Natural vegetable tanned full grain leather
We use only the best leather for our goods. After a long journey through different suppliers we finally found a renowned tannery near Barcelona in Igualada, which produces for us exactly the leather we want for our products.
We use natural first graded full grain vegetable tanned leather. If you don’t come out of the leather industry, that might not tell you much, so in the following we explain the differences, and why this leather is so outstanding:
The difference between chrome and vegetable tanned leather
Chrome tanned leather
The process to tan leather with chromium salts was invented in 1858. With this method it was possible for the first time to produce leather within days not months. Since then, the pressure in the fashion industry to produce cheaper and faster, lead to the complete dominance of the market with 85% today. The short production time make this leather the choice of nowadays fast fashion companies.
The excessive use of chromium salts represents an issue for the environment, especially in regions with less restrictive ecological care. Furthermore, even the skin contact can be harmful, if the process is not monitored properly.
After the tanning process, the leather comes out with a light blue and pale colour. For the final product, the skins are usually dyed from both sides. You can identify chrome tanned leather with this blue layer in between and an intensive chemical smell. In comparison to vegetable tanned leather they do feel more like an artificial plastic product.
Chrome tanned leathers are usually lighter, weaker and break easier than vegetable tanned leathers. They are less reactive to the environment like humidity, sun and liquids. So that products made with chrome tanned leathers do not get the rich patina leather is known for.
Vegetable tanned leather
Vegetable tanned leathers are being produced in big wooden drums and only natural ingredients. This process was refined over thousands of years to get the best out of the hides. Though it takes up to 4-8 weeks to finish. Therefore, this leathers are way more expensive than chrome tanned leathers. Only a fraction of todays leather products is made out of this leather type. The leather comes out of the tanning drum in a natural colour, like the human skin. Vegetable tanned leathers usually only have a very subtle natural smell. These leathers behave very natural and change their look with exposure to sun and liquids. They develop a natural rich patina over time. They are more resistant and stronger than chrome tanned products.
The layers of the hides
Leather is a relatively thick material, which can be split in multiple layers to increase profit.
Full grain leather
This is the top layer of the skin. It is the strongest and most flexible part of the skin. The natural appearance of the leather is visible. So you can spot the pores, veins and even small bites from insects on it. The surface is a bit more porous than the other layers and develop a nice patina quickly. This part of the leather is the most exclusive you can purchase.
For the top grain leather, the very first layer is being removed. This leaves the leather still with a sufficient strength but often the missing grain have to be plated artificially afterwards. This part is not as strong and durable as the full grain leather, but is still an considerable option. It is mostly used to create a more homogenous look.
This is the part of the leather, when the whole top layer has been removed. It doesn’t have any grain at all and is very fragile. There are cases, when the use of this layer is possible, for an example as a lining, when it is not exposed to stress. The stamp genuine leather can be found very often on fast fashion products, but should be seen as a sign of poor quality.
Like particle board shouldn’t be really considered as wood, this is an artificial product of scraps of leather bonded together, eventually stamped with a grain plate and finally sprayed with colour.
We are using only first graded scaled skins for our products. The tanneries grade the quality of the skins, like stretch marks, bites, injuries with a scale from 1-4, while 1 is the best quality possible.
Our tannery uses only cow hides from local farms for our goods. By that we can be sure, that European standards are being respected. The skins are a by product of the meat production.
Our Tannery in Igualada looks back at a long history of producing leathers for the most exclusive brands in the fashion industry. Their knowledge and craftsmanship convinced us to work together with them. Choosing a local producer ensures us the production in accordance to European standards. The close distance helps us to maintain a trustful relationship.