Vegetable tanned leather vs leather,organic farms edmonton,food glorious food chorus - You Shoud Know

Author: admin, 12.08.2015. Category: Organic Fertilizer

Once an animal skin has been turned into a hide by being degreased and having all its hair removed, the tanning process can begin.
The basic principle has been the same for all these millennia: To modify the protein called collagen, which the skin is made up of.
Look closely and on vegetable tanned leathers you will be able to see the collagen fibers that leather is made up of. What tanning does is leave the skin much less susceptible to hydrolysis – the separating of chemical bonds caused by water – which would otherwise cause its degradation. For the vast majority of the past thousands of years, this modification has been performed by soaking it in a solution made up of vegetable tannins. The complexity, expense and time involved with tanning with vegetable tannins led, in 1858, to the development of using mineral tanning agents instead. This requires the use of acids and other chemicals as well as the chromium sulphates themselves. Vegetable tanned leathers are generally biodegradable, but the tanning process requires the use of more water and more tanning agents than when chrome tanning.
Today no less than about 90% of the world’s leathers are chrome tanned – partly due to the lower cost, but also because chrome tanned leathers are softer and less susceptible to water stains, making them preferable for clothing, such as jackets and gloves, and upholstery for, say, car seats.
Vegetable tanned leather continues to be associated with tradition and craft, but relatively few tanneries today have the capability to produce vegetable-tanned leather.
These factors like ingredients used in the process, time to produce, and production method all contribute to the final look, feel, and smell of the leather. Just on appearance only, there are significant differences between vegetable-tan and chrome-tan leather. If you’re investing in leather, chances are you’re looking for a unique natural beauty that gets better with age. Vegetable tanning dates back thousands of years and relies on an extended and complex process of soaking animal hides in vegetable tannins. Chromium (chrome) tanning is a relatively new approach, dating back to 1858, as tanneries looked for ways to expedite the process and save money.
Chrome tanning can be used to produce a wide variety of colors from black to bright pink and teal, which makes it the choice for the fashion industry where trends change quickly.
Whatever your finished product may be, using the right materials ensures its long-lasting beauty.


How this process is carried out has a significant impact on the qualities of the bag you hope to use for years to come.
Some evidence suggests that leather tanning was performed as far back as approximately 6,000 BCE in the Indus Valley – one of the cradles of modern civilization. These tannins would most often come from trees such as oak, chestnut or mimosa, but hundreds of tree types and other plants have been used. If you are a red wine drinker, you may have had heated debates over a wine’s ‘tannins’ – the ingredient that makes the wine feel dry in the mouth, sometimes to the extent of making both your tongue and gums feel unpleasantly arid and barren. The tannin molecules will enter the hide and displace the water that is bound in the collagen. The process is complex and the skins require multiple treatments over a period of up to two months in order for the water molecules to be fully extracted and letting the tannin molecules take their places in just the right way. The basic principle is the same, removing water molecules from the collagen and replacing them, but the process is much quicker using chrome which is the most popular mineral tanning agent today. It involves first placing the hides in acidic salts to better make the chrome fit in between the collagen molecules – and then returning the hides to a normal pH level. If not properly managed, these will have a negative environmental impact, and the industry continues to be under pressure to “clean up” as more regulations are introduced. Chrome tanned leathers, on the other hand, cannot be recycled as such, but some companies now extract the chrome out of unused leather and resell the chrome to tanneries where it can be used again. The time and skill involved in its production make it an expensive material, reducing its demand. I talk to tanneries all the time to keep up to date on the latest trends and prices and I just got their most recent price list. When you look very closely at veg tan leather, there are subtle differences in color all throughout the grains of the hide. Can you notice the subtleties and slight differences in color tone that blend together throughout the leather?
If durability is important in your handcrafted leatherworks, look for Vegetable Tanned Leather.
This process can take up to two months, with multiple treatments and highly skilled laborers to ensure the desired quality and appearance.
Chrome tanning, which is currently used for approximately 90% of the leather market, can take as little as two weeks to process and costs considerably less than vegetable tanning as a result.


By contrast, chrome tanning relies on chromium salts and tanning liquors that must be heavily managed and closely monitored to minimize environmental impact. Chrome tanned leather is fairly water-resistant making it best for products that may be subjected to heat or humidity, while vegetable tanned leather is thicker and holds up to more rugged or daily use. Leather that has been chrome processed may fade slightly but otherwise shows little color change over time.
We recommend vegetable tanned leathers, made by our skilled craftsmen for your own handcrafted leatherworks.
So, the aim of the tanning process is to prevent this from happening – to turn the hide into leather.
Collagen molecules like to first line up and then to twist together into “fiber bundles” that you can easily see if you look closely enough at good quality leather. Just as the tannins in wine come from the skin of the grape, so the tannins in trees are found in the bark. The water is drawn out, but as the tannins take the place of the removed water, the leather does not grow inflexible as fully dehydrated leather otherwise would.
The whole process can be automated and finished in a day, and the chrome ions displacing the water and binding with the collagen are much smaller than vegetable tanning molecules.
By comparison, vegetable tanning is known for deepening the natural colors and fibers of the hide.
So ‘tanning’ has nothing to do with coloring as in getting your kit off and letting the sun brown your skin. This generally makes chrome tanned leather thinner and softer than vegetable tanned leather.
This color richness can only be achieved through the vegetable-tanning process which takes our tannery about 4 weeks to complete. After years of use, vegetable tanned leather caramelizes with a beautiful patina that only enhances its rich, natural beauty. It’s an intoxicating smell and one of the bonuses of running a vegetable tanned leather business is that my house and are engulfed in it.



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