The art of “leather tooling” has been around for centuries. History documents Spanish Moors, back in the middle ages, using hand- carved leather to decorate their homes. And this craft became even more popular when cowboys and ranchers of the “wild west” took pride in elaborately tooled saddles and chaps, as an expression of personal style.
We became interested in this old world craft during one of our inspiration trips to Mexico and learned that this time-consuming process involves hand-carving etchings into leather to create a beautiful piece of art (most commonly flowers or patterns), and is much more intense than a simple ‘emboss,’ which is most often done with machines. The Mexican culture takes great pride in their hand-tooling, and the skills are often passed down from generation to generation.
As we learned more, we fell even more in love with this craft. We asked around about ‘tooling houses’ and found one that has been around for over 20 years. The process is beautiful to watch as individual artists utilize tools to carve out the leather into shapes. The designs take shape right in front of your eyes.
Each piece of tooled leather in this collection was hand-carved by a leather artisan in Leon, Mexico, and we personally think the results are amazing. Every sandal is completely unique and a piece of art; one that we hope will still be around for many generations to come!
Shop the collection here.