Have a new Blog

We are traveling in Mexico again this winter of 2012
Our new blog is The Golden Years

Translate This Page

Saturday, January 29, 2011

La Noria Leather Goods Factories

Saturday p.m.

Haven’t been doing too much the last few days so will continue catching up from earlier in the week. Continuing Tuesday’s outing
While at the tequila distillery The Driver was talking to the girls in the gift shop. When he mentioned we were on our way to La Noria one of them told him that her husband owned the little leather shop we always visit there. In fact last year Bill bought some pieces of leather from him. She said her name was Jessie and to tell him we had met her.

So of course we went to visit him. These are some photos from his leather shop. It is a very full small one room work/sales shop. He makes saddles – this is the wooden frame for a saddle – it is still in the shaping stage. Needs a lot of work yet to make it ready for the leather.
Saddle in the making - wooded under part
He had several belts he was working on. He was hand stamping the designs onto them. And putting the buckles and loops on them.

His young apprentice was staining them.
Work table and stains
He has worked here so long he has had to repair his chair. m on the table are some of the tools he uses

The Driver's legs in the background
Across the street from his shop is this nice looking building.

Pretty Outside
Until you look inside –things were not what they seemed from outside. This is a very common sight – really a shame – all these great places just going to ruin.
Not so pretty Inside
Just beyond this building is one of the other leather factories/shops we have visited before. The Driver is interested in working with leather so he was asking about buying some. They had a big piece of pig leather they showed him but it was too thick and stiff to do what Bill wants to do. So they took it to a machine out back to shave it some.
It's like a plainer for leather
But it was still too thick to use. Another look at the machine - probably older than me.

I’ve written about this place before and posted pictures of it but I always find something interesting to take another picture of. These metal things are the forms they use to cut out the soles for sandals

And this is their sewing machine. An old treadle used every day. On the wall are some purses for sale.
It's a Singer
We wanted our friend to see a really old shoe manufacture so we took a couple of side roads – always sharing them with our four footed friends
He's wondering where we're going.
This is another place I’ve posted about previously – but again it’s always interesting.

This is the outside – the building on the left – the brick one. It’s on a narrow street and has three big steep steps to go up into the workshop. In fact Bill had to move the Jeep so another vehicle could get down the street.
Factory on left - a home on the right.

There are three rooms. This one is mostly a storage area. Strips of leather for the making of the sandals, stirrups for saddles, finished and unfinished shoes.
Leather strips for making sandals
A large back room runs the length of the building. There the saddles are assembled on one side and just inside the door one man sits and pounds a big heavy staple like things into shoe soles. These hold the leather strips together.

Stack of soles and metal things he puts in them.
In the front room are a couple of tables and a sewing machine. While we were there Jessie’s husband from the small shop in town came over to use the sewing machine. This is his cousin’s place. Seems like everybody in town is related in some way.

I think he was putting together some kind of top for a more expensive sandal.
The guys working at the tables putting together the sandals they make there were from very young – 12 years old – to much older -60 maybe. The youngest boy was working alone the others at one big table.

The boy on the left is 20 he has been doing this for 6 years

Making the shoe The strips go through the metal staple like things then are braided together.

Here is a short video of the process. The strips are soaked in a bucket of water and vinegar to make them easier to work with. After they are woven together they are pounded to smooth them out then a cut lime is rubbed all over them to help condition the leather.
The older man on the right is in the process of making a shoe. The younger guy on the left is rubbing the cut lime over the leather.
Well that's all for tongiht. 

No comments: