The woven intrecciato leather was originally produced by passing strips of leather through a base panel cut with slits, but under Mr Tomas Maier the technique has been refined: now double-sided leather strips are braided by hand, for a stronger weave and finish on both sides. Intrecciato is hand braided at a rate of about one inch per minute and it can take up to two days to make a single bag.
The calf leather is sourced from France or Spain, and is naturally dyed. The leather is treated and finished in Italy, a process that can take several days.
All Bottega Veneta leather products are made in Italy. Two hundred and thirty craftsmen work at the Vicenza workshop, where most production is carried out by hand. The company offers a service where its bags can be sent back to Italy for cleaning and reconditioning.
Bottega Veneta has produced fine leather goods since 1966. The manager of the workshop in Vicenza has been with the firm for over 35 years. Mr Tomas Maier trained at the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris, and ran his successful own label before joining Bottega Veneta.
The durable, heavy-duty zips are engraved with the Bottega Veneta name and are tested several times before the bags leave the workshop. This bag is ideal for carrying a laptop or iPad, as both compartments are padded inside.
Founded in 1966 in Vicenza, Italy, Bottega Veneta translates into English as Venetian atelier, or workshop. Craftsmanship has always been at the heart of the brand, and is a value which is preserved today, with all Bottega Veneta's leather goods made in Italy to exacting standards. Throughout the Sixties and Seventies, the brand became known for being discreet but unmistakably luxurious; it famously eschewed logos, advertising with the slogan 'When Your Own Initials Are Enough', and in the early Eighties produced a short promotional film by Mr Andy Warhol, who was himself a fan of the label.
Since taking over as creative director in 2001, Mr Tomas Maier has continued to promote Bottega Veneta's core values of innovation, quality and craftsmanship, while imbuing the collections with his signature aesthetic, which is unerringly sophisticated and assured. Although the range has grown to include fine clothes, shoes and furniture, leather goods remain the speciality, particularly in the woven intrecciato leather. In 2006, Bottega Veneta opened an artisan school in Italy to train a new generation of craftsmen in the precise art of hand making the products.