In current decades, the leather industry has caused numerous environmental hazards across the planet due to its chemical nature of production. This alarms the scientists to refine both new and old manufacturing practices so that they will mitigate the negative effects on the ecosystem. Then they came up with vegetable tanning - an organic form of tanning the leather that uses a mixture of bark extracts, organic dyes, and fat liquors instead of chromium salts and other metallic-based solutions.
Vegetable Tanning VS Chrome Tanning
Vegetable tanning is not a recent discovery. Since the beginning of civilization, this strategy has been used for countless years.
To speed up the process and reduce costs, tanneries began using chrome (chrome) tanning in 1858, which is a relatively new technique. Utilizing water and tree tannins, vegetable tanning is a natural process. Contrarily, chrome tanning uses tanning liquors and chromium salts, which need to be carefully controlled and managed to minimize any negative environmental effects.
Both vegetable and chrome tanning has advantages in terms of durability. Chrome tanned leather is fairly water-resistant, making it ideal for products that will be exposed to heat or humidity, whereas vegetable tanned leather is thicker and can withstand more rugged or daily use. Vegetable-tanned leather can last for decades if properly cared for.
Chrome tanning can produce a wide range of colors, from black to bright pink and teal, making it an ideal choice for the fashion industry, where trends change frequently. Vegetable tanning, on the other hand, is known for deepening the natural colors and fibers of the hide. Vegetable-tanned leather caramelizes with a beautiful patina over time, enhancing its rich, natural beauty.
Benefits of Veg-tan Leather
One of our goals is to actively contribute to the preservation of nature and to promote responsible hide production, which is why we have selected vegetable tanning as our primary material source. Although this sort of organic leather is created by soaking skins in baths packed with intense tannins for several months, the end product is a hefty substance ideal for producing leather satchels, messenger bags, and totes, and so on. In short, it guarantees you that you can pass it down from generation to generation.
Other benefits and features associated with this type of leather are:
- Thickness and strength
- Feels “alive” to touch
- Scents “earthy”
- Acquires patina with usage
Making Vegetable Tanned Leather Traditionally
Oak bark is taken from trees in the spring and cured for 2-3 years. Later, they are broken down into 2-3 inch bits and chips, which provide the tanner yards with the raw material they require. To remove the tannins, oak bark is combined with cold water. When the tan darkens, the hides are dipped from one pit to the next every week, each one darker than the last. The hides are finished with the greatest concentrations after about three months, stacked like sandwiches, and left in the pit for another 9-12 months.
Yes, working with tree bark tannage is a time-consuming procedure, but the end product is tough leather with great tensile strength. Most importantly, no minerals or heavy metals are required in their production, protecting both people and nature from health and environmental risks.
Vegetable Tanned Leather Bags
We have a huge collection of vegetable-tanned leather bags and accessories for both men and women. We offer everything you need to fit your tastes, whether you want to appear stylish like a pro for your business trips or want to sport a fashionable messenger bag that will turn heads on the street. Our handcrafted briefcases are more than just a reflection of a high-end lifestyle; they can be your legacy, blending craftsmanship and artistry in a way that no one can. Check out our leather items here.