Who we are
The Perwanger family began tanning leather and skins for farmers and hunters in the heart of the Italian Alps in 1780. Back then, it was common among the locals to take the hides of their own cattle to the tanner. The leather was then taken to the cobbler and the shoes were made to measure. The tanning process in the pits took two years.
Since then, the art of tanning has been handed down from father to son. And the second generation, with Franz Perwanger, was already exporting the leather to Northern Europe to manufacture shoes and to make harnesses for horses and cowbells. Josef Perwanger purchased some obsolete tanning machinery in 1960, and laid the foundation for the industrialisation of the artisan tannery.
Josef Perwanger subsequently met Francesco Delladio, the founder of the brand ‘La Sportiva’. Their shared enthusiasm for the mountain world gave rise to the idea of developing a waterproof mountain boot. A third person appeared on the scene just four years later. This was Georg Plotnikov, a respected German chemist originally from Russia. This inventor helped Josef to make a breakthrough in the development of new technologies for the tanning process. In the early 1970s, Josef Perwanger launched a leather with water-repellent properties on the market.
His son Lorenz developed this leather into the unique ‘Nepal Perwanger’, a leather that is also suitable for the addition of a rubber rand to the boot. The modern mountain boot was born.
Water, energy and sustainability
In 1988, Lorenz Perwanger moved production to the town of Arzignano in Italy to meet the growing demand for this unique leather quality and to respond to the increasing environmental awareness. The decision to relocate to Arzignano was easy, as the production of the natural raw material leather also requires a particularly strong environmental awareness: the most modern sewage treatment plant in Europe was built there at that time. The rise in energy consumption of the modern industrial company was also increasingly provided from renewable energy sources. Today, Perwanger is proud to have increased the share of renewable energies for its electricity consumption to an uncompromising 100%.
Perwanger only produces technical, water-repellent and breathable leather. The excellent properties of the product allow Perwanger leather to be used in demanding sectors, such as high-performance alpine sports, and to also manufacture premium footwear.
But although Perwanger leather is used for toughest applications and extreme sports, aesthetics are also of particular importance. The distinctive and strikingly bright colours and the interesting boot surface designs have now become the hallmark of our leather.
Tradition creates the future
You may wonder if a company with a long tradition would struggle to adapt to the future, but the opposite is true.
At Perwanger, the love of precious leather has been associated with the love of nature for 200 years. For five generations, we have known that product quality can only be achieved through quality in the work process. We carefully consider what we do and how we do it at all times. This is what we now probably call sustainability.
We are convinced that we can use this tradition to produce high-quality leathers for today’s modern consumers, and will continue to develop them in the future.