2017 saw many big changes to Marlondo Leather's product line. We added water buffalo leather options and upgraded our leather from full grain chrome tanned leather to full grain vegetable tanned cowhide. Vegetable tanned cowhide (often abbreviated as veg-tan) has been produced for thousands and thousands of years. Turning animal skins into leather requires the use of tannins to remove moisture and prevent the skins from decaying. Tannins are naturally occurring compounds found in tree bark, leaves, and other plant material. Hides are soaked in this tanning solution for over a month, producing a strong, thick leather known for its durability, rich tone, and earthy smell.
Vegetable tanned leather is beloved for its ability to gain a rich, unique patina. It can be stiff and inflexible at first, but with time and use it will soften and gain a darker and more complex color. Due to the amount of time and care that is required to produce veg-tan leather, it is more expensive than other types of leather, but it is well worth the price for its strength and durability.
Tips for Maintaining Veg-Tan Leather
- Veg-tan leather can dry out if exposed to too much heat or light. Condition your veg-tan leather bag on an annual basis, or quarterly if your bag is exposed to the elements frequently. If your leather is beginning to feel dry or hard, or developing superficial cracks or ridges, condition it to avoid permanent damage. Marlondo Leather's all natural conditioner is made with natural oils and beeswax-- a great choice for keeping your veg-tan leather hydrated and nourished. Apply a light coat of conditioner with a soft cloth, and use another clean cloth to wipe off any excess conditioner after soaking for several minutes. Be aware that your bag will appear darker for the first few hours after conditioning.
- Vegetable tanned leather is not scratch-resistant, but small scratches on veg-tan leather will often buff out with a horsehair brush, buffing cloth, or even a sock if need be.
- Cleaning your veg-tan leather is very easy! Simply use a lightly damp cloth to wipe down the bag.
Vegetable tanned leather is a beautiful, environmentally friendly leather that will last a lifetime, and probably more. Investing in and caring for your vegetable tanned leather bag will ensure that it continues to develop an attractive and unique patina. It will be a dependable companion on life's adventures for many years to come. Our most popular vegetable tanned leather bag include our Leather Backpack, Postal Messenger Bag, Classic Briefcase, Wing Briefcase, Thin Briefcase, and more!