Vegetable tanned leather featured at New York fashion week

February 24, 2009 1 By admin

Vegetable tanned leather featured at New York fashion week.


A photographic exhibition, by the world famous Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani has been set up in New York on products made of vegetable tanned leather, according to the old traditional workmanship promoted by leather manufacturers from Tuscany!

This year, New York fashion week will be enriched by a wonderful photographic exhibition focused on vegetable tanned leather products: very elegant and refined items, which are entirely hand worked with very high quality leather, undergoing a long and meticulous process of workmanship to assume an extraordinary softness and resilience, making the product itself unique and inimitable. The initiative has been promoted by the “Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetale ” (Association of genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather) with the aim of spreading the culture of this prestigious technology.

The exhibition will be composed of 40 pictures in total, which reproduce in detail the beautiful aspects of some products made according to this procedure, in order to make visible the quality of the leathers used in the manufacture process and allow the visitors to experience this refined method of leather craftsmanship. Located at the Openhouse Gallery in Soho (New York) from February the 23rd to February the 28th, the main subjects of these pictures will be gorgeous branded leather handbags, unique masterpieces made by leather masters according to the traditional craftsmanship from Tuscany.

But, what is vegetable tanned leather?

logo_sxThis process of leather workmanship has its ancient origins in Tuscany where leather masters have been handing on their traditions from generation to generation for almost 200 years, attaining complete perfection over the years.

The process is carried out with the most complete respect for Nature and it happens slowly, through a series of steps which take about 40 days to transform the crude skin into a soft and prestigious leather that improves in texture and appearance over time.

Among all the different kinds of tanning, vegetable tanning is the most classic but also the most gorgeous and versatile because it allows the creation of a product which can give you comfort and ease in any situation, at work and in your leisure time.

The secret of the vegetable tanning process is in the natural tannins, which are extracts contained in the wood and the bark of some trees, such as the chestnut tree and the mimosa tree. The extraction of these tannins happens with full respect for the atmosphere and, above all, for the plants themselves. These tannin mixtures penetrate the crude skin during the tanning process, which is then completed in big wooden barrels. It is a natural process based on the slow passage of time and on perfect processing by experienced craftsmen. Tannins give the leather that wonderful aspect of uniqueness which makes every item so individual and so different from other leather products. You can smell the typical scent of leather hide which is unmistakable.

Vegetable tanned skin absorbs the traces of time but its naturally aged beauty doesn’t compromise the durability and the charm of the product. Its color shading can change subtly over the years but it never becomes ugly and old-fashioned. The colorations of the tannins, over time, confer a warmth on the color of  the leather which contributes to personalizing the item even more, making it perfectly adaptable to every use, always fashionable and stylish.

Owning an item made of vegetable tanned leather means owning a product which perfectly embodies the philosophy and the traditions of Italian craftsmanship, the best expression of a style of life.

No one vegetable tanned leather is identical to any other; there is always something which distinguishes one skin from the other, perhaps just a different shade of color, a vein of the leather or another distinctive peculiarity which will make your item an unique masterpiece of classic refinement .

This photographic exhibition certainly won’t just stop in New York, but it will soon move on to Tokyo and Seoul too, just to make  people living in the most far-flung countries of the world aware of this very old but, at the same time, very innovative technology of vegetable tanning: a fine masterpiece of pure Italian craftsmanship in the most complete respect of Nature and the environment.

So, if you are in the neighbourhood  of the Openhouse Gallery in New York, we strongly recommend that you visit this photographic event and then, if you like,  write to us with your impressions. We are sure they will be extremely positive!!!!

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