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Vegetable Tanned Leather (1)

So, how well do you really know your daily companion? All bags have their own story, but chances are you may not know much other than the brand & price of your recently purchased bag. Looking deeper can tell you a little more about its story, like where it was made and what it is made from. This actually is the first step to understanding the quality of your bag.

If you own an authentic leather bag (or even jacket or footwear), you may be familiar with vegetable-tanned leather. The ancient process has been passed down over the years using both traditional recipes and state-of-the-art technology. Produced using tannins extracted from plants and different vegetable matter, such as tree bark, wood, leaves, fruit and roots, it is supple and brown in colour, with the exact shade depending on the mix of chemicals and the colour of the skin. It is the only form of leather suitable for use in leather carving or stamping, and therefore the only form of leather used for decorating, which makes it perfect for long-lasting bags. 

Leather tanning is without a doubt one of the oldest human activities, dating all the way back to prehistoric times. In the beginning, skins obtained from hunting and livestock breeding could be used for clothing or tents, but they became stiff at low temperatures, and would rot from heat exposure.  It was attempts made to render them more flexible and stronger that brought the introduction of various types of vegetable tanning methods. In historic times, the Hebrews tanned with oak bark, Egyptians with babul pods, Romans used bark, certain woods, as well as berries. The Arabs tanned with bark and roots, and in the Middle Ages they reintroduced the art into Europe via Moorish invasion. 

Vegetable tanning is the most environmentally friendly way to tan leather. Unlike other forms of tanning, there are no chemicals used; only natural, friendly-materials and the slow passing of time. 

BagWise.Com stock a variety of bags made from vegetable-tanned leather. Just take a look at   aunts&uncles and you’ll notice the material instantly. Designed in Germany, aunts&uncles bags are made from natural vegetable tanned leather in an array of vibrant and vintage colours. Stay tuned for the launch of their brand new collection Grandma’s Luxury Club which will be in stock on our website soon. In our wallet collection, you will see Bellroy from Australia following suit. With natural colours and smooth surfaces, the daily wallets and travel companions from Bellroy do a great job.