The journey of the pampeano leather
Unlike mass farmed dairy cattle, Argentine cattle roam freely, feeding naturally off the land. They have a plant-based diet taken from their surroundings, which are the vast plains of La Pampa, Argentina. Expansive ranches, or estancias, are managed by the famous gaucho cowboys, who herd cattle atop strong horses. From this, the gauchos’ reputation for highly skilled horsemanship originates.
Argentina is now particularly famous for its steak, which allows for a thriving industry of leather to support the historic tradition of leatherwork, and the heritage of artisanal craft which comes with it.
All pampeano products are made from buttery soft, vegetable tanned leather. From our belts to ourpremium equestrian equipment to our array of leather lifestyle accessories, each piece of leather is selected by a craftsman for its outstanding quality. Once hides have been selected, they are sent to a tannery. We only use natural vegetable dyes to create those wonderful rich browns that you will find on our pieces. The process of vegetable tanning is one that is handed down from generation to generation, now combining ancient recipes with state-of-the-art equipment.
Tanning is a careful, lengthy process and is the most vital component of the journey that creates our stunning, durable leather. Not only do we use the most environmentally-friendly dye, the vegetable dye, but it is the very thing that creates the individual markings and colours on each leather piece, contributing to accessories that are completely unique to their owner.
After the leather has gained its rich colour and gorgeous, luxurious finish, it can be sent to ateliers to be crafted by artisans who will create the recognisable, finished product. These are craftsmen who have a deep understanding and appreciation for leatherwork and high quality craft.
In the images here you can see the extra process that our famous polo belts undergo, which involves a further 4 to 5 hours of dedicated work, hand-pressing holes into precisely cut bands of leather, to allow an artisan to stitch our pampa designs straight onto the belt, using vibrant, wax-dipped threads which are tightly woven and completely by hand.
The journey of our leather is not only one that spans half the globe, and involves many hours of meticulous work by dedicated craftsmen. It is importantly a process that has travelled to us over thousands of years of human lives, from the first small communities who settled and established agricultural practices, right up to the present day, where most of the world leads a life detached from the origins of food and materials. This is why we at pampeano take pride in treasuring such a long history of this important craft.