Newsletter 04/2022 from Contance, The European Leather Association
European Tanners are modern Alchemists
Some encounters are real experiences; they make us feel good and won’t be forgotten. Among them is the experience of leather. Soft, firm, supple, and strong, leather comes with special sensory properties. It is has an appearance, a smell, a touch, a sound that appeals to our senses.
These sensations, so specific to leather, would not be possible without the transformation of an animal skin into a noble material. Through the tanning process, the skin is transformed into the rot-proof and highly durable material, with many properties we know as leather. This process has always fascinated man. Surrounded by poetry and mystery, it has been the subject of much research so that it could be better understood and improved. This research is the prerogative of tanners, the true alchemists of tanning.
Vegetable tanning was already introduced in our previous Newsletter.
With its characteristic smell, its warm colours that deepen over time and this beautiful ageing effect called “patina”, vegetable-tanned leather embodies the very essence of this age-old material.
In conclusion, there is no competition between the different types of tanning; they offer a range of possibilities underlining the complexity and subtlety of the tanners’ know-how. Giving leather special properties shows the true skills of a tanner!
European tanners are modern alchemists. They know how to mix these tanning and retanning processes to make unique leathers, but also work ethically and responsibly while respecting people and the environment.