Special Product Features
FLORAL PRINTED LEATHER
We pride ourselves, as do our leather crafters in Buenos Aires, in producing unique, one of a kind creations, each with their own pattern and personally. No two pieces are exact in production or the same in print or pattern. It is the beauty of the 'lost art' of hand crafted products.
Every stage of our crafting is done by hand, from the hand cut patterns to adding each finishing touch. Our product lines are not machine made, mass produced or carbon copied, as is common place in most industries around the world. We are proud to bring you our beautiful products, crafted by hand, with the 'old world' traditional techniques and time honored processes, making.
Our unique patterned leather is applied and 'tanned' into the actual cowhide, making its application permanent for a lifetime of enjoyment! Crafted by hand in Argentina by the skilled hands of local leather-men. Many similar looking leather products have had a pattern painted or copied on top of the leather, a short cut which result in worn and rubbed off areas.
Most likely you have heard Italian leather is the best leather in the world. However, you probably did not know that Italian leather manufactures purchase most of, if not all their leather hides from Argentina.
Italian leather is NOT the best in the world because Italy imports the hides they use for their products from Argentina! Argentina’s free range, grazing grown cattle in the lands of the Pampa grasses are the best in the world.
Argentina’s land mass is 90% larger then that of Italy’s, 116,347 kilometers of populated, crowded cities verses 1.1 Million kilometers of Argentine wide open Pampa lands!
Italy's land mass is not large enough to grow their own cattle to produce the amount of leather hides used in their product production, therefore they purchase there leathers from outside their country, and they buy them from Argentina.
In addition, because hand crafting techniques, which are so unique to Argentina, many of the famous handbag companies not only purchase their leather from Argentina but also have their designs crafted by the Argentine leather crafters!
Now you know the truth! Argentine has the best, most sought after leathers and exotic hides & skins on plant earth.
Shopping in Buenos Aires ~ The satisfying aroma of leather greets you as you enter Arandú, which is dedicated to handicrafts, and at least in my case, the fragrance worked as a magic elixir on my purse strings. And no, I'm not shopping for a polo saddle, but rather, beautiful hand woven bracelets, exquisite handbags, waxed needle-worked belts, alpaca silver home wares and found many unique items I've not seen before.
With shopping in the great capitals of Europe these days a challenge at best, and at worst a financial nightmare, Buenos Aires presents an enticing alternative. The tango-besotted city pulsates with energy, and offers—despite the collapse of the peso six years ago—a thriving retail scene.
It’s not surprising that Eva Perón is interred in the very heart of this country. Evita will always be remembered for, among other things, her elegant wardrobe. Though these graceful avenues are home to Hermès and Louis Vuitton, you’ll also find plenty of equally upscale B.A.-specific boutiques.
The pedestrian-only Calle Florida can feel a bit like Manhattan’s 34th Street, albeit with outdoor cafés and tango demonstrations. Though there is a smattering of cheap clothes and electronics, the area is not without serious shopping interest for quality leather goods.
The beaming face of Carlos Gardel, the unrivaled king of Argentine tango, smiles down from windows all along Suipacha, B.A.’s 'tango' specialty scene. Of the many shops specializing in tango clothing and shoes—custom-made or not—Flabella Tango, where around $60 will buy a pair of glittery bright- blue heels, has an excellent reputation. “The best prices in town, the best service!” an American woman being fitted offers, unsolicited, on the day I visit.
Check out theses and Buenos Aires' other quality shops next time you think of taking a shopping excursion!
Alpaca silver is much like sterling silver in many respects and in some arenas a better choice over sterling silver. Let us explain:
Alpaca silver when used in the crafting of jewelry resemble sterling silver but does not contain silver, rather it is an alloy mixture of copper, zinc and nickel. It is a hard, strong and a very durable metal combination that wears exceptionally well. It has several favorable features over sterling silver such as: it doesn’t tarnish as quickly as sterling, it is harder than sterling and it doesn’t scratch like sterling! And last but not least, its price point is about 1/3rd of its counterpart, sterling silver.
Collared Peccary A relative of the warthog and sometimes called the ‘ javelin’ or ‘javelin-a.’ Found in wet and dry tropical forests, chaparral and grasslands of the La Pampa province of Argentina, Central America and the southwestern United States. The collared peccary has a piglike snout, a large head and shoulders with small legs and hoofed feet.
They stand about two feet tall and have a grizzly like gray and brown bristly fur. They are easily distinguished by a grayishwhite band of fur around the neck. In addition, they have small, straight tusks and unlike their relative the warthog, they only have tusks in the lower jaw which they use for digging.
Waxed Needle Work Belts Traditional hand embroidered products hand made by the finest argentine craftsmen using top quality cowhide with an overwoven technique of lubricated (or waxed) threads in rhombus designs. These products are beautifully bold and have tremendous durability !
The Rhombus Cross pattern (Rhombus = quadrilateral design of equal lengths) is one that was sown by the South American native to depict the mountain ranges throughout their beautiful countryside. This ‘mountain design’ is seen throughout Argentina on fabrics, handicrafts, art as well as in many other places.
Historically, the Indians known as ‘mapuches’ were the first known crafters or ‘weavers of the loom’. These elaborate weaves called ‘guard pampa’ created beautiful fabrics which are not only traditional but served a very important function. These weaves indicated hierarchy and the various thread colors depicted much more. For example, black was associated with nobility and red referred to blood or the bravery of a solider. Most often the traditional pampa weaves are made up of geometric designs using staggered crosses, rhombuses and double triangle shapes.
"Argentina" is derived from the Latin word 'argentum', which when translated means silver! It's no wonder Argentine silver is known as the finest silver mined on earth!
925 Sterling Silver - Silver is a precious metal and much like gold it is too fine (or soft) to be made in its 100% form. To prepare a precious metal for crafting jewelry to last a lifetime, pure silver (999 fineness) is often alloyed with small quantities of copper (7.5%), thus becoming sterling silver. (92.5% or .925). It is the finest quality sterling silver available. (.900 sterling silver is of lesser quality, which is commonly used in machine manufactured silver or plated jewelry)
Special Note: Our products are solid sterling silver. Be aware that many products made in today's marketplace are called silver or sterling silver but are NOT! They are made of cheap 'pot metal' or 'base metal' and are plated with a silver overlay. If a piece of jewelry is described as 'alpaca silver', SP (silver plated), SF (silver filled), GP (gold plated), GF (gold filled), HGE (heavy gold electroplated) or EP (electroplated), it should be priced as such, dirt cheap! Read and ask questions before you make a purchase if you have doubts! Pieces Of Argentina guarantee each and every piece in our beautiful collection for total customer satisfaction!
The Finest across the globe - Argentina cowhides are also widely considered to be the finest quality in the world!
Bovine Leather – Argentinian Cowhide is domesticated cow hide. Argentina’s tradition of outstanding leather work is long standing and predates the Columbain period. And although centuries have pasted and these ancient skills have been perfected, many of the hand crafting techniques of long ago are still ‘the Argentine way’ in traditional leather crafting. Each item is crafted using only superior quality materials such as hand selected hides by highly skilled Argentine artisans. Each item made is individually hand pieced together creating your unique and beautiful leather-wear, bring you an excellent product that will last a lifetime!
Miraculous Medal - Meaning & Significants Of Front
Mary is standing upon a globe, crushing the head of a serpent beneath her foot. She stands upon the globe, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her feet crush the serpent to proclaim Satan and all his followers are helpless before her (Gn 3:15). The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré. The reference to Mary conceived without sin supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary—not to be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, and referring to Mary's sinlessness, “full of grace” and “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28)—that was proclaimed 24 years later in 1854.
The Meaning of the Back Side of the Miraculous Medal
The twelve stars can refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, writer of the Book of Revelation (12:1), in which “a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.” The cross can symbolize Christ and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The “M” stands for Mary, and the interleaving of her initial and the cross shows Mary’s close involvement with Jesus and our world. In this we see Mary’s part in our salvation and her role as mother of the Church. The two hearts represent the love of Jesus and Mary for us. (See also Lk 2:35).
Saint Benito / Saint Benidict
The Saint Benedict Medal - aka The Medal Of Saint Benito - aka Jubilee Medal Of St Benedict
Details of Front of medal - We see St. Benedict holding his Rule; next to him, on a pedestal, is the cup that once held poison, shattered after he made the Sign of the Cross over it. The other pedestal is topped by the raven, who is about to carry away the poisoned bread. In very small print above these pedestals are the words: Crux s. patris Benedicti (The Cross of our Holy Father Benedict).
Details of the back of medal - In the arms of the Cross are the initials C S S M L - N D S M D, which stand for the rhyme:
(In Latin) Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux - Nunquam Sraco Sit Mihi Dux
(Translated in English) The Holy Cross be my light - Let not the dragon be my guide
In the corners of the Cross are the letters C S P D, which stand for the same words found on the front over the pedestals: Crux S. Patris Benedicti (The Cross of our Holy Father Benedict).
Above the Cross is the word "Pax" meaning Peace and is the Benedictine order motto.
Surrounding the entire back of the medal are the initials to the words of the exorcism: V R S N S M V - S M Q L I V B, which stand for the Latin rhyme:
Vade Retro Satana
Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana!
Sunt Mala Quae Libas.
Ipse Venena Bibas! ...
Translated To English Means
Do not suggest to me thy vanities!
Evil are the things thou profferest,
Drink thou thy own poison!
Alpaca fiber products are a luxury fiber having all the unique properties of softness, durability and light weight warmth. Less alpaca fiber is produced each year than cashmere, angora or mohair. it is considered more luxurious than cashmere, angora or mohair.
Alpaca fiber is strong, flexible and has more thermal capacity as compared to any other animal fiber. Alpaca fiber does not cause itching as wool often does nor does it 'shead' as angera hair will do. It is a soft, lightweight garment with outstanding insulation value! The two fibers most commonly used are either from Suri Alpaca, which is relatively long, straight, silky hair (fibers) and is exceptionally lustrous. Huacaya Alpaca it has comparatively short, curly, dense and voluminous fibers.
Alpaca wool is classified as a rare specialty fiber. It is actually the wool derived from the South American 'camelid' species called the Alpaca or Lama Pacos, which inhabit the Andes Mountains of South America. This Alpaca fur, referred to as Alpaca fiber, is much warmer than sheep wool and more luxurious than cashmere! The Alpaca fibers are hand knitted out of hand spun Alpaca fiber, creating these stylish and luxuriously shawls!
CARPINCHO aka CAPYBARA hide
Carpincho (Spanish) it is also also called Capybara (Portuguese)
Carpincho leather is manufactured from the soft hide of the carpincho. The Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, which means ‘water pig’, is also known as and universally called Capybara. The capybara is a South American, semi-aquatic mammal and is very unusual in other parts of the world. It lives only in north of Argentina, some parts of Brazil and Paraguay, with the best specimens being found in Argentina. They live in the marshy swamp grounds and rivers of the Corrientes Province.
The capybara is not an endangered species however it is illegal to kill them in the wild. Argentina strictly regulates this as well as all importing and exporting of any of their byproducts! Each piece is required to be certificated and proven as ‘farm raised’ and only than can a capybara product be processed through the next phase of transport. In fact, Argentina is the only manufacturing exporter in the world of capybara products.
The spots on the carpincho leather are natural hair follicles and any hide marks are part of the animal’s history of growth. Carpincho leather has been compared to the finest leathers in the world such as snake and crocodile. You may find that it reminds you of suede but much more soft and supple. It is very delicate to the touch. however, contrary to what you may think these hides durability surpasses any leather product in today‘s market place. It is actually its softness, durability and characteristic dots that make this leather so exclusive and sought after by connoisseurs of exotic hides, world around.
The Gaucho, were the South America Cowboy. His most prized possession was his knife. His only tool used for everything; from cleaning his horses hooves to settling a disagreement.
Watch VIDEO of making of Gaucho Knives below:
We pride ourselves, as do our leather crafters in Buenos Aires, in producing unique, one of a kind creations, each with their own pattern and personally. No two pieces are exact in production or the same in print or pattern. It is the beauty of the 'lost art' of hand crafted products. Every stage of our crafting is done by hand, from the hand cut patterns adding each finishing touch. Our product lines are not machine made, mass produced or carbon copied, as is common place in most industries around the world. We are proud to bring you our beautiful products, crafted by hand, with the 'old world' traditional techniques and time honored processes, making, The Argentine Collection handbags and accessories, a purchase you will enjoy for a lifetime.