Vegetable tanning is a process of obtaining leather that has been tanned using vegetable oil or fats. The leather will be saturated in fatty oils to make it shiny and darker. This type of tanning is very popular and used by many people as a substitute for the more costly and damaging process of the regular animal tanning process. It is a good alternative if you are looking to obtain a more natural look for your clothes, but you don’t want to deal with all of the health risks that come with getting a tan.
What is Vegetable Tanning?
What is veg tan leather? Well, this is a question that has been bugging consumers for decades. The demand for this type of leather has not subsided but only increased. In fact, it has grown.
Vegetable-tanned leather is referred to as veg-tan because of its natural pigments extracted from the hide of certain animals. It is produced when the hides are tanned by heating them over a fire. Sometimes, it is done by smoking the hides too. This type of leather has its benefits. It can be used for clothing, handbags and many other items that require high quality and durability.
Vegetable Tanning Process & History
Vegetable tanning is a leather tanning process that originates from early 19th century. Vegetable tanning is performed by exposing the hide of various vegetable species like leek, sweet corn, sweet potato, pumpkin, etc to high temperature or direct sunlight. UV rays which are emitted by sunlight are absorbed by the vegetable material thereby giving a brownish cast. This type of tan is considered better than the regular tan since it is healthier, and also because the colors do not fade away as fast as those from regular tans.
Some Facts & Figures
Vegetable tanning is among the major leather producing methods currently in use: about 10% (ten percent) of all whole leather is vegetarian tanning. This process involves applying synthetic vegetable tanning oils to the surface of the animal’s hide, thereby altering the protein composition of the hide to make it more leather-like. The tanning process also removes all the dyes and pigment from the animal’s skin, including any natural oils that protected the animal during life. Tanning creates a strong bond between the animal’s hide and its new leather condition.
Types of Veg Tanned Leather
There are two types of veg tan leather available. Top grain and split grain. Top grain is from top to bottom of the hide. Split grain is from the side to side and is the less expensive of the two. They can be found in many places in the UK, and some are still available in the U.S. Typically they are cheaper in price.
Thickness of Leather
To make sure that you are buying the genuine article, you should ensure that what you get is indeed vegetable-tanned leather. The most important thing to look out for is the thickness. It should be at least one millimeter thick. The best kinds are the ones that are one inch thick or more.
Uses and Products of Veg Tanned Leather
Many companies have started using veg tan leather as a material for making wallets, belts, wallets, and other accessories. These are more environmentally friendly than other materials, so they make good choices for a variety of different consumer products. They are also available in different colors. Horse tack has started to use them as well, but many people prefer the look of the wallets and belts for them everyday needs.
vegetable tanned leather for knife sheath
It is usually made with vegetable tanned leather but there are some producers who use other kinds of animal skin such as pigmented leather from cows. While the thickness is still good, the texture may be different. It is not advisable to buy anything thinner than one millimeter thick.
Vegetable Tanning VS Regular Tanning
The main difference between the vegetable tanning process and the regular one is that the first procedure creates a more uniform color on a bigger scale. The second process makes the leather darker, gets rid of the sheen, and changes the color of the entire surface to that of a darker shade. Thus the surface of the animal becomes homogenous and the leather develops a natural patina. Vegetable leather thus develops a natural patina, which can even last for decades if maintained properly. Different species of animals give different shades and textures to the products depending on their diet, environment and age. Some species of cattle produce a pinkish tint to their products while others produce a black patina.
Vegetable Tanning VS Chrome Tanning
Although there are some disadvantages to using vegetable tanned leather, there are also many advantages. One of the main advantages is that it is a natural alternative to the real thing. Leather is not a natural product, so the manufacturing process removes many of its qualities. But vegetable tanned leather is actually stronger and more flexible than chrome tanned leather, so it is often used for things such as shoes and handbags.
Another advantage to this type of leather is that it has a natural shine to it, which is often missing from chrome tanned products. Many people pay a lot of money for nice leather to use in their homes, but this is a far cheaper alternative. In fact some people argue that the low cost is part of what makes it such an attractive option.
PRO’s and CON’s
- STRONGER & FLEXIBLE
- SHINY LOOK
- NO SYNTHETIC COATING
- ABSORD MOISTURE & OILS
- FADE OVER THE TIME
Is vegetable tanned leather better for the environment?
If you’re thinking about purchasing leather furniture, you may have asked yourself, “Is vegetable tanned leather better for the environment?” Many people do, but you don’t have to be one of them. Of course it’s a good idea to buy environmentally friendly products whenever possible,
Of course, you can always find quality, discounted furniture that is vegetable tanned leather friendly, too. If you shop smart and avoid certain retailers who are just looking to dump harmful chemicals into our water supply or other natural resources, you’ll find yourself with a great deal of discount furniture. But that discount doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a bad product. You just need to be careful and inspect your product before you buy it. These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying fine, quality, recycled furniture.
When you buy veg tan leather or other items made from vegetable-based materials, you can ensure that the colors are consistent. Because they contain no pigments, these products won’t change colors. However, the consistency can vary from brand to brand. Some companies use a chromium concentration which causes a deeper color, while others use a chromium that gives off a lighter shade.