What is vegetable tanned leather?

All pieces at Celery The Label are made with full grain vegetable tanned leather. Vegetable tanning is a process that uses natural tannins present in trees and plants to transform a hide into leather. It is a traditional, artisanal process that uses no harmful chemicals, hence, is a much slower and complex process. Full grain leather takes the entire grain of hide, maintaining all the natural markings as the surface is not corrected in an artificial manner.

Why choose vegetable tanned leather?

The most common and controversial leather is chrome tanned leather. About 80% of the world's leather supply is chrome tanned leather. Chrome tanned leather is treated with a toxic chemical, chromium, to transform a hide into leather. It leaves a strong chemical smell that remains in the final product. This method is cheaper, faster, and very harmful to the environment and to the health of the makers.

Another popular leather choice is “genuine leather”. Genuine leather is the lowest grade of leather, and is often scraps of leather bonded together with glue, painted, then pressed with patterns to mimic the look of leather.

Vegetable tanned leather uses no chemicals, but rather natural tannic acids found in trees and plant species. It has great durability and can last a lifetime if properly maintained. Unlike genuine leather that wears out, vegetable tanned leather softens and ages beautifully over time. Investing in a vegetable tanned leather piece will give you lower cost per wear, allowing you to consume less, reducing your environmental footprint. 


Caring for vegetable tanned leather

The unique tone and grain variation are desirable and natural characteristics of vegetable tanned leather, thus small marks and natural imperfections from the animal should not be seen as faults. Owning a vegetable tanned leather piece is a personal experience as the leather will age to reflect your lifestyle.

  • Your vegetable tanned leather piece may feel rigid in the beginning but will gradually soften and evolve.
  • The leather is not water resistant. If the leather gets wet, gently wipe off water and air dry. 
  • Applying leather conditioner or treatments throughout the lifespan of your piece will help maintain the beauty of the leather. Be sure to test any products on an inconspicuous area. Applying conditioner or treatments to natural, un-dyed leather will deepen the colour of the leather.  
  • Always store your leather piece in its dust bag, away from heat. Stuffing the bag when not in use will help maintain the shape of the bag. 


Natural, un-dyed leather

Our natural, un-dyed leather has an earthy tone which will deepen and age beautifully over time. The leather has no synthetic finishes and will develop a unique patina from everyday usage and exposure to the sun. As an example below, the bag will darken and transform with usage.

If you have further questions, email us at hello@celerythelabel.com or click to use the Contact Form.