Vegetable tanning

Everything you need to know about vegetable tanning

14 / 07 / 2020

Content posted by: Newsletter 2/2020 of Leather Spain

Vegetable tanning is expanding its space in market every day. Vegetable tanned leather is a skin treated with tanning agents of certain barks, fruits or leaves that transform the skin into a durable material with many interesting properties. And new formulas have appeared, such as grape seeds, olive and rhubarb leaves, all very effective.

This process allows to obtain firm, highly abrasion-resistant, technical and hypoallergenic leather. They also have antibacterial properties and are breathable, with good absorption and removal of moisture. With its characteristic scent, warm tones that darken over time, and “ability to age well,” vegetable tanning skin embodies the essence of this material.

Vegetable tanned leather can be called “vegetable leather” for convenience and some have taken advantage of this fact to reach a new audience because of the upward trend of veganism. However, the confusion between “vegetable leather” and “vegan leather” was quickly pointed out as inappropriate. In fact, “vegan leather” does not exist and it is more appropriate to talk about vegan materials, whether they are petroleum, synthetic or plant-based.

Some European countries have decrees and regulations on the use of the term leather and / or the labeling of leather goods (France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Greece or Estonia). However, only footwear enjoys uniform labeling legislation in the EU, but even this does not preclude misleading descriptions and fraudulent promotional or marketing practices that affect the term leather.

There are still no specifications for other leather products, applicable at European level to protect the leather from deceptive oxymorons in which the word leather is associated with pineapple, mushroom, etc. Together with COTANCE, the organizations of the leather industry of Europe are working to achieve the protection of the term leather within the European Union.

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