I travel around an example of Tuscan tanning creativity, where original style and design are an authentic trademark. Doors, furniture, walls, boat interiors, the Leather Studio Design by Andrea Mariottini put leather to your every wish, offering an extraordinary quality just a click away. It is taking advantage of a stable and well-established Italian tradition to project itself into the future with the strength of ideas and creativity that have made and still make our country one of the most competitive in the world.
This is how the dream of Italian innovation emerges, even in small companies like that of Andrea Mariottini. Its proposal of luxury leather upholstery offers a wide range of possibilities of realization with artistic potential and great value, always in perfect harmony with the aspirations and desires of its customers. It is necessary to go back to prehistoric times to look for the moment when man realized that he could use the leather of the animals he hunted to protect himself from the cold and the weather or to build tools.
Thanks to his extraordinary ability to observe and rework, without having the slightest scientific knowledge of the precious presence of tannins in the wood of branches immersed in a stream. The aldehydes produced by the fermentation of sugars in their foliage, primitive man soon learned that, by engaging them in those waters accidentally so rich in tannins and aldehydes, the skins of its prey suffered a significant slowdown to their natural process. Was also the case thanks to the hydrocarbons released during smoking and, by those two processes, those skins could, therefore, be used longer.
Although they were still a long way from modern studies on that organic material composed of degradable proteins, even at the dawn of their evolution our ancestors had already guessed how to “correct” nature to their advantage. Since then, humanity has never stopped experimenting with new forms and new uses of the skin, from the Sumerians (the first to introduce a proto-concept of tanning) to the Phoenicians and the Egyptians (who developed its processing in particular), from the Romans (who used their previous knowledge to create excellent tools, clothes, shoes, furniture, jewellery) to medieval and Renaissance Florence, which used leather to create imposing, elegant, artistic and refined furnishings, until the flourishing of the famous and modern Tuscan tanneries in the second half of the 18th century.
Andrea Mariottini‘s story is the story of a young chemical expert who, at the beginning of the eighties of the last century, with enthusiasm and passion imbued with so much tradition and millenary culture, dedicated himself entirely to his mission, the leather. With patience and tenacity, he began working in one of the tanneries of Santa Croce sull’Arno, in the heart of tanning Tuscany, where he was involved in research in the field of fashion items, studying new processing of leather for new collections. These are the years of his training, in which he specializes in attending courses in industrial chemistry and tanning chemistry.
Not even a decade passed since his debut in the world of work, however, that Mariottini feels ready to realize the first of his ambitions, to open his own business. Thus, in 1990, the Leather Studio was founded, a technical and stylistic consulting firm for the creation of fashion articles. It will take more than thirty years of activity, countless journeys abroad, indomitable perseverance, personal commitment and formidable experience in the sector before deciding to take the next and final step: to create an original line that manages to convey the deep sense of the national tanning tradition from which it comes but through a contemporary reinterpretation of its manufacturing and application techniques.
In 2017, Andrea Mariottini barely adjusted the name of his new company which seems to change little. It is now called “Leather Studio Design” but, in essence, it is the entire productive soul of the new company that has changed “leather”. He creates his registered trademark, TILEELIT, into which he pours his thirty years of experience to identify a new line of products, created by a few other studios around the world. “I was looking for an alternative idea to the chemical product because until China was stopping, explains Andrea Mariottini. I found it in high-quality interior cladding, in the Luxury sector, proposing a style that I consider original and innovative“. We are in the field of Interior Design, therefore, a proposal that, in addition to expressing a happy union of creativity and aesthetics, also manages to satisfy the contemporary need for versatility and interchangeability.
“We are specialized in the production of interior coverings, continues Mariottini. As a base, we start from a tile of various sizes, generally made of wooden material, which we cover with a new leather product that, for its size, shape, relief and colour shades, is made in harmony with the environment it is intended for, with the type of furniture present or with the colours of the furniture, thanks to the professional advice of architects of our production“. History has taught us that, for practicality or aesthetic pleasure, anything can be covered with leather: furniture, base, shop windows, entire walls. One of the significant criticalities in the use of such a beautiful and luxurious but, for this reason, also very delicate, are the stains or graphs that can be accidentally created over time. “Our technique is simple and effective” concludes Mariottini.
“We apply to our wall panels a ferrite based paint that attracts the magnet that we place behind our leather-covered tiles. So, if a tile gets dirty or scratched, or if you get tired of its colour, you can peel them off with a click and replace them all with ease“. Each leather tile can be either a single piece or part of a more complex design, or ready-made panels, depending on requirements or final use. Inlays, textures, patterns, plays of colour and relief, every shade or colour effect emerges exclusively from the skilful treatment of the leather itself until artists using a pyrographic technique create real works of art.
Hotel interiors, yacht interiors, shop windows, public places, restyling of residences, custom boiseries, furniture decorations, anyone can propose their design, an idea, a dream to realize, or can rely entirely on the experience and creativity of Andrea Mariottini. But don’t ask him the secret of his love for “skin”, he would answer: “For me… it’s a matter of chemistry!“.
Discover more @ TILEELIT
by Patrizia Dani