The value and production process of Italian Vegetable-tanned Leather
What is Vegetable-tanned Leather
Vegetable tanned leather refers to the tannage, or method of tanning the cowhide into leather. It’s called “vegetable” because of the natural materials used in the tanning process like tree bark.
Since vegetable tanning is a natural process, it’s also eco-friendly. Vegetable tanning or veg tan as it’s sometimes called, is one of the oldest methods of tanning known to man. It has literally been around for centuries.
The Process of Vegetable Tanning
Step 1: Pre Tanning
First, the hides have to be prepped. So they spend a couple days rehydrating the hides and removing the hair. The whole hide is cut into two pieces called sides.
Step 2: Tanning
The split hides are then put into large vats filled with natural tannins. Some of these natural tannins include bark of the Mimosa and Quebracho trees. The hides spend a couple of weeks soaking in this tanning liquor and must be frequently tended to in order to ensure full absorption. The hides are then removed, excess moisture is taken out and they are shaved to the desired thickness (from the backside).
For vegetable tanned leather that isn’t dyed, this is nearing the end of the road. That type of veg tan leather has a pale almost pinkish color to it. But the veg tan leather we use if further dyed to create the rich color and character that makes our leather so unique.
Step 3: Dyeing, Fat Liquoring, Drying
The hides are then fat liquored with conditioning oils and waxes. Leather is then hot stuffed, which is a special process that literally stuffs the leather hide to its core with waxes and tallows that give it a rich color and make it more durable.
After that, the hides are dried and staked. Staking is a process that softens up the leather just a bit.
Step 4: Finishing the Leather
In this stage, the hides are sprayed another time with waxes and a sealant for protection. They are then ironed and graded.
The entire process is very time and labor intensive, taking about six weeks to complete. This is significantly longer than chrome-tanned leather, which is the most common tanning method
Therefore, the leather products by Simple Union are made of the high quality vegetable tanned leather. Our leather is vegetable tanned, which means it undergoes a specific tanning process that very few bags on the mass-market today use. It’s the oldest form of leather tanning and has been around for centuries. It is also the most natural and environmentally friendly. Plus, the leather smells amazing. Less than 10% of the world's leather is tanned this way.
The leathers we using are from the Italian vegetable tanned leather association Badalassi, Minerva box and Yankee from U.S.A. The raw hides are tanned using traditional methods, using animal fats and vegetable tannins without addition of any synthetic agents, focussing on 100% nature-friendly materials. The Minerva box leather is naturally wrinkled, and it is one of the best Italian leathers. The Italian vegetable tanned leather is famous for its strict monitoring of the tanners of the Italian Leather Association, controlling the production process of vegetable tannins, promoting environmental protection and avoiding harm to the human body and the environment. Our handcraft knowledge and technology that guarantee high quality of our products in full respect of the environment.
Step 1: 預備過程
Step 2: 製革過程
Step 3: 染色，加脂，乾燥
Step 4: 完成植鞣皮革
因此 Simple Union 製作的皮革製品，採用的是最高品質的植物鞣製，強調產品的品質，柔韌性，舒適與耐用。採用意大利植鞣革協會Badalassi ,Minerva box以及Yankee，生皮採用傳統方法鞣製，使用動物脂肪和植物單寧，不添加任何合成劑，專注於100％天然材料。皮革呈自然摔紋，全植鞣透染、Minerva box是意大利上乘皮料之一。意大利製之植鞣革之所以聞名於世，全因意大利皮革公會對旗下製革商嚴密監控，控制植鞣的製作過程，提倡環保，避免對人體及環境有害 ; 以保存傳統的植鞣製作，並帶出高質素的皮革素材。我們的手工藝知識和技術，確保我們的產品在尊重環境的同時，保證高品質。
短片來源: 意大利公會 Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetale - Consorzio
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