AR Florence and Creation of a Product
Anything can be born on a sunny morning, by turning your eyes to the landscape of this beautiful city. Think of how much people admire our art, culture, and Italian design.
"By attending the school for fashion designers, fashion shows, and actively participating in seminars on the origin of the raw materials, I realized how huge the world of fashion designing is and the infinite possibilities that make a piece of clothing with something a plus over the others.”
With this aspiration, I would like to explain to you how we go from an “idea” to the “finished object”.
The designs are selected by the customers and the buyers. Then we develop the model and all of its parts.
We start by cutting a special fabric that will help us to test our product before making the final product. We try this draft cutting on the mannequin, and we then ask the tailors and other people involved to make the appropriate changes.
After confirming and checking that everything is in place, we proceed with the selection of the leather. It is important that each skin be in a pair, and it is carefully checked that the color is consistent all the way through. Then we get ready to cut the design and prepare the lining of the product.
We then assemble everything. We stress that our seamstress can do truly a great job! When sewing, a special tape is used between the seams and the pockets in order to obtain a reinforced, firm structure.
We stitch each garment and product very precisely and patiently, and once made, we deliver it to our customers promptly.
The leather tanning process
We at Bottega Fiorentina want to explain how the skins are tanned in order to give you an idea of the value of the good that you will use. This art of tanning is a tradition in Italy that boasts many years of experience. Generations have worked and learned this very special art of processing the leather. There are different types of skins: sheep, goat, swine, bovine, equine, rabbit etc. There are also exotic skins such as crocodile, python, ostrich, water snake, anaconda, iguanas and skins of various species of fish . We want to emphasize that these skins come from farms and are protected by the Washington Convention, but they also come from slaughterhouses as well and therefore, from the animals that are eaten. From the slaughterhouse, skins are flayed, folded, and salted and are then put underground in places similar to the old wine cellars. There is a uniform temperature in order to prevent petrification of the skin. I would like to point out that, of course, the raw material is also imported from other countries. For example, the best lambskin comes from South Africa precisely due to the climate and their feed.
Once imported and delivered to the tanneries, the skins are selected by a qualified and experienced person. They are then put into large containers similar to washing machines called Bottali. Inside this machine the skins are run for about 12 hours in hot water, lime, and other ingredients to remove the hair from the skin. At the completion of this process, the skin is removed from the drum and fleshed, or brought to the true thickness, resulting in a second skin (virtually cut in half) that we call the crust (it is the underside of the skin).
Then it is sent for tanning using the ingredients mixed by our masters tanners (chrome - vegetable, etc.), and there is addition of other mixtures like special resins. Then we add the color with an aniline liquid in careful proportions with hot water. This process will give the so-called background color. Next the skins are brought to the mass wind to dry, and then are ironed by press machines. Drying always takes place at room temperature with specific degrees of relative humidity. After a few days, the skins are put on the pallets one above the other in the hold, and then the process of Palissonate i.e. putting under a press to soften, is done. From here they pass through Sforbiciatura one by one to remove the misshapen fragments. For example, if a red color is ordered, the skin will pass for the Definitive Spray. That is where the color will be essentially applied by passing under a tunnel with many spray guns advancing on rollers, and then will move to the oven for drying. After this phase, the skin will again pass under a machine called Pedeggiatrice, which will "measure" the skin one by one. After that it will be finally ready for the packaging and to be made into a bag, shoe, wallet etc. All this work takes a long time, but it’s certain the final product from the tannery will be a wonderful product!
P.s: I hope my explanation was clear on how tanning is done.
Goodbye and thank you to the New Impala tannery that gave me this opportunity.