April 11, 2022 4 min read

We love flaunting our cool leather jackets. But do we know the little details that go into the manufacturing of our favorite leather jackets? As cliche as it sounds, understanding a product will help you maintain it well, especially in the long run. At ShopperFiesta, we go beyond providing our customers with the best shopping and product experience. We strive to educate jacket lovers on every little detail about leather. While there are several leather types, vegetable tanned leather has been the talk of the town recently. Let's understand what vegetable tanned leather is, and what are its benefits.

What is vegetable tanned leather?

In very simple words, vegetable tanned leather derives its name from the process that leather undergoes during the manufacturing process. During the process of vegetable tanning, a number of natural materials are used while converting the cowhide to leather.

What is the vegetable tanning process?

It all starts at the slaughterhouse, where animals are slaughtered for various purposes such as leather as well as meat production. The term may sound cruel but the job is done by professionals who treat this as a job while ensuring animals are not the end of any form of cruelty while they are kept on farms. Once slaughtered, the meat is taken away and the animal hide is immersed in the required amount of salt or saltwater. The salting of the hide is particularly important. If not done right, there's a very good chance that the animal hide rots away and eventually renders useless. This is because the rotting of the hide tends to destroy the grain, which happens to be the most important part of the material. What happens next? The salted hide is put in the tanning drum and pickled, tanned, pressed, sorted, and dyed with the help of natural materials such as tree bark extracts. If you fancy looking at some of these practices, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that showcase as well as elaborate on the process of vegetable tanned leather.

What does vegetable tanned leather look like?

When the tanning process includes raw materials such as organic and natural tannins derived from the barks, leaves, and branches of trees and plants, it is bound to look excellent. Whether you're looking at color schemes of black leather, beige, brown, yellow, or red, products made from vegetable tanned leather flaunt a rich and luxurious look. You might find inconsistency in terms of color and feel, but that's not a defect. It's a trait of vegetable tanned leather. Vegetable tanned leather also smells different. It's got a woody, nature-like fragrance, thanks to its process that includes zero chemicals.

 Are vegetable tanned leather products good enough in terms of quality?

Very. A lot of hard work goes into the manufacturing of vegetable tanned leather. And that reflects in its quality. Vegetable tanned leather just looks and feels different compared to chemically tanned leather. It might sound like we're stating the obvious but vegetable tanned leather usually has a very good life span. And if handled with care, vegetable tanned leather products can be passed on from one generation to another.

What are the different types of products made from vegetable tanned leather?

Plenty. You are likely to run out of fingers if you count the product types derived from vegetable tanned leather: shoes, wallets, purses, belts, jackets, saddles, and more.

What are the pros of vegetable tanned leather?

Sturdiness. The biggest USP of vegetable tanned leather is its quality thanks to the amount of hard work that goes into its tanning process.

What are the cons of vegetable tanned leather?

To the end customer? None. To the manufacturer? Time. The process of vegetable tanning is very time-consuming. The entire process can take up to two months and requires patience, craftsmanship, and endurance of the highest level. However, this con is a pro too. It might be time-consuming but unlike other tanning processes, it is quite environment-friendly.

Is vegetable tanned leather better than chrome tanned leather?

We think so. While both types have pros and cons, vegetable tanned leather does not use any chemicals in its manufacturing process. It also doesn't harm the environment in comparison to chrome-tanned leather. Vegetable tanned leather might be a bit heavy on your pocket but it's well and truly worth the money.

Care and maintenance tips for vegetable tanned leather

Like any cherished product, vegetable tanned leather needs to be handled with utmost care and expertise. If you handle it well, your vegetable tanned leather items will last for years and years. Ensure you don't spill water, juice, or any form of edibles on the leather. And if you accidentally do, reach out to a professional leather cleaner. Ironing or blow-drying is a strict no. Trying to wash it off with a hairbrush? Don't think of it. You might end up spoiling the leather jacket or leather item in question. The only thing you can practice at home is basic care practices such as gentle oiling or occasional waxing to ensure the leather stays in top form.