Vegetable Tanned Vs. Chrome Tanned

Vegetable Tanned Vs. Chrome Tanned

The age old debate. It's our opinion that Vegetable tanned leather is simply better. 

What is vegetable tanned leather? 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. About 10% of leather produced is Vegetable Tanned. 

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 and the workers that produce the leather. Chrome tanning is linked to numerous health effects, is a known carcinogen and environmental pollutant. That's something we can't get behind.


Why it matters?

Vegetable tanned leather may take longer but with it you get a stronger, more environmentally friendly leather that will patina with time. 

Just because you can't do something faster doesn't make it better. We believe collectively 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 our leather from Wickett & Craig. 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. 

Longevity isn't just about creating durable long lasting products. Inferior leather and raw materials crack, age prematurely then end up in the landfill. Properly cared for Vegetable Tanned leather items can be multi-generational heirlooms handed down and shared. 

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. 





← Older Post Newer Post →


Our First Summer Drop: Cerulean/Bota

Our First Summer Drop: Cerulean/Bota

Cerulean Pre-Order Schedule This one will be a little different, here is what you can expect. Starts 7/1. Each design is limited to 10 spots...

Red Milled

Red Milled

We're so excited to be launching our new Milled Collection. This is a select 6 design collection that will be fully leather lined. Coinciding with...