Whiskey and Smoke: A Rustic Approach to Timeless Brazilian Leather

India’s Sari: Origin, Myth and Beauty

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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Whiskey and Smoke: A Rustic Approach to Timeless Brazilian Leather

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“In like a lion, out like a lamb” is what they say about March. We are right on schedule, ringing in the month with a new shipment of fierce, bold leather pieces in our new “Smoke” and “Whiskey” finishes. Worthy of any man cave or any location in your home, this collection brings to mind toasty evenings by a fireplace, sipping single malt scotch while wearing your grandfather’s vintage watch.

Our metaphor holds true, with the soft, delicate luxe of this Brazilian leather facilitating a seamless transition into spring. The colors are rich but neutral. The distressed finish and wood paneling incorporate a fresh, down to earth quality. Open your windows to the spring air, and cover your coffee tables with flowers. Lounge on your leather in the afternoon sun, and feel like a new lamb.

Brazilian Leather is highly desired across a multitude of industries for its excellent quality as well as the consistency of that quality. Click here to browse our entire Leather Club Collection.

Facts about Brazilian Leather:
– Brazil is the second largest supplier of leather in the world, producing more than 40 million hides per year.
– 28 million of those hides are exported to 91 different countries.
– The United States comes in at number three for importing the most leather from Brazil. We spend nearly 260 million dollars on leather.
– China imports the most, followed by Italy. Hong Kong is fourth.
– U.S. companies that use Brazilian leather include Learjet, Ford, and GM among many others.

“Brazil is known for some of the world’s best tanneries, producing top-quality leather used in the fashion, upholstery, automotive and boating industry” Jose Fernando Bello, executive president of CICB.

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 Whiskey Loveseat

A piece of leather furniture commands attention and brings an aura of no nonsense to a room. The canvas siding and wood frames on our leather couches and chairs tone down that boldness. These materials are rustic in nature, and when paired with the sleek leather, the furniture gains an eclectic, laid back quality. We love the idea of mixing these leather pieces with traditional Indian craftsmanship, such as this elegant folding screen.

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Rise to Fame
In the 16th century, cattle were imported to Brazil to sustain the local economy. Meat and leather started to spread to be distributed throughout the country, and eventually the leather started to be exported. By the year of 1754, 5 thousand pieces of leather a year were being exported from Brazil. However it wasn’t until the 1960’s and 70’s when the world really started focusing on Brazilian leather. Artists began printing messages on leather, primarily based around the ideas of peace and love, and freedom. Leather goods became abundant at street fairs and leather artisans were celebrated.

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Let’s talk about cows!
The Leather Industry in Brazil is directly connected to the Beef Industry. Here are some figures to get you up to speed.

– Currently, Brazil has 213.3 million cattle.

– In 2008, the country held 20% of the world’s cattle market. By the end of this decade, that figure is estimated to reach 50%. That means Brazil will control one half of the entire world’s beef.

– Brazil’s economy has become the 6th largest on the planet. This means larger economic potential and stability for their leather industry.

– From 2000 to 2010, the amount of cattle per hectare increased from 0.8 to 1.2. The industry thanked advances in handling and sanitation and favorable weather.However at the same time cattle are increasing, the land the cattle graze on in decreasing.

– In that same 10 year period, pasture area decreased from 178 to 164 million hectares. The Brazilian Leather Project has taken strides to fight this, and has actively come out against deforestation.

Below are some new additions to our Indian collection. The rustic painted finish seamlessly blends together with the perfect wood and bright hues compliment the muted tones of our leather collection. They work perfectly because everything is tied together by a mutual, worn in quality.

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Practices for Sustainability
– Conservation of water, practicing cattle farm fair-trade, organic tanning technology (chrome free without using heavy metals) are techniques used by many manufacturers.

– Use of raw materials derived from eco-friendly resources which are native to Brazil.

– Brazil has committed to reducing deforestation in the Amazon rain forest by 80 percent by the year 2020. Deforestation rates (due to clearing forest for cattle) declined 27 percent from August 2011 to July 2012. These were the lowest rates ever recorded for the 4th year in a row. Brazil’s government says this represents a 76 percent reduction since 2004.

– Brazil has developed policies known as PPCDAm (The Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Legal Amazon Deforestation) that were first implemented in 2004. PPCDAm is comprised of more than 200 initiatives across 14 ministries that together aim to reduce deforestation in the Amazon.

– Ibama is Brazil’s environmental protection service, the group tasked with monitoring, catching and punishing those responsible for the plunder of the Amazon rain forest.

The Brazillian Leather Project
This is an organization created through a partnership between the Centre for the Brazilian Tannery Industry (CICB) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). Their goal is to promote Brazilian Leather throughout the world.

42201__64160.1392935318.1280.1280Whiskey Tub Chair

Our popular rocket tub chair, previously available in only Ebony and Cigar, is now also available in the new “Whiskey” finish. Whiskey and our new “Smoke” finish are also available in our box club leather collection of armchairs, loveseats and sofas.

Click here to browse our entire Leather Club Collection.

India’s Sari: Origin, Myth and Beauty

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Far and wide, the sari or saree has been a well-known symbol of the Indian female for 5000 years. In today’s India, there are 6.5 million people involved in the production of handloom saris. Although the structure of saris are mostly the same, Indian woman have much room for personal and creative expression in their dress.The sari exists in countless varieties of draping styles, patterns, colors and weaves.

The Sari is a garment made up of a piece of fabric usually 6-9 yards, wrapped around the waist and draped over one shoulder. The midriff is typically exposed, and often one arm is covered on the side the sari is draped over the shoulder. A petticoat is usually worn beneath the sari. This piece has many different names depending on region. In western India it is called chaniyo, parkar or ghagra, shaya in the east, pavadi or padava in the south, and lahanga or lehenga in the North. A blouse is also worn beneath the sari and is called either a choli or ravika. The choli is basically a crop top, with short sleeves and a low neck. Cholis are sometimes backless or halter style and when they are they tend to be more formal than the every day versions, with a lot of embroidery and embellishments. Many women who are in the armed forces wear a sari uniform, with a short sleeve shirt tucked into the waist.

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Kalpasutra Manuscript-1375

The Sari originated within the Hindu culture. Hindus believe that stitched clothing is impure. Hindus also believe that the belly button is very important and is a source of life and creativity. This is why the Sari does not cover the midriff. Another reason for the bare stomach is the Ancient Indian ideals of beauty. They value, like many other cultures, the juxtaposition of a small waist with larger hips and bust line. The Sari exposes the waist but also adds width to the hips and bust, emphasizing and even exaggerating the female figure. This being said, the sari still maintains a woman’s modesty, as she is covered from head to toe with fabric, and it is only a small portion of her waist exposed. The first known depiction of the Sari is a statue of an Indus Valley priest wearing a sari-like drape and dates back to 100 B.C. Sculptures from the 1st-6th century AD depict dancers and goddesses wearing dhoti wraps. Cave murals from the 5th century show women wearing full body saris. In the early 1500’s, a traveler from Portugal described women as wearing very thin cotton or silk garments that wrapped around their waist and shoulder, exposing the arm and shoulder. There are many Indian myths and legends involving saris. Most come from ancient manuscripts such as the Vedic Scripts, Mahabharata, Silappadhikaram, Kadambari and Natya Shastra. Scholars commonly believe that the earliest texts recording saris are 5000 years old.

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I find the most interesting aspect of saris to be how all women in India wear them, the way all men in America, or most, wear pants. While in some ways this could be thought of as hindering to a woman’s freedom of self, of expression and of movement. However, it could also be looked at from the other side. If you knew you were wearing a sari everyday, think of all the time and energy you would save, not worrying about clothing. The biggest advantage to this in my mind, is not having to think about finding clothes that fit all of the  figure flattering, current, matching with your personal style, affordable. For American woman, the biggest struggle is without a doubt finding clothes that are figure flattering. In our culture, it often seems that clothes were made with the attempt to sabotage your figure. With Saris, that is not a concern because the sari is literally draped around your own, actual body. It is designed to be a covering to the main point in the room-which is you-not your outfit. Weather you are a size 8 or you gain weight over the holidays and are now a size 10 doesn’t matter in the slightest. Your Sari will still look good on you because it exists in celebration of you.

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Receptionist for Air india-1971

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Actress Kangana Ranaut wearing designer Sabyasachi-2013

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         We have a beautiful selection of Sari Silk in our store currently. Come check it out!