Vegetable Tanned Leather - Beautiful & Sustainable
We are very picky about the leather we use. We settle for nothing but the best full grain leather. Currently, all leather we source is from a small tannery in Italy specializing in producing vegetable tanned leather. With a little bit of care, our leather can last a lifetime.
Our wallets are made using full grain leather that is 1 - 1.2 mm thick.
This leather gets a wonderful patina with day to day use, getting smoother and glossier with everyday handling. It also darkens with exposure to sunlight.
Not only is vegetable tanned leather the most durable leather, it is also 100% biodegradable and non-toxic.
Full Disclosure - Always
We are completely transparent about our materials and methods. We believe you have a right to know exactly what goes into making each product. You will find the details about the leather used for that product listed in the product description section.
We use different leathers best suited to the particular product design. All of them are vegetable tanned, and sourced from reputed tanneries that can work within our specification. Currently, we source from Italy, the United States and India.
Full grain leather is the best type of leather money can buy. It includes the most sought after topmost layer of the hide with natural markings and striations. This is the crème de la crème of leathers. Every product made from this leather will tell its own story over time and age with a personality as unique and distinctive as you are.
Top grain leather is considered to be the next best in terms of durability. It also opens up a world of possibilities in terms of textures and patterns made on the leather. The surface of full grain leather is lightly sanded, and imprinted with the desired texture. For example, our crocodile print leather and red leather (used in the bags) is made using top-grain cowhide.
What is Vegetable Tanning?
Vegetable tanning is a method for tanning leather using plant sources such as tree bark. It produces leather that is firm, durable and full of character. Leather made using this process acquires a wonderful patina and gets better with as it ages.
Very few tanneries in the world make leather using this tanning technique It is a long, slow process that takes four to six weeks from start to end by some highly experienced and specializes tanners. It is a traditional tanning process dating back to more than 5000 years, and passed down from one generation to the next. Less than 10% leather goods worldwide are made using vegetable-tanned full grain leather.
With the invention of chrome tanning process, vegetable tanning has fallen out of favor as chrome tanning produces leather in a couple of days from raw hides. Yet, vegetable tanned leather is far superior in quality, and also a sustainable leather since it is 100% biodegradable and does not use chromium salts during processing.
Top grain vs Full grain leather: Which is better?
For die-hard leather aficionados, this point is of special interest. Full grain leather is considered superior to top grain leather in many ways. It is stronger, hence more durable.
Most leather goods made using 'grain' leather - they use top grain leather. Full grain leather is in short supply. The best hides - those that have minimal surface imperfections - are used to make full grain leather. Which is why full grain leathers are not coated with any pigments (i.e. they are aniline dyed) to show the natural markings on the leather the way they are.
These leathers get a beautiful patina with everyday use. For such aniline dyed leathers, you can see the pores in the grain if you look closely or using a magnifying glass.
Top grain leathers on the other hand are made by sanding and buffing the top layer of full grain leather. It is usually covered using an acrylic coating since there is not much grain left to see or another pattern is heat embossed onto it. If coated, it is less prone to absorb moisture or oils and retains it look over time, and usually does not darken with age.
A product that sees extreme stress and wear & tear, such as a leather bag or leather wallet will last longer if made with full grain leather or lightly sanded top grain leather. However, if leather is being used simply as an embellishment in a bag (adding cosmetic beauty), ordinary grain leather will last just as long.