What do you know about how your leather goods are made? Did you know that their tanning is a crucial step to ensure optimal longevity?
Tanning is the chemical operation that allows a hide to become leather.
In fact, tanning exists in different forms: mineral tanning and vegetable tanning. Do you know the difference?
Mineral tanning made with chromium III, a non-toxic substance
The main method of tanning is that of chrome tanning, which concerns 85% of the leathers produced in the world. This method uses chemical chromium, and more precisely chromium III which presents no danger to those who work and wear leather. Chromium VI is the form of chromium that can oxidize from chromium III and it is this chemical that is dangerous to use.
The European Union has imposed restrictions on chromium 6 and the leather we use, being tanned in France, has no chromium VI. Care is taken at all levels of the tanning process to ensure that this chemical will never oxidize after production. The advantage of chrome tanned leather is its stability, the colors vary very little. It also better protects leather against temperature changes and other elements.
It is this tanning that we use for the majority of our creations.
Vegetable tanning made from plant extracts
This form of tanning does not mean that the leather is made from a vegetable base or that the leather is vegan. This tanning method uses extracts from plants, leaves, bark and roots. Although better than chromium in terms of waste, vegetable tanning uses more energy and water and produces a smaller variety of colors. The main plants used for this process are those of chestnut, olive or rhubarb.
It is this type of tanning that we use for our Philanthropy belt!
Research is done to use other metals, such as aluminum, and tests are done to achieve metal-free tanning. The results are not yet satisfactory.
Now that you know a little more about the different types of tanning, what do you think about the pros and cons of each?
Tanning at Phi 1.618
We offer creations in both types of tanning. We source our mineral tanned leathers from the dormant stocks of the major French luxury houses. Thus, we are able to use materials without contributing to the increase in production.
We source our vegetable tanned leather in France. Unfortunately, we have not yet found dormant stocks in this type of tanning and are purchasing "classic" production hides.
Check out our latest product launch, our Philanthropy Belt, which is made with vegetable tanned leather here !