João Rafael is a Portuguese artisan, born in Vila Moreira, a small village located in Alcanena, traditional heart of Portugal’s artisan leather industry. The first Portuguese leather artisans settled here back in the 16th century, at the doorstep of the Natural Park of Serras de Aire and Candeeiros. Today several decades later, Alcanena is recognized worldwide as the “Land of Leather”

Focusing on the sustainability, João Rafael parts are made with vegetable tanned leather. Vegetable Tanning is to process the hides in a pure and natural way without using harmful chemicals, as chrome-tanning, one of the most popular and destructive tanning for human health and environment.

Furthermore, due to the more gentle process the average length of life of vegetable tanned leather is also considerably higher than that of chrome-tanned leather, and gives to the articles unique colours, nuances and shades which cannot  be achieved with any other method.

Having both knowledge and training in handmade ceramics João Rafael use in numerous creations his own ceramic accessories.

Combining the personal knowledge of ceramic and tanning methods, with ecological methods of finishing, recycling, and recovering of raw material and leather wastes, João Rafael intend to guarantee not only the quality of the leathers and products carefully chosen, but also to createenvironmentally sustainable high quality and elegant leather parts.

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João Rafael

Craftsman of leather goods