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Tobacconist University
Tobacco College

Tobacco College: Cigar Rolling

 
HAND WRAPPING

While the bunching process defines the rolling technique (i.e., accordion, book, entubado, Lieberman), wrapping the cigar is the most technically challenging part of construction. Wrapping a cigar involves thousands of micro-movements in the hand with each finger twisting and spreading in different directions to keep the leaf taught. All the while, the other hand must roll the cigar at the proper angle with perfect tension. Since the cigar must be aesthetically perfect and consistent, the roller must take great care to not harm or pinch the wrapper leaf. And then, the roller must expertly carve and caress the tobacco to create a finished and polished head. Ultimately, this process is far too intricate to be described in words; only the following videos can help capture the intricacies and skill required to roll a perfect cigar.

It is worth noting that cigar rolling is an ambidextrous art: each wrapper leaf has had the entire stem removed, so each half of the leaf will be used for a seperate cigar. The right side of the leaf is trimmed and rolled right to left, with the veins facing inward and touching the binder. The left side of the leaf is rolled left to right. Intuitively, large leaves are used for larger cigars and smaller leaves are used for smaller cigars. Very large wrapper leaves may often have enough left over to make another cigar. This is useful since wrapper leaf is the most expensive and difficult leaf to produce.

Left to Right Rolling:


Cigar Rolling: Left to Right

Cigar Rolling: Left to Right

Cigar Rolling: Left to Right

Right to Left Rolling:

Cigar Rolling: Right to Left

Cigar Rolling: Right to Left

Cigar Rolling: Right to Left

Figurado Rolling:

Wrapping figurados is even more challenging than parejos (standard cigars). Figurados require even more skill to wrap since they are tapered and shaped differently. In addition, most figurados require an extra step or different technique to finish the head and/or foot. Only the most skilled torcedores (rollers) are able to bunch and wrap figurados: this is why figurados typically cost more than parejos.

The following figurado video illustrates the wrapping technique used on perfectos by master cigar rollers (torcedores) at the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic. When the wrapper leaf is cut to size, both ends are trimmed with a special flag (see next section). The head is molded and wrapped to a perfect point as soon as the wrapper leaf is applied. The foot is left unfinished until the second cigar is wrapped: this is for production efficiency. In order to finish the foot, the torcedor cuts a tear drop shaped piece of tobacco out of the wrapper leaf and weaves that in with the rest of the leaf. After this, the foot is trimmed to length. It is a meticulous and technical process which creates a solid and beautiful cigar.

Cigar Rolling: Figurado

Cigar Rolling: Figurado

Cigar Rolling: Figurado






Certified R&D Tobacconists: United States

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