MATERIALS + CARE
Leather tanning is the process of transforming an animal hide into leather. Vegetable tanning is ancient tanning process that uses organic materials, tree and vegetable tannins such as bark of Mimosa and Quebracho, to produce minimally processed, extremely durable leather. Vegetable tanning had been the primary tanning method throughout time until the late 19th century when chromium tanning was developed. By the 1970s, 80% to 90% of the leather produced in the world was chromium tanned. Although much faster and less expensive than vegetable tanning, chromium tanning releases heavy metals, chemicals, acids, salts, and toxic substances into the water supply.
Vegetable tanned leather goods become more beautiful with time as they take on evidence of their use and history, acquire character, and become their own unique objects. With sunlight, time, and natural oils from the skin, they become softer and more supple, darken in color, and acquire a beautiful, rich patina. Raw and undyed, they will change most noticeably, going from light tan to a dark caramel color.
Our leather is primarily sourced from a historic, world-renowned Pennsylvania tannery in operation since 1867, one of the last remaining vegetable tanneries in the United States. It is full grain leather with the top surface, its natural grain, and the marks and inconsistencies of each hide still intact. As a minimally processed natural material, each piece of leather is unique.
All of our items are saddle stitched, a traditional leather sewing technique much stronger and more durable than the lock stitch of a sewing machine, with the threads actually being woven back and forth between each piece to create a seam.
Wipe with a lightly dampened cloth. To keep your bag soft, apply a leather conditioner once or twice a year. Try to avoid products with silicon or petroleum derivatives, as they will dry out and break down leather fibers over time. Any product applied to leather will darken it to some degree. Make sure to test any conditioner first in an inconspicuous spot before applying to the entire bag.