Leather vegetable tanning: One more step towards a more sustainable world
For a long time, different leather garments have been made from various tailoring techniques. Currently, many people enjoy buying leather garments and outfits, but are often unaware of the production process. That’s why, in a society that increasingly seeks to preserve the environment, the use of less polluting techniques and the use of clean technologies is being widely promoted. Supporting this initiative, in VERA we believe that sustainability is the future, so we use environmentally friendly techniques in our production processes.
But what are the ways of tanning leather that are used in the industry?
Traditionally there are three ways of tanning the skin: smoke tanning, vegetable tanning and chrome tanning, the latter being the most used in the industry. However, chrome tanning uses different products harmful to humans and the environment to obtain a soft and flexible leather suitable for dyeing in multiple colors. It is worth mentioning that 95% of leather products are manufactured from chrome tanning or other chemicals, leaving very little room for vegetable tanning.
So, what is the least polluting tanning process?
Although it isn’t the most used process, vegetable tanning is the least polluting and most eco-friendly in the industry. This is a traditional artisanal method that dates to antiquity, specifically in the time of prehistory. Its process is based on the use of traditional methods and new technologies to obtain quality leather from the use of wooden drums and natural tannins. Natural tannins (powdered or liquid) are obtained from various parts of plants such as woods, barks, fruits, pods and leaves; that’s why this avoids the use of polluting chemicals.
But surely you wonder what is the difference between a garment made from vegetable tanning and a traditional one?
One of the main differences of vegetable tanning garments is that you can appreciate the level of skill that has been applied to their manufacture. This’s because this process seeks to transform raw hides into a material that lasts over time in a sustainable way and respecting the environment. In addition, unlike other tanning methods, the vegetable is the most classic, traditional and natural that currently exists. This allows the product to have features such as comfort, appearance, style, tradition, exclusivity and versatility.
A good example of clothes made from vegetable tanning are the garments we have in VERA such as the 60s Leather Jacket.
what are the advantages of vegetable tanning?
We already mentioned that this process is environmentally friendly and sustainable over time, but it has many more benefits for you and the environment.
- Thanks to its process the final product can be recycled later.
- Being a very old technique and with tradition there are multiple experienced craftsmen who produce these leather garments.
- The garments obtained are unique and have a longer duration thanks to their superior quality.
- The colors produced by this technique are warm tones that look completely natural.
IS IT EASY TO MAKE GARMENTS WITH VEGETABLE TANNING?
Despite its great benefits, working with this method presents certain risks that we consider to deliver the clothes with the quality you are looking for. Some of these difficulties are:
- The average process time can take up to 60 days to produce sole leather.
- Due to the use of iron the leather can be easily stained.
- The colors that can result from vegetable tanning are limited
- Because it works with direct heat the garments can shrink or break if the process is not carried out properly.
However, at VERA we consider that all this arduous process is completely worth it to deliver you a quality product that lasts over time and is friendly to the environment.