Benefits & Qualities of Veg Tan Leather
I believe that the qualities of vegetable tanned leather really add to its function and charm:
A longer life:
Those who buy and use articles made of vegetable tanned leather generally expect a lifetime of use. Sole leather does wear out in time (try and make the first wear in the dry to fully consolidate the sole before getting them wet) but can be affordably and easily replaced. Leather brief cases and handbags are often so long lasting and loved that they pass from generation to generation.
Vegetable tanned leather is always appreciated for its looks, it’s touch and its natural smell. There are other ways to make leather but none offer the rich aroma that vegetable tannins give to the hides and skins.
Retains original features:
Most vegetable tanned leathers have just a waxed, oiled or polished surface and the natural grain surface of the leather, shaped originally by the pattern of the hair or wool remains visible.
Builds character with age :
Since the origins of vegetable tannins are 100% natural vegetable tanned leather does change a little over time and with handling. The way this happens and the effect various depending on the mix of tannins used and on any finish that has been put on the surface. Generally speaking vegetable tanned articles will darken a little in daylight and as long as this is allowed to happen evenly, this is considered to add character.
A rich patina:
Much more important with time and handling is the evolution of the patina of the leather. Any vegetable tanned article that is in everyday use ages in a way that enhances its character and its beauty. That is why we love these articles so much.
It is very rare for the leather to fail, but should there be an issue with a fastening or the stitching, most vegetable tanned items can be fully repaired and made to look like new.
The increasing use of vegetable tanned leather in interiors has identified another less expected benefit which is the acoustic effect of a leather floor, wall or ceiling. In an urban world of glass and aluminium the addition of areas of leather diminishes the harsh movement of sound. Leather in such uses is expensive but more and more public buildings from the Shard through to expensive yachts are featuring leather in desks, elevators, floors, ceilings and walls.
Can be moulded :
Vegetable leather is used here since it is the one type of leather that can be moulded. Historically this was done to make shields and armour, or drinking vessels and jugs. Today modern design skills allow leather to be moulded round doors, table tops and into patterned wall hangings. The 17th century gilt leather wall coverings found in great houses and castles of Europe are forerunners of this skill. No other type of leather can work in this way.
Perfect for crafting:
This makes vegetable tanned leather, or at the minimum vegetable re-tanned leather, the preferred choice for tablet and phone covers. Humanising the modern world of gadgets yet offering what is needed for exquisite contemporary design. Vegetable tanned leather is perfect for craftsmanship because of this ability to accept moulding, embossing and inks. Various finishes can be put on the leather according to end uses.
Perfect for Burnishing:
Some vegetable tanned leathers are given a surface polish to create a burnished effect. The combination of vegetable extracts used in the tanning process with oils and waxes during finishing guarantees a very rich and dark burnish effect.
Besides keeping natural characteristics, having a very good burnish effect and a rich patina, vegetable tanned leathers are perfect for holding the print effect when stamping is required to show a trademark or a print design on the finished articles. Foot breathing The use of vegetable tanned insole and sole leathers provides not only elegance and sophistication to the shoes, but contributes to the health of the feet. Each square centimetre of our foot has 366 sweat glands. As a comparison, our armpit has only 157 glands per square centimetre. A vegetable tanned insole and sole leather eliminates the accumulation of moisture caused by sweat and prevents the proliferation of bacteria, fungus and irritation as well. It does this by having the ability to soak up large amounts of perspiration quickly without feeling damp or wet and then passing the perspiration to the outside where it can evaporate. This keeps the foot dry and comfortable in a way totally impossible with substitute materials.
Eco friendly and healthy :
Due to their natural origins and characteristics, articles made of vegetable tanned leathers do not offer risk to the environment when disposed after a long useful life. In the same way, during use, vegetable tanned leathers do not offer any risk to the health of the users. the are totally safe to wear and to handle.
Whether it’s uses are traditional or ahead of our time, vegetable tanned leather is the friend of the designer and consumer alike.