If you have been following the Barneys journey recently, you have probably noticed that we keep banging on about ‘veg tanned leather’. But just what is it? And why are we so excited about our new range of veg tanned jackets? Well, we’ve decided to write a blog post to answer all of your burning questions.
What is Vegetable-Tanned Leather?
Vegetable-tanned leather is a type of leather that is tanned using natural ingredients such as tree bark and plant extracts. This process is time-consuming and requires a lot of skill, but it results in a beautiful and durable leather that is unique and long-lasting.
The process of vegetable tanning involves soaking the hides in large drums filled with a solution of water and natural tannins extracted from plants such as chestnut, mimosa, and quebracho. The hides are then stretched and dried before being finished and polished to create the final product.
Vegetable-tanning has been used for thousands of years, with evidence of the process dating back to ancient Egypt. It was also used extensively throughout the Roman Empire, where leather goods were considered a luxury item and were often adorned with intricate designs and gold leaf.
In the Middle Ages, leather production became a thriving industry, with tanneries located in cities across Europe. However, the process of tanning was often considered dirty and unpleasant, and tanners were relegated to the outskirts of cities and towns.
Despite the challenges, tanners continued to refine and perfect their craft, and by the 19th century, vegetable-tanning had become the dominant method of tanning leather in Europe and America. Today, vegetable-tanned leather is still widely used and appreciated for its unique qualities and traditional production methods.
The Benefits of Vegetable-Tanned Leather
There are many benefits to choosing vegetable-tanned leather over other types of leather or synthetic materials. Here are just a few of the most important advantages:
Durability: Vegetable-tanned leather is incredibly durable and can last for decades with proper care. Unlike synthetic materials, which often wear out or degrade over time, vegetable-tanned leather will only get better with age as it develops a beautiful patina.
Sustainability: Vegetable-tanning is a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly process. The tannins used in the process are extracted from renewable plant sources, and the waste produced during the process is often reused or recycled. Additionally, vegetable-tanned leather is biodegradable and won’t contribute to pollution when it eventually wears out.
Unique Character: Vegetable-tanned leather is unique and one-of-a-kind. Because each hide is different and the tanning process is done by hand, every piece of leather has its own characteristics and beauty. The natural tannins used in the process also give the leather a warm, rich colour that cannot be replicated with synthetic dyes.
At Barneys Originals, we are committed to sustainability and ethical production methods, and we take our responsibility to the environment seriously. As we continue to grow as a company, we recognise the importance of minimising our impact on the planet and supporting sustainable practices in all areas of our business. This includes sourcing materials from renewable sources, reducing waste and carbon emissions, and supporting fair labour practices. We believe that by prioritising sustainability and ethics, we can create high-quality products that are both beautiful and environmentally responsible. We are dedicated to continuing this commitment to sustainability as we grow and expand our product offerings.
Checkout our Veg tanned range here.