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The Vegetable Tanned Leather

Tuscany, region of splendid cities of art, gentle hills, vineyards and farmhouses, has always been a land of culture and tradition, a creative workshop where the border between art and craftsmanship is an imperceptible line. Right here the noble art of vegetable tanning is kept alive, according to the tradition of Medivial and Florentine Renaissance “Arte Minore dei Cuoiai and Galigai”.

Vegetable tanning is a miraculous process, an alchemy of ingredients entrusted to the able hands of tanners, who follow with care and passion the slow process that transforms raw skin in leather; dosing the mixtures of natural tannins extracted from the plants, the good water of the territory and the passage of time.Vegetable leather is an extremely versatile material, soft, flexible and breathable. It is resistant to mechanical stress and external agents such as temperature and various chemical elements.

Known for their antioxidant properties, tannins are used in cosmetics, phytotherapy, oenology, but their most ancient and traditional use is perhaps that related to vegetable tanning of hides. Tannin is a substance found in many types of trees or plants and can be concentrated in the bark, leaves, wood, roots or even fruits. In Tuscany, mainly plant extracts of chestnut, mimosa and quebracho are used. The chestnut tannin is extracted from the trunk of the homonymous plant and is particularly suitable for the tanning of heavy skins, especially for the production of sole leather, because it allows to obtain a compact but flexible leather with a good resistance to water. The mimosa extract gives a rosy color to leather for leather goods, footwear and sole and is often used in combination with other plant extracts. The most common in vegetable tanning is the extract of quebracho, a tree that grows mainly in Argentina. Its color and its naturalness make it an ingredient of the first order; Quebracho tanning means warmth, fragrance, softness and strength.

Vegetable tanning guarantees the absence of heavy metals and toxic substances, harmful to both man and the environment. Once its life cycle is over, a vegetable leather product can be easily disposed of thanks to its chemical and biological characteristics; most of the by-products of leather processing are recovered, adequately treated and reused in other sectors. In addition, leather for the food industry is predominantly used for tanning. No animal is slaughtered directly for the tanning of its skins that, indeed, if not used in the tanning process, would create serious problems of disposal.

The result is a natural leather that never goes out of fashion, it is the luxury of a natural material obtained with a mainly handcrafted and manual processing dedicated to those who seek high quality and a style that is still today distinction and should be customized over time.

Vegetable tanned leather has unique characteristics: it ages, changes, changes its color slightly, withstands the signs of aging and the weather and returns them in the form of scratches and wrinkles. Small veins that may be present on the surface of the skin, or a slight fading of color demonstrate its naturalness, making each skin unique in its kind. Natural and silky, the vegetable skin has unmistakable qualitative characteristics. Thanks to its natural ability to age and change according to the life of the product, vegetable tanned leather lives with those who use it. Products made with cowhide never age, they simply change their appearance: this is due to the reaction created between the sunlight and the tanning substance. These products, even in their aging, are always current. But above all they are personalized because the final result depends on the use that every consumer makes of it. Time supports the naturalness of the raw material. The color change assumed by the leather is linked to the quality of the object as a product and enhances the value of the material used. A shoe, a belt, a bag found in its slow and natural color change, its charm, the exaltation of its identity and its prestige.