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Forty years ago, Ahmed El-Helw fell in love with natural slate. At a Spanish trade show, he watched as skilled craftsmen demonstrated how thinly quality slate can be split and cleaved.
He found it fascinating – so fascinating, in fact, that he’d go on to dedicate the next four decades of his life to the same material.
Ahmed founded Spanish Slate Quarries UK Ltd (SSQ for short), and became the first person to bring the finest quality Spanish slate to homeowners and architects around the UK.
In the beginning, it was far from easy. Ahmed quickly learned that slate, like any natural material, can vary hugely in quality. Even slate from the same country, or the same region, will vary significantly – which meant that if he wanted to offer the best of the best, Ahmed needed to track down a truly outstanding quarry. After commissioning an in-depth geological survey of North West Spain, the country’s natural slate heartland, he found one – Del Carmen.Find out more
SSQ’s Del Carmen slate is hand-picked by architects around the world for its outstanding aesthetics and consistently high quality. Del Carmen has a deep blue-black colour, a distinctive, faintly rippled texture, and attractive longitudinal grain.
Millions of Del Carmen slates have been installed by SSQ customers all over the world – and with quality controllers based practically on site in our Spanish office, our company’s uncompromising commitment to supplying only the best ensures our Del Carmen slate meets the most exacting international standards.Get a free quote
Not long after, SSQ branched into another, equally stunning and prestigious product – Riverstone phyllite. Phyllite exists in a perfect geological sweet spot.
Hundreds of millions of years spent underground have made it hard and strong – even more so than slate. But it’s not so hard that it can’t be split for roofing and other purposes. Its mica flakes, and the tiny crystals on its surface, give it an unmistakable silky appearance – known in the industry as a phyllitic sheen – and its attractive grey-green colour instantly distinguish it from other products on the market.Find out more