Types of Leather
'Veg' Tanned Leather
The oldest and most intricate process is vegetable tanning. Vegetable tanning is the traditional method of tanning leather, its method dating back to approximately 6000 BCE. Like the name suggests, veg-tanning is an organic method relying on natural vegetable tannins from bark or other plant tissues. Tannins from trees such as oak, chestnut, or mimosa are popular, but hundreds of tree types and other plants are known to have been used. The process can take months to complete, producing a hard durable leather where more strength is required. Common uses include saddles, bridles, belts and slings.
'Chrome' Tanned Leather
Chrome tanning is significantly faster than vegetable tanning taking only a few days, and it generally produces a supple leather that reacts well to water and keeps its finish throughout its “life”. The method of chrome tanning is responsible for about 80% of all leather production worldwide due to its properties and product efficiency, making it a low-cost way of preparing leather. The leather produced this way is soft to the touch and is very pliable in comparison to veg tanning. Common uses include upholstery, handbags, wallets and many other fashionable items.