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The Artisan’s Guide to Buying & Using Vegetable Tanned Leather

Tanned with tree bark and other organic materials, vegetable-tanned leather is a popular choice of material among artisans, and for good reason. Learn more here.

Basics of Vegetable Tanned Leather

Vegetable-tanned leather, also known as veg tan leather, is one of the most popular types of leather made with animal hides. From wallets to belts, artisans have been creating beautiful leather products with this material for centuries. Although synthetic alternatives have begun to hit the market in recent years, the classic vegetable tanned leather doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

In this article, the leather experts here at Stonestreet Leather will guide you through the basics of working with vegetable-tanned leather so you can begin putting your creative skills to work in no time.

What Is Vegetable Tanned Leather?

This leather is called “vegetable” because the substance used in its tanning process is a natural extract from vegetable sources. The extract is called tannins, and it can be extracted from tara pods, chestnut wood, and more.

The name of the leather might be misleading because of the use of the word “vegetable”, but you should know that this beautiful, unique leather is an authentic leather product.

Why Is Vegetable Tanning So Popular?

What makes vegetable tanning leather a unique and preferred choice among artisans and businesses is that the leather tends to come out thicker and fuller than other material options. Additionally, the natural tannins produce a warm, natural color that’s easy on the eyes, especially when used to fashion a stylish statement item such as a bag.

Vegetable Tanned Leather for Sale

A quick online search will bring up a variety of vegetable tanned leather collections for sale. However, it’s important to only purchase leather from a quality supplier with a favorable reputation.

Many vendors sell this product, but if you want to get durable, long-lasting vegetable tanned leather, your search should end with Stonestreet Leather. Click here to take a look at our selections of durable, trustworthy veg tan leather up for sale and select the ones best suited for your leatherworking project. If you’re unsure which product will best fit your needs, shoot us a quick message in our chat window and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Vegetable Tanned Leather Wholesale

As any business owner knows, purchasing wholesale materials can save a lot of time and money, and the same principle applies when purchasing wholesale leather. 

No matter the scope of your project, buying vegetable-tanned leather at a wholesale price is more affordable and more convenient, and there may be a discount on bulk orders. Whether you need one 12"x12" piece, a full side, or a big wholesale bulk order, Stonestreet Leather has got you covered.

Benefits of Veg Tan Leather 

Vegetable tannin is a form of leather tanning that produces some of the most reliable and luxurious types of leather, and they have some significant benefits:

  • They are not so pliable, making them perfect for products with a lot of give like saddles, wallets, gun holsters, etc.
  • They always retain their original shape and features.
  • Even if they get damaged, they can be repaired and made to look as good as new.
  • Due to their natural components, they are environmentally friendly.
  • They don’t age easily.
  • The tanning is suitable for burnishing.

How to Spot Authentic Veg Tanned Leather

If you want to know if your vegetable tanned leather is original, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. They always have an aromatic, slightly woody scent.
  2. They are not soft after production, but more softness develops after a while.
  3. They have a natural, rich patina that improves with time.

How to Dye Vegetable Tanned Leather

The following are the basic steps on how to dye vegetable-tanned leather. Of course, each enterprise has its own tanning method but these steps can be useful for beginners who want to come out with a fine, dyed leather.

  1.     Get the leather ready. To do this, you'll need to:
  • Keep the room properly ventilated.
  • Put on snug, protective gloves to avoid getting color on your hand.
  • Clean your leather by wiping it gently in little strokes.
  1.     Apply the first base coat to the vegetable-tanned leather in a circular motion. 
  2.     Apply the second body of coat to the leather in a diagonal motion, first to the right side of the leather and then to the left side.
  3.     When the coat is dried, apply a finishing that complements the color and then buff it. This is to prevent the dye from sticking to your clothes when you wear them.
  4.     Enjoy your leather!

Vegetable Tanned Leather Care

Veg tanned leather is meant to be maintained and cared for properly to remain durable and beautiful for years to come. Vegetable-tanned leather is more expensive than regular chrome-tanned leather, but if properly cared for, it lasts a long time. Below, our leather pros have provided some handy tips on how to care for your veg tanned leather properly and why.

How to Care for Vegetable Tanned Leather

  • Avoid getting your veg tanned leather wet. It’s important to be extremely careful during the first month of usage because, after the first month, the leather becomes more resistant to water.
  • Never use the blow-dry method on your veg tanned leather, regardless of how wet it is, and always keep your leather away from heat.
  • Do not clean your leather with brushes that are made with synthetic bristles. Instead, use brushes made with natural bristles like animal hair. They tend to be softer and better suited for leather skin.
  • To keep your natural leather looking fresh, oil it with special leather oils and conditioners. Apply the oil directly on the leather and work it into the grain with your fingers gently. If you use your leather often, you should do this weekly.
  • To keep your wax looking quality, fresh, and clean, wax it occasionally.
  • If you want to dry your leather when it’s wet, do not keep it directly under the sunlight. The texture is quite fine and will incur damage.
  • Store your veg tanned leather in a cool, dry place away from humidity, and make sure you air your leather so that it won’t emit a strong smell.

Veg Tan Leather Supplier

If you are looking for a reliable vegetable tan leather supplier with a variety of premium leather products available, look no further than Stonestreet Leather.

Premium leather made with quality, sustainable animal hide is all we supply, and we have a variety of unique and beautiful leather materials available for purchase, including upholstery leather, belt blanks, leather strips, and more. We do not tarnish our products with dangerous chemical substances and the methods we use to create our products in our tanneries are standard.

Although based solely in the United States, we can deliver anywhere in the world with reasonable delivery fees. 

Our Vegetable Tan Leather Suppliers Are Here to Help

It doesn’t matter what you are method working with; veg-tan leather is always a good choice. To learn more about vegetable tanned leather, check out our blog or reach out to our vegetable tan leather suppliers with any questions. We look forward to being a part of your creative journey!