February 20, 2022
Veg tan versus Chrome tanning
Tanning is an integral part of the process in transforming leather into a material for everyday use, taking out the water and preserving the leather.
There are basically two ways to go about this, either Veg or Chrome Tanning. They both achieve the goal of making the leather usable but actually have very different effects both on the leather itself, and on the environment.
We feel it is vital for the producers of leather goods, and also the customer, to know the distinction between the two in order to make informed choices about the products we make and buy.
This is the quickest and most inexpensive way to treat leather, and was introduced in the late 19th century. Chrome tanning bathes the hide in huge vats of chemicals - chromium sulfate amongst others. These chemicals break down the hide, making it soft and malleable. In advance of the chemical bath the skin is often sliced in two so it is thinner, the bottom half often being utilised for suede products.
Aside from the cost, the other plus point of chrome tanned products is that it can produce brighter colours and leathers that are more resistant to stains and wear and tear. However, this comes at the price of using toxic heavy metals that can end up in waste-water if not managed well. These chemicals are so toxic that they can cause damage to our eyes, skin, liver and kidneys.
Veg tanning has been around for a very long time - there is evidence that the ancient Egyptians used it, as it utilises tannins derived from natural vegetation (hence the name Veg Tan).
The process can take a lot longer than Chrome Tanning, many months in some instances, making it a much more expensive process. The dye colour is more sensitive, less intense than in chrome tanning, and the leather is less resistant to staining as it is naturally treated.
Whilst Chrome tanned leather has more resistance to stains, water and heat, it is mass produced and places a burden on the environment. The leather becomes brittle over time and can crack.
Veg tanned leather, on the other hand, ages naturally and lasts longer. Colours can darken and change, and this process should be embraced. Your leather shoes are a timeless product to be worn and loved.
We believe that any surface marks are all part of the leather's charm and natural patina. Veg tan maintains its natural oils and these marks can be rubbed out with a bit of pressure from your finger. With a commitment to environmental sustainability and wellbeing, for us it's a no-brainer.
We're delighted with our new Veg tanned Magritte Bubblegum
What a colour, who needs brighter than this?
May 27, 2023
A Visit to Charleston
Charleston was home to Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, renowned for their paintings and design work, and original thinking in all aspects of everyday life.
The house is famed for its decor - hand painted from top to bottom by the artists, who beautifully designed each others bedrooms. It is such a unique place, and you can tell it was done for their own enjoyment and use - rather than being about impressing others.
May 19, 2023
New Additions to Marylebone Lane
Having spent 20 years on Marylebone Lane, we've built up a kind of neighbourhood family, so it's with great pleasure that we welcome new additions to the area.
May 16, 2023
Clerkenwell Design Week 23-25 May
Interesting fact: Clerkenwell is home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world! So it is no surprise that Clerkenwell design week is London's leading design event.
From emerging brands to the long-established - the best of the best will be on show, for all your interior design needs and curiosities.
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