100% Made in Italy
Luca's Boutique, Boutique, Sioux Falls, SD
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Leather production process: The Italian way.

Italian leather is so popular worldwide because of its quality and high standards. At Luca’s Boutique, we stock genuine Italian leather products freshly manufactured in the heart of Italy by skilled artisans that are well-experienced in the best leather production techniques. Italians are passionate about beauty, art, and culture, and they love beautiful things. That said, our artisans strive to portray all of those in the products we make. Leather processing and production is not work for them, rather, a calling – a calling to ensure that the world is filled with love, harmony, and beauty through the work of their hands.

 A glance at the shelves in our store reveals intricate pieces of handbags that are unique and special in every single way. Once you enter, you will see racks of leather jackets hanging on the side, of which each jacket is designed to meet the demands of the modern day person. These items are the result of a detailed production process of leather that begins long before the hides are selected.

 

THE HIDES

The hides used in making our Italian leather comes only from the food industry like the making of the Parmigiano Reggiano, and has to be of the best quality, thus, feeding the animals well is a necessity. Proper diet and nutrition is crucial in the development of high quality hides and that is why we, Italians, are very particular on what we feed our animals. Our animals are fed on a wholesome diet that is sufficient in nutrients and fibers that meet their nutritional needs. The diet is administered at the right time and in the right amount for optimal digestion in order to prevent deficiencies of iron, vitamins and anemia. This process differs from other countries wherein their hides are obtained randomly without caring what the animals have been fed on.

The hides are subject to a lengthy treatment process which converts them into leather. The process is subject to stringent quality checks at every stage of the production process in line with the Italian laws on leather processing. The Italian laws on leather processing are very strict and leather manufactures have to conform to the set of rules and regulations, because if not, they’ll risk being deregistered. Manufactures should ensure that they produce leather in an environmentally friendly manner that doesn’t pollute the environment. These strict policy guidelines ensure that Italian leather is manufactured in the best way possible to get the best possible results. Much of the process is done by hand and this ensures that every inch of the hide is processed to perfection.

 

LIMING AND SPLITTING

Liming loosens the fibers and allows the hide to effectively absorb the chemicals that will be used in the tanning process. Limed hides are swollen and thick, therefore they can be split into two pieces. This is necessary so as to split heavy hides that are too thick to be used in manufacturing leather items. This is a very important stage in leather manufacturing because failure to slice thick hides into small practical pieces usually results in rustic looking leather products that are unsightly and very heavy. The process is performed by using a splitting machine in which the limed hide is run against a band blade by two symmetrical cylinders which slices the hide into two layers parallel to the surface. The top part is the full grain and this is what will be processed to become leather.

Most manufacturers opt to skip this stage as most of them lack the needed machines, expertise and technical know-how on how it is best to splice the hides. It is a complicated process and the machines involved are usually very expensive. This is another reason firms opt to skip this step as they try to minimize their operation costs.

At Luca’s Boutique, we stock high quality leather products that are made from hides that have been processed excellently for fine looking products

 

TANNING

Leather tanning is the last process in our Italian way of leather production. This is the process that turns the raw hide into a stable material (leather) that has a variety of end uses and application. Leather tanning can be done in two ways: chrome tanning and vegetable tanning. Chrome tanning, also known as mineral tanning, uses a mixture of acids, chemicals and salts such as chromium sulphate to dye and treat the hide. It is a relatively fast process and it takes about 3 hours for thin skins and a maximum of 24 hours for thick skins and hides.

Vegetable tanning on the other hand uses soluble vegetable tanning solution to tan leather. The ingredients used are natural and pure such as the bark of oak and chestnut trees. This is the most traditional way of tanning hides and it can take up to 40 days to tan a single piece of hide. Most of the process is done by hand and this ensures that every inch of the leather receives proper treatment. The hides are immersed in large tanks and soaked in tanning solutions for a period of time. The tanning is done at tanneries with a prestigious heritage of leather tanning.