At Valet de Pique, why do we use smooth leather?
You have surely noticed that our products are exclusively made of smooth full-grain cowhide leather . Why did we make this choice? At Valet de Pique we defend a vision which is: no one is perfect, you have to assume and accept to have qualities as well as faults. It's exactly the same for our products.
Naturally, the leather has a rather smooth appearance. It is during leather making and tanning that the grain is created by the tanner. Grained leather was invented to hide flaws and imperfections in the skin. Hiding imperfections, to make people believe in perfect, flawless skin, is not what we are looking for. We have therefore chosen to use only smooth leather to leave it as natural as possible, with the veins of the leather and sometimes some scars. Leather is a noble and living material, we want to preserve it and use it in the best possible way with the most beautiful aspect that a skin can offer.
In the end, it's a fight that we lead to make people accept that nothing is perfect. At a time when everyone is trying to show that their life is perfect and that everyone is perfect too, especially via social networks, we are fighting to prove that nothing is perfect and that there are flaws everywhere. The goal is not to hide them but to find them normal, to learn to love them and to advocate the natural to the perfect manufactured.
Keeping a smooth leather rather than making a grained leather also makes it possible to keep a leather thick and durable over time since it is less thinned and handled during its tanning.
What about vegetable tanning?
Another fight we are leading is vegetable tanning . It is not the most widespread tanning and it is not the least expensive either, but it is the one that pollutes the least, and preserves the health of our craftsmen and yours the most. This is already a good argument to justify the use of this technique. In fact, tanning is the step that makes it possible to make a leather skin, the material that we will use to create all kinds of products. Chlorine (or mineral) tanning uses toxic substances for people working in contact with this same leather and is extremely harmful and polluting the planet. We want to avoid this at all costs and therefore use vegetable tanning which, unlike chlorine tanning, only uses natural, harmless and much less polluting substances. Our craftsmen and you are therefore very safe with our products and the planet is not affected by the production of our leather either.
In addition, vegetable tanned leather will continue to live and evolve over time. That is to say, it will acquire a patina, its color will change over time and it will soften. Your product is therefore unique and no one is exactly the same. Vegetable tanning therefore allows us to manufacture quality leather that is alive, durable, non-harmful and non-polluting for the planet.
Chlorine tanning is used the most, costs less, and is faster. Despite this, we prefer to choose vegetable tanning which allows us to have a more ethical manufacturing that corresponds to our values and our vision for a better future.