Another Fascinating Leather Factory

Regular readers will remember my post of another leather processing plant back at the end of June this year, where huge quantities of leather are produced for export to large furniture and clothing manufacturers, seeking a consistent quality product.

A few days ago my friend V and I visited another, Curtiembre Fazakas Cible S.A., www.cueronet.com/cible just a few blocks up the same street on the northern outskirts of Montevideo, but they are a world apart in every sense. This plant has been in operation for a long time, work areas are rather cramped, lighting and ventilation leave a lot to be desired, but the exciting leather treatments experimented with and produced here are a total feast for the eyes, and hands too – many wonderful textures are being achieved here with both mechanical and chemcial processes.

UL shows chemically treated leather to produce texture patterns – the dark brown metallic has been turned back to reveal what is more easily seen on the suede side, a grid effect, and the leather is quite stretchy now – it’d be great for a vest or cushions….. Silvery grey metallic piece has been greated to give a wonderul gathered, ruched effect. Clothing? Interior decorating? UR shows a couple of different hides – one with zebra-like stripes painted on in totallyt not natural colours – and the one beneath has been treated to produce hair-free patches, along with colour variations. For several years we have had a mat in our entry hall with this texture, but in natural earthy colours. LL shows one of many gold foil patterns applied to leather there, with designs ranging from incredibly delicate almost lacey patterns to large ones that look like globs of paint after an accidental spillage of the gold paint pot. The foil patterns come on cellophane-like sheets, and are applied under heat and huge pressure. The LR pic is one of many tumblers that dry pieces of leather between processes.

A piece of leather here can go through up to 80 processes, and each piece is continually being auditioned for its appropriateness for a range of final product, much of which is exported to Spain and Italy where a lot is paid for these innovative results useful to the high end design market. There are almost 60 colours available to say nothing of combinations. I was told that Nicole Kidman (or her interior designer? ) had ordered some sent to Australia – would that have been Madonna if I had been norte americano? My friend Virginia seems very keen for me to order a group of zebra-looking skins in wild colours to take back to Australia …. Of course, I could not resist buying several small pieces, and since I did not have wads of cash in my wallet that day, I had to choose carefully – see below for what I came away with, gleaned from the exciting mounds of skins everywhere we walked , stepped or sidled through – reminding me so much of my friend W’s studio ! I’ll bet the guys who work here, like W, could lay their hands on any particular item in double quick time.

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