Take a journey with me and think about your last visit to your favorite luxury leather handbag shop. Like a five star meal where many of your senses are heightened by the texture, smell and sight that only leather can bring about. Touching leather is a sensual experience like no other. Caressing your fingers across leather allows you to feel both the perfections and imperfections of the skin, the cut edges that have been smoothed and tanned to feel baby soft, the texture of the hide that has gone through various processes to prepare for the hands of the artisan. The astonishing smells of leather that trigger powerful memories and bonding us to the earthy, natural smells of Mother Earth; leather consumers LOVE the smell of leather. And finally, the look of leather, just like snowflakes; every hide has its own beautiful distinct shape, pattern, and how it takes dyes.
When we make decisions based on the design elements and colors of our products, our commitment to working with methods that are environmentally friendly is to use more manufactures that have sustainable processes. One area that we have made this commitment has to do with the tanning and dying processes of our leathers. We focus on two methods: purchasing from tanneries and wholesalers that produce vegetable tanned leather; or when doing the dying ourselves, using water based stains and dyes (using one solid color or mixing dyes to obtain a unique look such as our pearl-toned handbags).
Vegetable tanning is an old world process that uses tannin that comes naturally in the bark, branches, leaves and even the fruit of many plants. The raw hides are soaked in large pits for several weeks in increasing concentrations of tannin until the hide becomes leather. Depending on the goal of the tannery, additional dyes or processes are used to alter the colors and textures. With vegetable tanning, the colors have a more natural and organic look and the patina (sheen and darkening produced by age and use) will occur naturally as oppose to the chemical process known as ‘chrome tanning’. Both our processes, vegetable tanning and water based dying are more costly and have a lengthier process, but worth well it to our environmentally conscious-minded clients.
In our quest to satisfy the sensual and elegant experience of our clients, we will continue to strive for the best methods in creating luxurious products. This also includes the important step of selecting the right methods of tanning and sustainable materials that go with the process. (From The BB Archives) #BeauSatchelleBlog