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Luxury leather remnants 2-3 oz. & 5-7 oz. Mixed hides, tanning, printing, and finishes Good condition 15 – 45 $ + shipping for individual hides bulk order discount of 350$ + shipping for all great for small projects email preferred Rachael@heavyleathernyc.com Attn.: Rachael Subject: Luxury Leather Remnants
Hi, I'm new to this forum and part of a startup business that seeks to source and promote premier quality leather goods and craftsmanship to a wider audience. I will post a link to our site in the "new members" group. We want to educate people and help them better understand leather so they'll make informed purchasing decisions ― and we want to improve our own knowledge of leather. Those are the main reasons I am now a member here on Leatherworker. We have just finished an article about vegetable vs chrome tanning. I would be most grateful if some of you experts would spare 5 minutes, read through it and comment on it. If you have suggestions for changes or adding more information to the article, please let me know. Thanks!! Anders -- Tanning leather: Chrome or vegetable? The leather that your bag is made of has been tanned. And no, that doesn’t mean that it has been left in the sun to get a bit of colour. Basically, tanning is the process that converts animal skin to leather. How this process is carried out has a very significant impact on the quality of the bag you hope to use for years to come. Will it soften and acquire a patina over time? Or will it look the same until one day it starts to crack? Once an animal skin has been turned into a hide by being degreased and having all its hair removed, the tanning process can begin. An untreated skin would both harden and putrefy as it is an organic material. So, the aim of the tanning process is to prevent this from happening – to turn the hide into leather. This is something human beings have been doing for a very long time. Some evidence suggests that leather tanning was performed as far back as approximately 6,000 BCE in the Indus Valley – one of the cradles of modern civilization. The basic principle has been the same for all these millennia: To modify the protein called collagen, which the skin is made up of. You can actually get a sense of this protein with the naked eye. Collagen molecules like to first line up and then to twist together into “fibre bundles“, that you can easily see if you look closely enough at quality leather. Look closely and on vegetable tanned leathers you will be able to see the collagen fibres that leather is made up of. What tanning does is leave the skin much less susceptible to hydrolysis – the separating of chemical bonds caused by water – which would otherwise cause its degradation. Tanning modifies the molecular structure of the skin. Vegetable tanning For the vast majority of the past thousands of years this modification has been performed by soaking the skin in a solution made up of vegetable tannins. These tannins would most often come from trees such as oak, chestnut or mimosa, but hundreds of tree types and other plants have been used. In fact, the word ‘tannin’ derives from an old German word for ‘fir’. So ‘tanning’ has nothing to do with colouring as in getting your kit off and letting the sun brown your skin. A tannin is a molecule that bonds easily with proteins and will draw liquids out. If you are a wine drinker, you may have had heated debates over a wine’s ‘tannins’ – the ingredient that makes the wine feel dry in the mouth, sometimes to the extent of making both your tongue and gums feel unpleasantly arid and barren. Just as the tannins in wine come from the skin of the grape, the tannins in trees are found in the bark. When tanning hides to make leather, the hides are soaked in a tanning solution. The tannin molecules will enter the hide and displace the water that is bound in the collagen. The water is drawn out, but as the tannins take the place of the removed water, the leather does not grow inflexible as fully dehydrated leather otherwise would. It may sound easy, but it isn’t. The process is complex and the skins require multiple treatments over a period of up to two months in order for the water molecules to be fully extracted and letting the tannin molecules take their places in just the right way. A lot of work from skilled craftsmen is involved too. Mineral (chromium) tanning The complexity, expense and time involved with tanning with vegetable tannins led to the development of using mineral tanning agents instead. The basic principle is the same, removing water molecules from the collagen and replacing them, but the process is much quicker using chrome which by far is the most popular mineral tanning agent today. The whole process can be automated and finished in a day. The process, however, is far less natural than when using vegetable tannins. It involves first placing the hides in acidic salts to better make the chrome fit in between the collagen molecules – and then returning the hides to a normal pH level. This requires the use of acids and other chemicals as well as the chromium sulphates themselves. All these have a negative environmental impact and the industry is under increasing pressure to “clean up”. As opposed to the vegetable tanned variety, chrome tanned leather can’t be recycled either as it is not truly a natural product. Nevertheless, today no less than about 90% of the world’s leathers are chrome tanned – primarily due to the cost. If you buy wholesale leather, vegetable tanned leathers cost about three times as much as chrome leathers. In general, vegetable tanned leather is considered far superior to chrome leather. Look, feel and smell The cost and environmental impact of chrome and vegetable tanned leathers are not the only differences between the two. There are more visible distinctions too. Vegetable tanned leather Because of the way it is tanned, the colours of vegetable tanned leather will be richer and “deeper” and the leather will appear, as it is, natural. Being an entirely organic material, vegetable tanned leather will change over time. It will grow softer and darker, and will acquire a patina depending on its uses. As it is more durable, vegetable tanned leather will last longer than chromium leather – potentially several lifetimes. Bags that are decades old can be highly sought after items. Vegetable tanned leather scratches fairly easily, but unlike chrome leather, scratches can easily be buffed out. Vegetable tanned leather smells natural – the pleasant, sweet smell you probably associate with leather is the smell of vegetable tanned leather. Chrome tanned leather Chrome tanned leather looks a little as if it has been painted – the fibres of the leather not being allowed to show through the way they do on vegetable tanned leather. It is basically a less natural product. Chrome tanned leather will not develop a patina but will continue to look pretty much like it did when it was purchased. Chrome tanned leather will initially be softer and suppler than vegetable tanned leather but will not age well. Over time it will grow prone to breakage. Chrome tanned leather is more resistant to water, stains and extreme heat. Chrome tanned leather will have a slight chemical smell to it. Sometimes disguised by the producer artificially scenting the leather. HOT TIP Blue chrome The chrome tanning process will turn the hides light blue. As they are subsequently dyed, the blue will no longer be visible on the surface of the finished leather. But the leather will later be cut into the pieces needed to sew, say, a bag, and the edges of these individual cuts will show a blue tint. Most producers will use a special paint to paint the edges, but if you see any trace of blue edges, the leather in your hands has definitely been chrome tanned.
Hi, New member here. I'm co-founder of a relatively new startup that seeks to source and promote the best quality goods from independent producers out there. We are called Waremakers and our site is here: http://www.waremakers.com We also promote goods like ties, socks and stationery, but our key interest is leather products. So we are here to follow the community and learn more. We currently represent a little more than 20 producers, all from either Europe or Japan, but in our first months of operations we have had customers from five continents. Still need Antarctica and Africa to tick all boxes. If you know of a producer that you think would fit on Waremakers, you are very welcome to get in touch. We want to expand and are always on the lookout for the best, genuine producers on the planet. I have just written an article about vegetable vs chrome tanning and have posted it here as a separate topic for comments: http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=63333. You are more than welcome to have a look at it. Thanks ... Looking forward to learning more about leather! Anders (Sarden - an anagram)
Has anyone tried Moore & Giles for leather? Most of their leather is chrome tan. And I'm sure that it's pricey, but probably no more expensive that what some other suppliers charge. They are located in Virginia. I'm curious because their website is impressive, but I can't find any mention of them on this site. I have included their URL. Let me know what you think. Thanks. https://www.mooreandgiles.com/leather/