface movement comes from the post-finish washing or the underlying mechanical grain. A very clever sleight of hand. Centrorettili have also been bold in crumpling metallic python to reconcile surface breaks and the hold of the scales. Chiorino Technology uses drumming to disrupt the varnished surface of its black calfskin with fine overlapping wrinkles. The mechanical grain of the nubuck bovine leather from Conceria Cilp embellishes the wrinkling of an apparently dried-out skin.
Waxed and then cracked Re-tanned and drummed
hair-on lamb leather from calfskin with a shiny finish
Inducol from Conceria Superior
Drummed and bonded Crumpled, bonded calfskin
lamb leather from Alric from Mastrotto
Crumpled, washed and Crumpled metallic calf
varnished lamb leather leather from Valori
from Falco Pellami
Hand-pleated iridescent Baby calf from Banaudo
lamb leather from Indutan
Crumpled metallic python Calfskin from Chiorino
from Centrorettili Technology
Wrinkled nubuck bovine
leather from Conceria Cilp
Two-tone effects are popular for Autumn-Winter 2019 2020, providing they demonstrate a certain subtleness, which is not difficult for our tanners who are never short on ideas. When we stretch out the Fouzic leather from Cuirs du Futur, the superficial black dye given during the finish lets the green background appear. The same pairing of green and black is to be found at Valori but with a marbled effect on a box side. At Tanneries Roux, the surface colouring of a calfskin described as being “uncoverable” fades when brushed to allow the initial colour to be visible. In contrast, on a calf leather described as being “brownable”, brushing makes the second colour darker and thus masks the first one. On a black young bull leather with a very pronounced grain, Rémy Carriat applies a white patina that colours just the peak of the grain giving the leather its eponymous dalmatian effect.
Fouzic from Cuirs du Futur Marbled box side by Valori
“Brownable” calf leather Dalmatien by Rémy Carriat
from Tanneries Roux