The age old debate. It's our opinion that Vegetable tanned leather is simply better.
What's the difference?
Veg Tanned Leather is tanned using tannins (tannin are also found in grape skin and give wine its luscious color) extracted from vegetable matter, such as tree bark prepared in bark mills. It is supple and brown in color, with the exact shade depending on the mix of materials and the color of the skin. This process can take up to 8 weeks to complete and it's well worth the wait. Fun fact: Our namesake comes from this process. The Hemlock Tree is a traditional bark used to dye leather. Veg Tanned Leather is steeped in tradition we've been doing it for thousands of years! It also keeps that wonderful leather smell.
Chrome tanning uses a solution of chemicals, acids and salts (including chromium sulphate) to dye the hide. It's a very quick process, taking about a day to produce a piece of tanned leather. Faster is not always better. Chrome tanned leather is softer and weaker than its vegetable tanned cousin. 80-90% of all leather products use Chrome tanned methods. It's cheaper, quick and is more harmful to the environment. That's something we can't get behind.
Why does it matter?
Just because you can't do something faster doesn't make it better. We believe that in our recent society we are all too focused on doing things too quickly. We think that we don't spend enough time slowing down, enjoying our food, our friends, and family. Keeping a natural pace allows you to reflect and be grateful for what/who is around you and this is so important to us.
We value each hide that comes into our shop. As a result we try to reduce waste at every turn and never forget each hide of leather came from an animal. It's beautiful, unique and worth celebrating. We aren't mass producing anything. Each piece is made just for you. You place your order, we get to work handcrafting. This allows us to have a smaller impact on our environmental footprint. We don't have a warehouse full of inventory that will never sell.
We source the majority of our leather from one place. Wickett & Craig. The exception being our vintage products of donated and repurposed leather. We researched long and hard before deciding on a leather supplier; we feel the leather speaks for itself. After trying a number of companies both foreign and domestic we kept coming back to them. It just so happens they are based in our home state of Pennsylvania and it is one of the few Vegetable tanneries left in the United States. We can't say enough about how much we love this leather. Follow the links below to learn more about their time honored process and their company. We use their English bridle leather exclusively.
You are supporting a small business and family. We can't express enough how grateful we were able to create this business and it's all because of you.