An important aspect of sustainability, in addition to processing, is the material. We pay great attention to the choice of leather. We only use vegetable tanned, full-grain cowhide from tanneries we know in Italy.
Photo from Leather Care Supply
Not all leathers are the same, they are depending on the quality,
divided into classes. The highest quality level is called
"Full-Grain", it is located at the very top right below the fur.
As can be seen in the picture, this layer has the highest fabric
density, which makes it particularly hard wearing and it
stores natural oils and fats longer than theunderlying layers.
"Full" means that the Surface was not sanded, causing the
natural structure of the leather remains visible. Only a few parts
of a skin are suitable for processing as full-grain leather, which
makes using them more expensive and difficult. Full grain
leather is a particularly robust leather that develops a beautiful patina over time and, with proper care, will last for decades.
"Top Grain" leather is similar to "Full Grain" leather, but the surface is slightly sanded to create an uniform look.
This type of leather should not be used making bags or shoes, as sanding reduces the robustness.
"Genuine Leather" is a waste product from high-quality leather goods. Due to the designation as genuine leather, many customers mistakenly consider it to be high quality, but it is by far the lowest quality class.
We only use "full grain" leather for our products!
Photo from La Ruota
Another particularly important point when it comes to choosing leather is the tanning. This not only affects the quality of the leather, but also the environmental impact of its production.
The aim of tanning is to preserve the animal skin and to prevent it from drying out and hardening with the use of tannins.
Vegetable tanning was first used approximately 4000 years ago. The animal skins are repeatedly soaked in natural tannins made from oak, birch, spruce or willow. This type of tanning takes an average of 2-3 months per skin and requires qualified specialists.
In the 19th century a new, faster method was developed that can be used to tan the animal skins in just one day.
In chrome tanning, the tannins are a wide variety of chemicals, mostly chrome salts.
Meanwhile, 90% of the leather worldwide is chrome-tanned.
However, chrome tanning creates toxic waste water which, if not properly disposed , causes enormous environmental damage. These wastewater also damage the health of people who come into contact with it, they attack various organs such as the kidneys, lungs, liver and skin. The chemicals used also remove a large part of the natural oils and fats from the leather and destroy the fibers in the leather, making it brittle and prone to break more easy.
Vegetable-tanned leather, on the other hand, does not harm the environment or the workers who do the tanning. Thanks to this gentle tanning, the natural structure of the leather is preserved, as well as many natural oils and fats, which makes it extremely long-lasting. Vegetable-tanned leather darkens after use and develops a patina that varies depending on the use. No patina is like the other, so everyone gets their own unique piece
We only use vegetable tanned leather for our products!