vegetable tanning

Vegetable Tanning or Chrome Tanning

Chrome tanning or vegetable tanning?

Vegetable tanning or chrome tanning? Here are all the secrets you need to know about this two major leather tanning process.

Definition

“Leather is skin processed through tanning processes that make the material long-lasting.”

What is tanning?

Knowing the difference between vegetable tanning and chrome tanning is important to understand the quality of a product and its origin.

Tanning consists in turning raw animal skins into finished products that are more resistant over time: leather.
The most widespread tanning process involves the use of trivalent chromium, in particular basic chromium sulphate.
These articulated chemical names raise some questions.
Therefore, today, we want to provide an overview of vegetable tanning and chrome tanning, and see which is the best?

Differences between vegetable and chrome tanning

Vegetable tanning

Vegetable tanning is based on the use of raw materials available in nature: tanning agent as tannic substances contained in barks and trees.
Tanneries take pelts from cattle destined for the food industry, not victimising poor animals for the sole purpose of obtaining their skin.Italian tanning tradition is considered the landmark for high-end consumer goods, Italy is the first in the world for this sector.
Our products are handcrafted with the best vegetable tanned leather from Italy.

Pros of vegetable tanning

Leather obtained with this 100% natural process is environment friendly and unique. This tanning process enhances every pelt details creating an exclusive and authentic final result.
We believe that the best trait this leather has is the patina that it develops over time. Matter of fact, vegetable tanned leather gets better and better over time.

Vegetable tanned leather saddlebag

Cons of vegetable tanning

Vegetable tanning can go wrong during the first steps of the process: iron can get in contact with the pelt and spoil the product. In case you are wondering: spoiled leather will not be sold on the market; it will be destined for other purposes.

Leather keychain

Chrome tanning

Chrome tanning, unlike vegetable tanning, uses chrome salts as a tanning agent. Chemicals get fast into leather structure creating a thin and less durable fiore (curious about fiore, click here).

Furthermore, too keep it low cost, vegetable tanned leather is mostly produced in developing countries. Workers are exposed to chrome and other agents that are known to cause respiratory system damages.
On top of that, high quantities of chemical products get dumped in the water with consequent need for purifying treatments

Chrome tanning

Quality and Environment

We chose vegetable tanning. Choosing something 100% natural over something that is dangerous for the environment and for us is something we would do a thousand times over.
At an environmental level it has the same impact as putting sugar in the tank of a motorcycle, it is pure madness!

Conclusion

We are in a world where technology makes our reality go faster and faster; perhaps we should stop every now and then to think about what kind of products we need to use. We should take into consideration technologies that allow us to obtain better products. The difference between these two kind of tanning process shoudl teach us a valuable lesson: purchase something that respects quality, durability and health criteria, rather than a low cost product of poor quality which is also bad for the environment.

Vegetable tanned leather is a legacy to be protected, just like the world we live in.

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