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Why are we using it?

Because we love to watch it age, and we can't deny the irresistibility of crafting our contemporary lifestyle products from a material that has a pre-historic heritage.

VEGETABLE-TANNING

is a pre-historic, environmentally-friendly leather making process. It employs only natural tannins, which are extracted from plants and trees. It uses them to transform rawhides into an exquisite leather that is made to last, and to show the natural qualities that come with individual hides, use, and time.This ancient technique, perfected over centuries, is still practiced but has unfortunately become quite rare. It is a complex, time consuming process that requires the use of scarce top quality hides.

 

ITALIAN PERFECTION

We use only top quality leather, produced in Tuscany, Italy, just 25 kilometers outside of Florence.

This area, known for its superb leather, is where the art of vegetable tanning was perfected over centuries.

 

FULL-GRAIN

leather is kept in its natural state. Left untreated, the leather maintains its natural, individual imperfections. It has exceptional fiber strength and durability, and rather than wearing out, it develops a rich patina.

ANILINE LEATHER

is dyed exclusively with soluble dyes, which means its surface is never finished with a top-coat. This process retains the hide's natural surface and touch, exposing the visible scars, pores and the leather's grain.

 

Tannin powder. Tannins are extracted from bark, leaves, fruits and roots of trees and plants.

Most tanneries nowadays use drums, which shortens the 12 month long traditional vegetable tanning process to around 40 days.

The beautiful interior of a 30-year-old wooden tanning drum. Click the image to zoom in and enjoy this beauty.

 

This shoe, made from vegetable-tanned cow hide is older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids!

From the New York Times (June 2010):

“ Perfectly preserved, the shoe, made of cowhide and tanned with oil from a plant or vegetable, is about 5,500 years old; Older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, scientists say. "these were probably quite expensive shoes, made of leather, very high quality," said one of the lead scientists, Gregory Areshian, of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles. ”

SOURCE:
https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/science/10shoe.html
Shoe image courtesy of Boris Gasparian / Institute of Archaeology and Enthography