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The Natural Color of Leather

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Although different qualities of leather have different shades of brown, according to the mix of the materials used for tanning it. The natural colour of leather is brown. Vegetable-tanned leather is tanned using tannins and other ingredients found in different vegetable matter, such as tree bark prepared in bark mills, wood, leaves, fruits and roots and other similar sources. It is supple and brown in colour, with the exact shade depending on the mix of chemicals and the colour of the skin. It is the only form of leather suitable for use in leather carving or stamping. Vegetable-tanned leather is not stable in water; it tends to discolour, so if left to soak and then dry it will shrink and become less supple, and harder. In hot water, it will shrink drastically and partly congeal, becoming rigid and eventually brittle. Boiled leather is an example of this, where the leather has been hardened by being immersed in hot water, or in boiled wax or similar substances. This is the ancient, traditional method of tanning leather. We went for pure and clean, a product of nature.

We love vegetable tanned leather because to us it is the most pure expression of what leather is. One of our favourite features of vegetable tanned leather is that over time it will develop a rich patina. This means that the more you use our products, the more custom to you they get! If you leave them in strong sunlight or get skin oils (or other oils) on them, the colour will deepen and darken. We love honesty in our materials.

Know this when you encounter leather items that seem ‘affordable’: most leather used commercially is NOT vegetable tanned leather, precisely because it is so expensive. Usually what you’re seeing is chrome-tanned leather. Chrome-tanned leather is dangerous and toxic to produce-- and then consider that we put that right over the skin of us! That is why we did the only logical thing: used vegetable tanned leather in ALL parts of our product.

Many commercial leathers are processed so heavily that their beautiful surfaces end up covered with paints or plastic treatments. Different tannins result in different colours, the colour of our leather is actually just natural colouring from organic matter like tree bark tannins and they are finished with a basic wax. With industrial design as our background, we are huge fans of letting materials speak for themselves: enhance the vegetable tanned leather in the most natural state possible.

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