All About Vegetable Tanned Leather And Leather Bags | High On Leather

All About Vegetable Tanned Leather And Leather Bags

What is one fashion piece that you think is expensive, but you can’t stop getting attracted to? 

And you don’t mind investing at least once in your lifetime? 

Yes, the name is Leather Goods! 

After all, It's a fashionable standard that will never go out of trend.

Well, you must be thinking this blog writer is all bonkers as you see the topic is Veg tanned Leather. Let me come to this in a while.

First, let me show you the intersection between the price and leather products! After all, you need to know the truth.

Yes, apart from procuring the finest leather and detailed craftsmanship, the cost includes a process called Vegetable Tanning.

Vegetable tanning is an artistic expression that has a rich history of perseverance and expertise. Vegetable tanning simply refers to how cowhides are colored. However, it particularly refers to the use of natural ingredients from tannin-rich plant components to endow the leather with a deep tone. 

To organically color the leather, bark components from trees such as the chestnut, quebracho, and mimosa are utilized. This produces a warm, deep texture that highlights the texture of the leather.

What is Vegetable Tanned Leather?

Leather vegetable tanned

Tannage, or the technique of tanning cowhide into leather, is referred to as vegetable-tanned leather. It is referred to as "vegetable" because organic fibers such as tree bark are utilized in the tanning process. Vegetable tanning, often known as veg tan, is one of the earliest tanning techniques known to humankind. It has existed for millennia. However, fewer than 10% of the globe's leather is now tanned in this manner.

Vegetable tanning is distinctive in that it allows us to utilize thicker leather, resulting in greater depth and individuality - ideal for bag manufacturing. Vegetable-tanned leather also ages well and acquires a beautiful sheen over time. And it smells like vintage leather.

How is vegetable tanned leather made?

Vegetable tanned leather cutting

Vegetable-tanned leather is ecologically beneficial because it is a natural process. It differs from the considerably more typical chrome tanning technique in that it is completely free of harmful chemicals.

4 steps are followed to get the perfect Veg TannedLeather

1. Before Tanning

First, the skins must be prepared. As a result, they spend a few days blanching the hides and eliminating the hair. The hide is divided into two halves called sides.

2. Tanning

The divided skins are then placed in huge vats of organic tannin. Tree bark is one of these natural tannins. The skins soak in this tanning solution for a couple of weeks and must be cared to often to achieve full absorbance. The leather is then scraped, the remaining liquid is taken out, and trimmed to the appropriate depth (from the backside).

This is the hard part for vegetable-tanned leather that has not been colored. The hue of the vegetable tan leather is light, almost pink. However, the veg tan leather we use is again colored to provide the vivid shade and texture that distinguishes our leather.

3. Dyeing, Hot Stuffing, Drying

The tanned skins come at this stage as a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with rich color and character. The skins are colored in massive drums that revolve in the air like a wine barrel on steroids.

Our leather is then hot-filled, which is a unique technique that stuffs the leather skin to its core with paraffin and developing applications to give it a deep color and increase its durability.

The skins are then dried and stretched. Staking is a technique that slightly relaxes the leather.

4. Finishing the leather

The skins are treated with paraffin and varnish for preservation at this point. Furthermore, vegetable-tanned leather retains our life's traces. It is extremely sturdy and will last for years. Additionally, because vegetable-tanned leather possesses chemical-biological properties, the object may be simply discarded at the end of its long life. This is long-term, deliberate, and sustainable manufacturing.

The entire procedure is time-consuming and productive, and it can take up to six weeks to finish.

Why vegetable leather over chromium tanned leather?

Vegetable Leather For Bags

While chromium or chrome-tanned leather is less expensive to produce and retains its color for a longer period of time, vegetable-tanned leather has the durability and beauty that only an exquisitely produced product can provide. 

Chrome-tanned leather is frequently coated with acrylic varnish on the borders, leading it to fracture, peel, and break after only a few years. Furthermore, because chromium is a heavy metal, it is extremely hazardous to both the ecosystem and the individuals who work with it.

Vegetable-tanned leather items continue to mellow and acquire a lovely patina as they age due to the long, slow conventional methods used to prepare the hides for vegetable-tanned leather.

Saddles, holsters, belts, wallets, notebook covers, bags, shoes, and handbags manufactured from vegetable-tanned leather will become even more pleasant the longer you wear them. 

Vegetable-tanned leathers' edges are polished or turned, indicating that this leather is built to survive for years. This type of leather is often stiff at first but becomes more flexible with time and wear.

Furthermore, vegetable-tanned leather has a unique “leather” scent, as opposed to the normal chemical odor of chromium-tanned items. The scent is sweet, woody, and opulent.

Also, the natural leather tanning procedure resulted in distinct variances in hue and color.

The natural fibers of the animal's hide are visible, giving to its individuality. A single piece of vegetable-tanned leather is genuinely individual.

Lastly, due to its handcrafted character, vegetable tanning creates some of the strongest, most resilient leathers accessible. 

Because it is less flexible than chromium-tanned leather, it is employed in applications where rigidity is advantageous, including saddlery, holsters, wallets, journals, travelers’ notebooks, and purses. Vegetable-tanned leather is more costly than chrome leather due to the artistic quality of the tanning process. It is typically used for high-end, crafted leather items.

However, it softens and is stretchable over time, so many producers use it to make shoes, purses, belts, and other long-lasting items.

While this technique of tanning consumes a significant amount of water, it does not harm the environment in the same way as chromium-based leather dyeing does. The vegetable tanning method also uses less apparatus and hence less electricity.

Pros And Cons of Vegetable Tanned Leather


  1. Vegetable-tanned leather, which uses only organic tannins, has no detrimental ecological effect
  2. Because the tanning technique is old and involves experienced artisans, vegetable-tanned leather items are more renowned.
  3. Vegetable-tanned leather acquires a deep and attractive patina as a result of the meticulous tanning process and innate tannins, and it really improves with time and usage. Since it does not break or wear out, which has a very finite lifetime.
  4. It has a rustic, organic texture and scent.


  1. Vegetable-tanned leather is originally rigid and must be worn in before it can be fully supple and useful.
  2. Vegetable tanning produces colors that are less vibrant than chromium tanning and darken with time.
  3. Vegetable-tanned leather is much more pricey since it takes 30-60 days to manufacture.


Environmental impact of vegetable leather

The solvent kind and manufacturing duration are the two main elements that separate vegetable tanning from chemical tanning. Vegetable tanning use chemical-free solutions produced from organic sources such as tree bark. 

The procedure can take up to 14 months, but because of the delicate technique, the inherent fibers of the skin are conserved, leading to a more unique, attractive, and long-lasting leather. It also has the wonderful scent and feels of genuine leather.

The chemical-free technique of vegetable tanning is better for the environment and the health of tannery workers since it relies on organic materials and human labor rather than machinery and toxic chemicals used in current procedures. 

Unfortunately, there are few remaining traditional leather tanneries in India today; the long and labor-intensive manufacturing method is expensive, making traditional tanneries hard to compete with, and these ancient skills are rapidly disappearing.

How to take care of vegetable leather products?

Leather cleaning Vegetable Tanned

Our trademark leather is obtained from the cowhide's full-grain section, which has the finest and most resilient texture. As a result, we feel you must allow our leather to circulate.

  • Carefully wipe the outside of your bag with a clean towel soaked in a basic soapy water solution.
  • Kindly do not use chemicals cleaners or conditioners to cleanse your bag as they might degrade the texture of the leather, having a negative effect.
  • If it rains, gently blot off any droplets of water quickly and then allow the bag to air dry away from the direct heat source. Do not put the bag near a heater or try to dry it with a hair drier. It is feasible to hurry the drying process by stuffing the sack with newspapers to retain water.


Why is it the most preferred leather for making leather bags?

Vegetable Tanned Leather Laptop bags

Vegetable-tanned leather matures indefinitely — as you use it, it organically responds to its environment, shining up beautifully and deepening in color.

Most individuals, however, have never tried a full-grain leather product since they are not as prevalent as, for example, synthetic leather or “genuine” leather items. The vast majority of volume leather goods employ top grain – which has the topmost layers smoothed off, lowering sturdiness – or legitimate leather, which is a rapid and inexpensive means of manufacturing leather goods; however, it does not last very long.

All of our premium leather items at High On Leather are manufactured from 100%  full-grain vegetable-tanned leather. Each product is meticulously handmade by the greatest craftspeople, delivering exceptional utility while maintaining a simple appearance that exudes unrivaled beauty and flair.

Checkout some of Vegetable Tanned Leather Bag collection.

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