Native Comalapa Valet Tray
- Perfect For Keys, Change, Personal Items
- Great Gift Idea For Any Occasion
- Handmade from Full Grain Leather & Native Comalapa Canvas
- Simple and Functional Design
Length: 7.5 inches
Height: 0.2 inches
Width: 7.5 inches
Length: 6.75 inches
Height: 1.5 inches
Full Grain Leather, Brass Metal Snaps, Genuine Mayan Textiles
USE & CARE
Over time and with use, the leather will assume a unique patina. If desired, condition with mineral oil or beeswax leather conditioner. If needed, hand wash textiles with a delicate soap and warm water.
PRODUCTION & DESIGN
This valet tray with rustic accents is meant to be passed on to future generations.
This handmade genuine leather Valet Tray has plenty of storage for change, keys and miscellaneous items. Great for placing next to your front door making for easy access. Attractive interior soft sheepskin liner with rustic brass metal snaps giving it a sturdy shape. The product itself makes a great gift for any occasion.
The flesh side of the soft leather is first stained with natural drab tone and finished with our proprietary beeswax conditioner. Our unique treatment helps the tray to retain its shape without the aid of synthetic stabilizers.
Comalapa is a town just north west of the capital city of Guatemala, and was the scene of epic battles between the Mayan indigenous people and the colonial Spanish in the 16th century. Known as the "Florence of Guatemala", its community bears an attitude that allows weavers the freedom of expression to make each textile a unique personal work of art, and the town is also well known for its primitive, naïf paintings. Some of the most complex and beautiful textile designs come from this region, and this Comalapa Clutch Bag is no exception.
Our canvas comes from the highly respected supplier Lonas Segovia, the oldest canvas maker in Guatemala. The seams are sewn using bonded nylon thread with a burned and melted finish offering no loose ends during your travel.
In Guatemala, the process of creating these amazing textiles is long and arduous, but with an inspiring outcome. Once the cotton is picked, and any remaining seeds have been removed, the cotton is spindled into a ball and is submerged into a container full of a steaming hot dye. A kaleidoscopic range of dyes are extracted from all sorts of plants, herbs and spices available in the region. Once dry, the dyed cotton is woven using a Backstrap loom. This part of the process requires time and patience. Practiced by many artisans throughout Guatemala and indigenous to the highlands for many generations, it's more of an art form rather than just a craft.
This weaving technique, according to Mayan mythology, originates with the Maya Goddess of fertility and procreation, Ixchel. Representing female empowerment, Ixchel passed on the knowledge of weaving to the first women, and has since been passed on from mother to daughter over generations. Backstrap weaving is carried out using a simple means of a set of parallel sticks that hold in place the threads running vertically. Horizontal threads that run parallel to the sticks are then cross-woven one by one using a shuttle to pass through the layers, often interweaving different colors for patterns and images.
The Backstrap Loom is easy to attach to any post, pillar or tree, and a strap is placed around the weaver's back, hence the name. This mobility allows the artwork to be created anywhere at anytime. This is especially important for these hardworking women, who are not just artists, but full-time mothers housewives, cooks and students.
This age-old technique is not only a way for such women to earn their bread, but a way to reflect their artistic expression and traditions unique only to them that have been passed down over generations.
The leather we use, originating from our well established supplier Compiel, is only Full Grain Leather, and if you don't know what that is, then make sure you're sitting comfortably. There are 4 types of leather, and they are not all the same in quality. You have Full Grain Leather, Top Grain Leather, Genuine Leather and Bonded Leather.
We'll start with Bonded Leather. It's more of an insult to call Bonded Leather a leather. It's basically lots of different parts of leather glued and pressed together to make one piece, it's cheap, not at all durable and it will fall apart within weeks. In short, it's no good and we are completely against it.
Genuine Leather is in third place in the running, and is the layer of the hide that remains after the top is taken off for the better quality leathers. This surface can often be given a makeover with a finish, sometimes a spray paint that can give it the look of a better quality. Not something that happens in our house. Don't settle for this, you can do better.
Top Grain Leather is the second highest grade that you'll find. A leather taken from the top layer of the hide, that is then treated, sanded and refined. It's a good quality leather, but not good enough for Hide and Drink. You can still do better, though, go one more step higher.
Full Grain Leather is the best you can get when it comes to leather, there's no competition here, and Hide and Drink is its biggest fan. Full Grain Leather comes from the top layer of the hide, and has all of the grain, hence its name. It's the best leather than you can buy, and the only leather that we use. You can stop looking now, you've found the cream of the crop.
The tanning process is something that we take pride in. Our rustic leather is created through removing the hair, extracting the moisture, taking out the oils and, of course, the natural preservatives. The leather is placed in a large container filled with new oils, coloring and preservatives, and there it takes on its new color and thus its new personality. The finishing process consists of pressing the leather with heated plates, hung up to dry and sprayed and finished with a sealer. Finally it is pressed once more and then ready for its transformation, in which it is carefully handcrafted by the diligent locals of Pastores, Guatemala, where our workshop is located.