Free shipping on all Domestic Orders
bedstu english
Vegetable Tanning
Close up of rolled up vegetable tanned leathers

Tanning is the process of treating raw leather to prepare it for use. Vegetable tanning is the oldest, most intricate, and most traditional approach to preparing leather for long-term use and durability. This chemical-free process is the safer, organic alternative to chrome tanning, which utilizes harmful chromiums and formaldehydes to get the job done faster.

What is Vegetable Tanning?

In the vegetable tanning process, a hide is soaked in water mixed with tannins extracted from vegetable matter, such as tree bark, leaves, and plants. These tannins help remove moisture from the hide, making it less likely to rot. This process also naturally removes impurities and helps the leather to become durable and hard-wearing.

An Organic Alternative to Chrome Tanning

Only 20% or less of all leather goods on the market utilize vegetable tanned leathers, as the process is much more expensive and time consuming than chrome tanning. Vegetable tanning can take months and utilizes only natural materials, eliminating exposure to the harmful heavy metals and formaldehydes used in chrome tanning.

What are the Benefits?

The vegetable tanning process helps the leather develop a patina, a beautiful color transformation that occurs naturally as it is aged with exposure to oils and other elements of the environment. All materials involved in the process are 100% biodegradable and organic, yielding leather that boasts a natural, earthy smell. It's safer for you, our workers, and our planet.