Jan 24, 2022 domenico Surace

Behind the iPhone Case, who is the craftsman?  

How is leather treated and processed, with master craftsmanship and attention to detail? 

Marnelo is French by identity, and what is France if not the care it has for its artisans, for its legacy and heritage.

You will seldom find a people more steeped in its history and the heartlands that birth such mastery and craftsmanship. And very few Frenchmen do not have an heirloom, a leather notebook or keychain that they hold dear, and that is the instrument with which they connect to the world, like Hemingway did when he spent his years in Paris. 

Historical region: how does Marnelo respect and take part in the heritage of the craft?

The atelier where Marnelo’s accessories are finely created are situated in Franche-Comté, in the heart of a bovine farming region. From very early on, the inhabitants of the land prospered through leatherworking and commerce with other regions of the fine goods they produced out of by-products of the cattle. It served the needs of later fine industries in the region, from watchmaking and Auguste Lépée, for watch bands, or the automotive industry, for producing fine leather seats.

The knowledge of the precise motions needed to realise the most perfect of leathers has long been a prized asset of French Haute Couture houses. In this story, Marnelo brings its youth and regard for new luxury products, innovative designs, and personalization.

Leather crafts’ modern history begin in the 1980’s when Robert Boudard, who worked at Peugeot crafting the finer leather seats, and was twice awarded the Best Craftsman in France award, decides to transmit his life’s work. When retiring, he opened the School for Saddlery-Leatherwork of Art Robert Boudard, accompanying students in their protection of the craftsmanship of the region. Houses like Hermes and Marnelo have since installed a number of ateliers in the region to profit from the rich history of the land. 

How do our master craftsmen hand process leather and luxury materials to bring you the best quality? 

Marnelo holds dear this expertise, this savoir-faire, and is keen on ensuring only the best quality comes from respecting the handmade processes of leatherworking. Discover with us the steps that our craftsmen painstakingly take to bring you the utmost quality and confidence in our product.

This starts with the careful examination of every piece of exotic leather for your iPhone covers that comes through the hands of our artisans. Being a natural, living material, leather has a natural curve, unique patterns, and texture which one has to work with and not against in order to birth the pieces used in crafting our cases.

Our workers then proceed to hand cut the skins, in the traditional style, ensuring that no two pieces can ever be the same. 

eather hand cutting

When the leather is cut, the next step is to refine it, reducing the thickness for it to be even from one end to the other, and more pliable and usable for crafting accessories.

We use traditional tools to manually skive the leather. Depending on the leather we use, of which there are four, and the specific cut that was made, there is an ideal thickness, and our craftsmen carefully control the quality of the leather before moving on to the next stage, which you have a say in!

This is the step where you can put your mark in this unique history and know-how, by choosing from a wide variety of colour treatments for our exotic leathers. 

Leather tanning is the process in which tannins, acids originally derived from plants that gave colour and resistance to the leather, and now artificial pigments, give life to the still material.

They also change the protein structure of the hides, skins, and scales, making them less prone to decomposition so that leather can last a lifetime.

This is the way that we make available 25 colours for your iPhone case, for you to decide what you desire. But has exotic leather presents a variety of textures, finesse, and resistance, tanning it only produces an uneven colour distribution. That is why the edges of our leather pieces are painted to give vibrance and energy to Marnelo accessories.

The craftsmen apply paint in very localised areas and small touches, leaving it to dry and starting over for as long as necessary. This level of precision and persistence is the hallmark of our craftsmanship. 

tenture de tranche

After being shaped into the cases, Apple watch bands or Magsafe power banks that we offer, some last flourishing are added to the leather, in the form of precious metals, gold and silver.

Shaped into our monogram and our clients’ initials when they opt for this personalization, they are hand polished by different craftsmen, in charge of the jewellery part of the operation.

We do not aim for a mirror shine, when it’s too gleamy and takes on fingerprints and grease, but for the perfect shine, smooth, spotless, and pure.

This can only be achieved with the minute attention given to it by the specialists, doing the work by hand instead of with a machine.

In order to offer you the most luxurious tech accessories, with the most advanced materials and technologies, we combine their passion, their skill and attention to detail and our innovative approach of customization as well as technologies. We bridge the gap between the traditional production of leather fine goods and daily-use luxury items.

That comes with new materials: carbon fibres, that back the leather when it’s shaped into a case and make it resistant and light to protect your belongings without weighing you down.

M logo polishing

We have at heart to share this beautiful partnership, and so you can see our artisans at work on our Instagram stories.

Lastly, we need you to take part in the care we have given to leather. Our craftsmen spend countless hours bringing you the most beautiful luxury tech items, and we need you to help keep them that way.

Leather is a natural material, in many ways, it’s alive, and with use and time, it will change. To protect it and make it vibrant, learn how to take care of it here (link).