"Then he began to buy the finest Cordovan leather"
Statue of a cordwainer, Watling Street, London
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeStatue of a cordwainer, Watling Street, London - Credit: Oxyman

Corodovan leather (also known as cordwain) was high-quality leather which came from Cordoba, a city and province in southern Spain, where it  was originally manufactured by the Moors. It was used especially for making shoes, which is why a superior type of  shoemaker came to be known as a cordwainer. Cordwainers were different from cobblers, who merely repaired shoes.  Leather manufactured according to the original methods of the Moors is still known as cordovan or shell cordovan.