Production Line: Roma Leather
As we continue our exploration into our manufacturers, the Cabourn team took a trip down to Northamptonshire to Roma Leather - the home of our leather goods and accessories. We wanted to find out more about the skilled people that make our products, the story behind Roma, and all the unique processes that our well-crafted, premium products go through before they land on our doorstep.
Sat in the middle of the Northamptonshire countryside is a leather factory by the name of Roma Leather. Upon entering the factory, the first thing that greets you is the delicious smell of leather; a warm, welcoming hello. We took a tour around the factory to meet the masters of the craft and take a look at just how much time and dedication goes into making such high quality, luxury products.
Established in 1981, Roma Leather has nurtured and grown into a well-established, experienced and highly skilled maker of top-quality, high-end leather goods. Roma Leather is made up of a tight knit team with a focus of creating quality, long lasting, “Made in England” goods that stand the test of time. Roma seek to combine the skill and expertise of British manufacturing with the renowned quality of components sourced globally, such as Italian leathers and the finest hardware. At the heart of their approach to manufacture is long lasting sustainability: it is intrinsic to their methods and as they put it, sustainability “is not a box to tick, but is in our lifeblood, effortlessly integrated into all of our processes”.
By nature, and by crafting well made, ethical leather goods that last a lifetime, Roma Leather promotes the idea of buying less, but buying better. A core pillar of sustainability is manufacture of quality product, of which Roma Leather are experts.
Whilst touring the factory, we were able to witness just a few of the steps and processes that go into crafting their leather belts and other small leather accessories. The first thing you notice as you as you enter the factory are pallets piled high with leather belts, and by making our way through the factory, we were able to see first-hand how leather skins transform into beautifully crafted belts.
There are many processes and steps taken to craft the belts and all their components, one of them being the Spiral Cutter. A clever, highly efficient machine that cuts the leather into strands, using as much of the leather skin as possible – another way in which sustainability and a thought for environmental care runs throughout this process. The spiral cutter works by rotating the leather skin on a large flat surface, whilst the blade at the bottom trims the leather creating one long strip.
One of our personal favourite machines, the embossing machine, works to imprint patterns onto the leather. Using solid brass wheels – some which are up to 25 years old –, the machine is powered by oil. Heat and pressure are applied through the brass wheel and is rolled over the leather, creating wonderful, intricate designs that imprint into the leather.
In amongst all these specialist machines, are the work benches. Here, the only machines present are the hands of the experts. Once they’ve been through all the stages to bring the belt together, they are then passed onto this team for hand stitching. Areas of the belts that Roma Leather produce are hand crafted – each stitch sewn by hand, painstakingly adding in detail.
All of these processes, which barely scratch the surface of the amount of time and effort put in to producing these goods, come together to create timeless, long-lasting pieces. From seeing the finished product arrive at our door, it is not often we think about the detail and care that goes into making such luxurious goods. The factory is made up of artisans in the field of leather and taking a glimpse into the leather manufacturing process allows us to appreciate the craftsmanship even more, and to know that our products are made with such dedication, care and an overarching focus on sustainability makes us proud to work with a company like Roma Leather.