After extensive research including visits to workshops and meetings with local artisans, the company decided on Ubrique, Spain, as the site for its production operations. Today, more than 1,300 artisans work to bring the pieces designed in the Paris studio to life. Learn about the key steps in the production of a Polène piece that ensure a high-quality leather item.
EXCLUSIVELY HANDCRAFTED PRODUCTION
Finishing of the Edges
Finishing of the Edges
Each Polène leather piece is the fruit of collaboration between creative design and handcrafted production. Designers, model makers, and leather craftsmen work closely together to establish a pattern from which the bag will be made. The craftsmen’s experience with the material allows them to adjust the design to sculpt the leather as closely as possible to the original design of the piece. The folds, which are iconic of Polène’s designs, require a thorough understanding of leathermaking in order to predict the natural fall of this organic material.
Once the pattern has been finalized, the manufacturing work begins. Each hide coming from the tanneries is evaluated and inspected by a specialized craftsman. By identifying potential flaws, the craftsman’s meticulous work makes it possible to avoid imperfections during the carving process, ensuring that the model being manufactured is absolutely perfect. The leather and reinforcements then pass to an artisan cutter, who chisels the various components of the bag using a press or a laser cutting machine.
Because leather is a natural material, its thickness varies. To ensure perfect manufacturing, each panel is leveled to the nearest millimeter.
The gluing process reinforces the leather to achieve the desired rigidity or flexibility. Extensive testing is required to select the right reinforcements that will give the leather the desired malleability and hold.
The paring process ensures quality by refining the edges of the panels to be assembled. This step makes it possible to create smooth lines and clean seams with minimal material waste.
This small wooden hammer, an iconic tool of Ubrique leather craftsmanship, flattens and softens the leather to give it the right malleability. Each craftsman has their own and keeps it throughout their career before passing it on to another craftsman or hanging it from the ceiling of the Museo de la Piel in Ubrique.
The assembly process involves multiple steps that will gradually bring the bag to life. All of the bag’s various components are brought together, from the leather panels to the handles, including the pockets, clasps, and linings. The stitching is done by hand or on a sewing machine operated by a craftsman.
The edges of the bag are meticulously finished to highlight the precise curves of a Polène piece. They are coated and then painted, bringing attention to the fine details of exceptional craftsmanship. This step requires a great deal of skill to precisely outline the intricate contours of the soon perfected bag.