Vegetable tanning is a leather manufacturing process based on the use of natural tannins, state-of-the-art machinery and, above all, a slow preservation time.
Tradition and Innovation
Vegetable tanning is an artisanal leather production system, handed down from generation to generation by combining colouring recipes with technological innovation.
The transformation of raw hides into processed leather ready for production is a process that is carried out using wooden drums in order to give a durable and environmentally friendly material with a high quality appearance.
For more information on the subject of tanning and its history, click here.
Method and tools
Among the various types of tanning methods, vegetable tanning is the most classic and traditional one for giving the leather special characteristics such as comfort, look and versatility.
The raw materials used can be found in the form of plant extracts, fruit, wood and powders to make items that are easy to recycle thanks to the sustainable ethos behind them.
Vegetable-tanned leather gives the accessory a unique, warm colouring that resurfaces with use and changes over time for the better.
What are tannins?
Tannins are agents used in the tanning process, obtained in nature from flowers and tree bark. They can be found, as already mentioned, in liquid and powder form to give a touch of uniqueness to the product.
The mechanism that binds the material to the leather is totally different from chrome tanning, because in vegetable tanning the main collagen follows a hydrogen mechanism.
Processing can be subdivided into two production processes, one wet and the other dry: the first processing includes water phases, while the second includes drying and finishing phases.
The water-processing process is a work handed down by tradition when the leather was found in the river to moisten it and prepare it for polishing, depilation, liming and decalcination, fleshing and pickling.
After that, the tanning process begins with a certain period of time inside the drum to grease it with any dyes, then dry the leather and finish it.
Once dried, the leather only needs a few final finishing touches to soften and stretch, then it can be immediately used to make finished products.
Florence Leather Market uses the best tanning mechanisms to guarantee the product an artisanal, healthy, living and ecological appearance.