I made this simple bag as part of a collaboration we are doing with our partners Leather School® and Craft Revolution (where you can make one yourself just like it) and I just love it. I have always enjoyed using a natural undyed thick leather for bags. The downside is that it marks easily. The upside is that it creates its own colour reacting to UV in daylight and develops an incredible patina that you can get vcery possessive about. The light rays react with the tannin in the leather which, in time, develops the familiar leather tan colour. In times past they didnt think of dyeing leather. All leather goods started life a very light soft cream colour getting darker by the day. You are, in effect, dyeing it yourself just by using it. Go into an antique shop and look at the old leather trunks and brief cases - they are all the same colour and no-one ever thought about dye.
If you are ever in Rome do visit Federico Polidori - his small workshop is in a street near the Pantheon. He specialises in natural vegtan leather but because customers want their leather brown he speeds up the process by taking his bags with him when he goes to the beach. He covers them with oil and places them around him in direct sun for maximum UV effect. See Federico's video https://vimeo.com/14323607
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Perhaps you know that one of our favourite and very special leathers we use here at Tanner Bates is our Russia Kip Calfskin Leather produced at our local tannery in East Devon. It has a fantastic story behind it - which you may already know. However for those of you who don’t, we’d love to share this with you.
Provenance really matters to us.
Our leather is tanned in the old fashioned way, in small family run tanneries. It is a slow process, but uses only natural ingredients to create the tan. All of our leather is a byproduct of the meat industry. We are passionate about not wasting a thing.
Our Oak Bark Tanned Leather: The beauty of this story is that it is a truly local Devon story. The animals are bred, live and are slaughtered in Devon. The meat is most probably consumed in Devon. The hides are tanned locally, in Devon at J&FJ Baker & Co. We hand craft all of our products in small batches right here in our Devon workshop.