Hidden deep inside the province of Cádiz, lies one of the best kept secrets of the most important designers; the high quality production of leather goods in Ubrique.
Ubrique is a small hillside town in Cádiz. Surrounded by mountains, it´s not easily accessible,but by virtue of its natural beauty it is, along with Grazalema, Arcos de la Frontera and Zahara de la Sierra, one of the most visited towns on the White village route.
If we had to choose one word to describe this pretty town, that would be tradition. However, Ubrique is much more than that. Ubrique is beauty, joie de vivre, green mixed with white, culture, gastronomy and an endless list of other qualities.
But as we´ve already stated, tradition is what defines this town. The secrets of Ubrique leather have been passed on from generation to generation for over 200 years.
So, after this brief introduction, we are now going to reveal 5 interesting and little known facts about Ubrique leather:
- Ubrique is the leading manufacturer of leather goods in Spain.
More than half of the town´s inhabitants are employed in Ubrique´s leather manufacturing industry. Not only do they produce the majority of goods that are sold in Spain, but they also act as suppliers for major international brands.
Approximately 80% of the production is destined for export, mainly to Europe and Asia.
- The leather is brought in from outside.
When we speak about Ubrique leather, most people are under the impression that the leather we are referring to comes from Ubrique, so we must clarify that this is not true in every case. The major suppliers of leather in Spain send their best leather to Ubrique. The leather arrives already tanned, thus allowing the craftsmen concentrate on more specific tasks. In Ubrique, they begin the process of transforming the leather into a beautiful finished product, ready for sale.
- Famous brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Chloe, Loewe, Prada and Carolina Herrera have used local craftsmen to make their bags and other leather goods.
Ubrique is the custodian of one of the fashion world´s best kept secrets. A BBC
report , refers to the town as the secret supplier of the most famous brands in the world. Why such secrecy? For the simple reason that the major designers are afraid of fraudulent copies. For this reason, they make the craftsmen sign a confidenciality agreement, whereby they agree to not reveal any details of their work.
- The Ubrique Leather Museum
Anyone visiting this pictureque town, must take time outo see the Ubrique Leather Museum. A very interesting museum, containing many interseting facts concerning Ubrique´s history and its leather industry. Where visitors learn how leather craftsmanship has evolved since its beginnings until the present day. Another feature of the Museum is that children can enjoy themselves by helping to make leather accessories in the museum´s workshops.
- Ubrique has its own Craftsmen´s school.
The school has a waiting list of around 800 people, between the ages of 16 and 50. The Craftsmen´s school awards its pupils with a professional title. Many people are under the impression that the pupils are all local. Nothing could be further from the truth. People have come from as far away as Denmark, Colombia, Cuba, Rumania and many other countries, in order to learn the art of leather craftsmanship from the Ubrique artisans.
75 % of graduates from the school find work, which is what makes, along with learning under the direction of the best professionals in the leather industry, the perfect destination for all lovers of the leather industry.