Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Glove Factory of Naples

A couple of months ago I took a tour of Sim Italian Gloves, which is a leather glove factory in Naples. The factory was founded in 1927 by Luigi Simeone and is still led today by his family. This glove factory distributes its gloves all over the world including brands and stores such as Armani, Nordstrom, and Talbots.

Anna, who gave us our tour, married into the Simeone family and works there when non Italian speakers want to come visit. The factory starts its hand made production from the onset with purchases of raw hides to tan and dye. Every single leather glove is meticulously handcrafted from start to finish. We got a chance to see how the lambskin leather is dyed, dried, pressed, buffed, measured, cut, and sewn, with each step of the process performed by a different family member. It was really quite amazing to see the dedication and handiwork that goes into every single glove.

Anna talking about drying the leather.
The leather after the dying process. Taken from here
Pressing the dyed leather. Taken from here
Typically these gloves sell everywhere else for at least $75-100 a pair, but we were able to buy them straight from the factory for $20-50. We scoured through the many gloves and each pair was more beautiful then the next! And just when you think they don't have your size or there couldn't be any more gloves, Anna would pull more out of the drawers. They also make a limited pair of leather coats and once those are sold they do not make more until the following season.

One of the tables of gloves. Taken from here
One is also able to go back to the factory and make purchases without having a tour, as long as you make an appointment in advance. I went back this week with my friend Sera who was visiting us and Maria, my friend here in Naples. Between the three of us we bought nine pairs of gloves and one leather coat. I'd say it was a pretty productive day! Jon did not go with me the two times I went to the factory, but was very happy when I brought him home a nice pair of brown leather gloves.
Some of our purchases.
Jon's happy!
Ooh la la!

2 comments:

  1. I want to go to the glove factory!! Very interesting and sounds like a lot of fun!!

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  2. When you write a post in the future about your visit to the Naples haberdashery, I think it's time to come home.

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