The artistic treatment of leather was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula through Arabic culture, with the city of Cordoba being the largest production centre. The cordovan has its origin in the capital of the caliphate of Cordoba.
A cordovan is a piece of goatskin tanned with sumach, a plant rich in tanning tannins, which gave leather greater elasticity and resistance.
The most renowned cordovans were those which were ornamented.
Different techniques – such as tracing, modelling, repoussé, incision, openwork, carving and perforation with iron tools – were used for the elaboration of chairs, chests, trunks, binding and other objects.