Leather is renowned for its natural browns, tans and blacks, creating an organic-looking fabric that is perfect for bags, jackets and interiors. Bucking the trend, we’ve found three mills who print and dye their own leather hides, offering an array of style-savvy skins that reflect the seasonal trends of the design world.
Curtimbres de Itagui
Formed in 1926, Curtimbres de Itagui is a Colombian tannery specializing in bovine leather. Working from a 75,000 sqm. facility in Bogota, nearly one-third of this space is set aside for manufacturing. Curtimbres also controls over 45% of the Colombian fashion leather market, and exports 40% of total shipments to Europe. The remaining leathers are exported to North and South America, and the surrounding Central regions. With plans to up its game in Asia, Curtimbres is offering a wide range of printed and patterned leathers.
Printing on super soft calfskin for bags and accessories, the blanco hueso is a creamy-based hide with gold-foil dots in the shape of large florals. Also available on Le Souk, the verde coral is a scaly, mermaid tail-inspired calfskin with a golden-flecked aqua hue – a standout upholstery cloth.
Leather made from the skin of fish falls into the exotic skins category. Iceland’s Atlantic Leather works with such skins, sourcing salmon, perch, wolffish, and cod and manufacturing them into workable fabrics from its headquarters in Sauðárkrókur. Its aquatic skins have been used in footwear sneaker panels for Nike, in architectural jewelry and leather pants for women.
Available on Le Souk, Nile perch is super luxurious material for design. Atlantic Leather doesn’t necessarily print on the fish skin, which is characterized by a rough-hewn surface of coarse scales, but rather colors the scales to make them pop. Perch leather is much thicker than other types of fish leather and can be dyed in any number of diverse tones – without losing its wild and primal aesthetic. Check out the red perch leather with gold finish and the blue metallic printed perch for bags, shoes and blouse details. Each can be ordered in size ranging between 0.7 to 1.4 sqft.
Based in the garment district of New York, Rainbow Leather prints and dyes on both real and synthetic leather hides. While no tanning actually goes on in this center, Rainbow uses traditional machines and a small team of just ten people to whip out exotic leopard and python-patterned materials, as well as embossed polka-dot and paisley patterns.
Supplying to the footwear, accessories and furniture industries, the core leathers are pig suede, calfskin and cow. Available on Le Souk, the brown-based zebra printed cowhide is a more muted version of traditional black and white, perfect for shoes and quirky bags; while the renaissance lace is an ideal brocade patterned pig skin for upholstery.
By Benjamin Fitzgerald
Le Souk connects the world’s finest mills & tanneries directly to the design industry’s leading creatives. We bring together a trusted supplier network, the latest technologies and a community of designers and makers to make global sourcing possible – anytime and anywhere.