Vegetable tanning: why it’s the best

When we talk about leather we have to talk about the tanning process and Italy is the world leader in vegetable tanning. Have you ever wondered what vegetable tanning is, what are the differences between the various tanning processes and why we hear so much about vegetable tanning? In this article I will briefly explain the world of vegetable tanning.

la concia al vegetale


What does tanning mean?

Tanning is the treatment to which hides and skins are subjected in order to preserve and work them. Its purpose is to transform the animal’s putrescible skin into a product that is rot-proof, hygienic, breathable and resistant. The chrome tanning process is the most common process today as it is faster and less expensive but has a serious environmental impact. For this reason it is not part of the policy of Florence Leather Market. This is the reason why in our opinion vegetable tanning is the best process.


Vegetable tanning

Vegetable tanning is done through the use of tannins. Tannins used in the vegetable tanning process are natural substances extracted using eco-sustainable methods: for Tara tannin it is sufficient to grind the pods to a powder, while for chestnut or quebracho tannin the wood is chopped into chips which, in contact with hot water, releases the tannin in solution, as if it were an infusion.


Is the vegetable tanning process dangerous for the environment?

The vegetable tanning process is absolutely the most eco-sustainable tanning method.Tannins are vegetable substances, safe for man and the environment; did you know that the waste mud resulting from the tanning process can be easily recovered and transformed into material for the creation of bricks for the building industry. Also objects created from vegetable-tanned leather can last for generations and once their cycle of use is over, they can be easily disposed of and transformed into fertilizers for agriculture.


How can vegetable-tanned leather be distinguished from other materials?

Unfortunately, it is difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish vegetable tanned leather from the chrome one. We suggest using your nose: tanning with tannin permeates the leather with an intense perfume, the unmistakable “smell of leather” that a plastic material certainly does not have and that is scarcely present in other tanning methods.The same difference is also evident in terms of softness and pleasantness to the touch.


With global warming just around the corner, the sustainability of companies is fundamental for the healthy development of the planet and this is why the entire line of Florence Leather Market reflects these parameters. Take a look at our website and be won over by the quality of our products.