The roar of the water, the smells, the noise of carts and workers were, from the end of the 18th century, a constant presence on the banks of the Rec d’Igualada
(irrigation channel). And it is here that new tanneries began to be built. The Leather Museum of Igualada and the County of Anoia recalls this industrial past of the city, linked to leather and also to the manufacture of wool. Conceived in 1954, it is one of the first monographic leather museums in Europe
. It also forms part of the Territorial system of the Science and Technology Museum of Catalonia
The two buildings that make up the Museum, the industrial evolution of the Rec area is summarised. The main location is in the Cal Boyer
cotton factory, an example of strong industrial growth at the end of the 19th century. The other, Cal Granotes
, a pre-industrial building (18th century) where traditional vegetable tanning of the leather, particularly of ox and cow, was carried out. It is currently the only tannery museum in Catalonia.
The permanent exhibition is divided into different areas. Particularly notable is the room “L’Home i l’Aigua” (Man and Water) which addresses topics such the role water plays in health, the economic uses of water and the elevation of the water and its transport. It is an innovative museum space where, in the central section, the visitor will find a water channel where they can experiment with various hydraulic devices
In the room "Dels clots als bombos" (From the pits to the drums) the historical development of the tannery trade
is explained: from how the leather was tanned in 1890 (making the connection to Cal Granotes) to the tanning barrels and other machinery that is now powered by electricity.