Recently we presented you Colette, the first Valet de Pique handbag. Our wish for this bag was to use noble materials combined with an exceptional know-how. That's why we used vegetable tanned leather as raw material. Similar to the leather we use for our other products, this one had however the specificity to be thinner and thus adapted to the conception of a handbag.
Let's start with a little reminder of what vegetable tanned leather is
What is tanning?
Tanning is a chemical process that transforms the skin of an animal into leather. This process aims to make the skin more resistant to various factors leading to its deterioration such as heat, retention or abrasion. It allows for more or less flexibility depending on its use.
How is it done?
Everything is said in our article on this subject, but here is a little reminder on the techniques of vegetable tanning.
This technique has evolved little since the Renaissance because to transform a hide into leather, it is necessary to soak it in a solution composed of a vegetable mixture.
This mixture is composed of water, lime and vegetable tannin (found in the bark, leaves, seeds, roots or in the sap of plants).
A real added value to vegetable tanning?
This technique allows above all to see the use of substances potentially harmful to humans. These substances used in chrome tanning can be responsible for certain allergies. The use of vegetable tanning allows a greater respect of the environment because of the use of non-polluting materials and present in abundance in nature.
What are the physical characteristics of leather?
Often adulated by leather lovers, the use of vegetable tanning has many physical specificities.
Vegetable tanned leather has a certain fragility. It can be scratched quite easily. However, a bag made of such quality leather will last you a lifetime! Explanation: the use of this leather leads to the birth of a nice patina over time. A patina of a much better quality than that of chrome tanned leather. Indeed, it is often said that vegetable tanned leather "tans" over the years. Because of this patina, marks and scratches fade and eventually disappear.
This leather is characterized by the presence of the irregularities of the animal's skin. It is almost a desire to maintain these irregularities because they give the leather a soul, they make it alive. Our desire: that each piece is unique!
Many brands adopting a more ecological policy nowadays use vegetable tanned leather. At Valet de Pique we have made this choice because it is a guarantee of quality. It is a firm and solid leather, resistant to the ravages of time, in short a Valet de Pique leather.