As already known, Florence is famous for its traditional handcrafting.
The city has numerous ateliers and studios.
One of the most popular handcrafting is “leather art”.
Internationally acknowledged and premium brand shops such as Ferragamo or Gucci have started here, and you can spot many leather goods retailers for bags, wallets, or gloves.
Back in leather art history in Toscana, leather process techniques such as parchment were surprisingly introduced as early as 5th or 6th century.
As time went by, the techniques developed to have professional leather craftworkers for bags, pouches or various products.
They were called “Borsai” in Italian.
Toscana has a big advantage for leather tanning, because it has plenty of chestnut woods rich in tannin, and has access to water resource of Arno River.
Therefore, it became dramatically famous in the 19th century. The techniques are handed over tanning factories in this area.
Amazingly, we have heard that more than 30% of Italian tanning companies are still running in Toscana along Arno river, not mention to Florence.
In Florence, to became a professional artisan at leather making studio for shoes or bags, you need to work as an apprentice or trainee, while you run errands, learn cutting, patterning, sewing, and assembling.
Each step takes 2 to 5 years with professional training, so it sums up more than 10 years to become an independent master.
Most international students cannot afford such a long period of training…
Professors from Shoe Making and Bag Making course at Accademia Riaci are real maestros with decades of experience.
They are familiar to all detailed processes and able to teach intensive production techniques and hands-on knowledges for as short as 1 to 2 years.
Come to Florence, we are proud of this world-notable leather crafting tradition. You can master skills and sensitivity and make an unique handmade piece in best quality, not possible in mass production.