Artisan Highlight: Gundara
One of the things that I really like about a leather handbag is that the more you use it, the better it becomes. The leather gets a bit darker with wear and it becomes so wonderfully soft to the touch. We need more things like that in our wardrobes - by that I mean we need more items that get better with age instead of wear out.
With this in mind, I set out to find some simple yet high quality leather bags to add to our Spring Collections. Since everything we carry in the shop is under $100 (and as I'm sure you know, leather can be quite expensive) this proved to be quite the task.
And then I found them. A designer out of Germany producing goat leather ethically and organically tanned in Kabul, Afghanistan. Altogether, ten families are able to benefit from the work. The leather tanning is done in Khulm in Balkh Province, Northern Afghanistan, the leather capital of Afghanistan. The tanning skills are passed on from generation to generation.
If you're like me, I didn't have a vast knowledge of the leather tanning process. But I was about to get a thorough education!
Under dry and warm conditions in the summer the natural tanning process takes only about two weeks. In the winter, when it is humid and cold, the tanning process can take up to five weeks. These artisans use primarily skins produced in winter, as the quality of winter skins is better than in the summer. Here's how the leather is processed:
The skins are placed in different types of water based solvents such as salt, lime, pomegranate peel & rhubarb roots with cleaning processes between bases. The leather is then dried and is ready to be cut and sewn into the gorgeous handbags you see in the shop! No chemicals are used in the entire process.
Because our Spring Collection was the first time we'd be working with this group, we placed a small pilot order to examine the quality of the bags. When the order arrived, I couldn't have been more pleased! Each of the styles we now carry are so wonderfully different, yet with the same gorgeous blush leather.
Pre-order today - we're putting in our order at the end of the business day today and would love to hold one aside especially for you!