Vegetable Tanned Leather 28 Days to Beauty
Before the lengthy tanning process even begins, all hides get properly prepped. Prepping the hides is a 2 day process of rehydrating and removing the hair from the hyde. Excess flesh is removed from the hides then they are cut into 2 sides. After the prepping process the hides are ready for the tannins.
Tanneries use different blends of natural tannins in their recipes. Our tannery uses a blend that includes the bark of Mimosa and Quebracho trees. Once the hides arrive to vats, they will spend 2 weeks soaking in the tanning liquor, which is continually replenished and recirculated to guarantee deep, thorough absorption. After the 2 weeks the hides are removed and excess moisture is removed and they are split to desired thickness.
Photo credit Wicket and Craig
At this stage the hide is a blank canvas, and now is the time they become richly colored leather, some will remain natural (the amazing patina of natural leather). The hides are sent to the drums for dyeing. Different shades of dyes are applied in the process. After dying the hides are hot stuffed with conditioning oils and waxes. The english bridle, and harness leather we use for our belts are further hot stuffed. Literally stuffed to the core with nourishing waxes and tallows, for an even deeper concentration of color and greater durability. Dyed and Colored the leather is ready to dry.
During the drying process, the hides are set out to remove any wrinkles before toggle drying. The hides get stretched out and clamped on perforated stainless steeel screens and are air dried in a controlled climate. This process of drying is another 3 days long.
At this stage they are almost ready to be turned into beautiful leather goods
. They are sprayed on more time with more waxes for feel and protection, then with polyurethane for abrasion resitance. Finally they are ironed to smooth and even the surface, then it is ready for shipment to us. About 28 days after the process began.
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