The tanning process
Leather is tanned skin that has been treated to preserve its natural strength and elasticity.
The finished, treated material that we call leather has a natural ability to breath, and the extraordinary property to age with beauty. Within the fashion industry, leather is one of the few materials for which aroma is an essential part of the quality experience. We use three methods in our tanneries:
This is the oldest tanning method and the most natural way to manufacture leather. The main advantage of vegetable tanning is that its environmental impact is lower than that of other methods. The tannins used for tanning are primarily extracted from chestnut trees and Argentinean quebracho trees. A disadvantage with this method is that clear, bright colors cannot be achieved, only deeper, warmer tones.
Performed with metal (aluminum, zinc, iron, and titanium) but not with chromium. Aluminum whitens hide, which is why synthetically tanned leather is also called wet white. That said, the results are similar to those of chromium-tanned leather.
The most common tanning method worldwide, it is performed with chromium salts. The speed and cost effectiveness of this process are several of its advantages. Another benefit is its result, specifically a soft, stretchable, water-resistant leather that absorbs dye better than following other tanning methods, thus permitting the use of more colors. With the correct precautions, the chromium used in our tanneries is safe for employees to work with. Its incineration, however, has negative effects on the environment, which places demands on waste management – an area we’re improving continually as we work together with our suppliers.