SPEKLAB stands for Burgundian pleasure, true craft, quality and durability straight from the “Green Heart”.
The “SPEKLAB” name consists of a composition of the Dutch words for bacon and laboratory. SPEKLAP with a “p” at the end means slice of bacon in Dutch.
SPEK (bacon) stands for a Burgundian lifestyle and nature in general. Enjoy life, but respecting all that lives or has lived. We strive to keep our products so pure and close to nature as possible. Therefore, the treatment of our leather is 100% organic and without chemical additives, which makes the leather sustainable and biodegradable.
LAB is a laboratory in the creative sense of the word, true craftsmanship and pure quality. All our products are made with pleasure and passion, from only the best material available. As a result, all our products are of high quality and fulfill us with great proud.
SPEKLAB was founded by clothing/shoes designer and barista Marieka Ratsma & marketeer and bartender Erwin Giezen. True Burgundian artisans from the “Green Heart” of the Netherlands with a preference for beautiful designs made from natural and durable materials. They have combined their love for craft, design, coffee, cocktails, beer and good food in SPEKLAB’s high-quality leather aprons.
A true designer with a quirky look at art & design. In addition, she worked as a barista, with a lot of fun for coffee art. She has studied communication and media in The Hague and Fashion Design at the Art Academy in Utrecht. With her biomimicry shoe, she already established her name as a fashion designer at a young age. The by a bird skull inspired shoe could be seen in various magazines and on online media like the Grazia Magazine, Trendland. And in New York at the Shoe Obsession exhibition in the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) There they could be seen among the designs of Alexander McQueen, Manolo Blahnik, Azzedine Alaîa and Givenchy, among others.
A headstrong and ambitious marketeer, craftsman, graphic designer and ex-bartender. By combining his studies in architecture, design and small business and retail management, he considers it possible to make almost everything with his hands what his eyes see. The marketing of beautiful products and services is his great passion.
HONEST & SUSTAINABLE
We want to tell you a so transparent and fair story as possible about the origin of our products and materials we used. The SPEKLAB leather aprons are made of vegetable tanned Nubuck and saddle leather from the Netherlands and Spain. Only then can we fulfill our sustainable mission “Burgundian pleasure, true craft, quality and durability” and express it proudly to you.
Tanning is a way of preserving the cowhide. The leather treatment is 100% organic and without chemical additives, making the leather durable and biodegradable. For tanning, the hides are a few weeks immersed in a bath of leaves and bark of oak, chestnut, mangrove and acacia trees. The chemical (tanning) that she naturally secretes ensures that the proteins in the leather are resistant to bacteria.
Nubuck leather is the most honest, natural, durable and top quality leather. The top layer is sanded, stained and washed. For Nubuck one uses the most beautiful grain leather (upper skin). Therefore, it’s possible that the life of the animal is still found in the skin, in scars of insect bites, thorns and horns, but also the neck wrinkles, coarse pores and pigments. This makes each apron unique and still close to nature.
Saddle leather is made of the thickest pieces of the skin and vegetable tanned. Saddle leather is the strongest leather that exists.
Leather cultivation and vegetable tanning in 6 steps.
The first step in cultivate the leather is to harden the leather by treat it with salt. After that, the leather is ready to be stripped from the flesh and the preparations for vegetable tanning, or preserving the leather.
The skins are soaked in clean water to remove the remaining salt from the hardening.
After the soaking the skins are treated with so-called limestone milk. The purpose of this treatment is to remove keratin proteins and to swell and cleave collagen into the skin. It facilitates the removal of the hair and makes the collagen suitable for tanning.
3 Hair removal:
After plastering, the skin is mechanically stripped of all hair and fat residues.
In this step, the pH of the collagen is brought down so that enzymes can do their work to soften the leather.
The skins are treated again with salt to further reduce the pH of the collagen.
Vegetable tanned leather is a natural, durable product, is biodegradable and does not endanger human and nature.
WHAT DO THESE STRANGE NUMBERS MEAN ON THE BACK OF MY APRON?
On the backside of some SPEKLAB aprons you’ll see mysterious numbers and letters. This code is not a production error and are not the winning numbers from a lottery. They all look different, and yet they are special.
These signs indicate what the dimensions (in m2 or square feet) were of the whole or half skin where your apron was cut out of. And therefore, indicates how big the animal was. Out of respect for everything that lives or has lived. We find this an important issue and means more than anything to us. So if you encounter a code, know that you are a privileged person who has a very special product of a very special animal.