It's All About the Leather...

December 18, 2018

It's All About the Leather...

You probably know that all leather is NOT the same.  This is a topic we have spent a lot of time exploring, as we worked on starting my Mila Roads leather handbag line.  Of the many ways to tan leather, we have chosen “veg tan” and here is why -


Vegetable Tanned Leather

Vegetable tanned leather is "chromium-free".  Free of harmful chemicals, it is an artisanal process that has been used for thousands of years, dating back to approximately 6000 BCE.  The colors are found in natural plants from bark, flowers, branches and fruit.  The vegetable tanning process takes much longer than chrome-tanning, sometimes two to three months.

Some of the benefits of the vegetable tanned leather are:

  • Traditional approach

  • Leathers are thick and hard wearing

  • All materials are biodegradable

  • Natural feel and “earthy” smell

  • Develops a patina with use and age

  • Feels more organic

Chrome Tanned Leather

Chrome tanned leather is a process that uses chromium sulfate (i.e. chrome tanning, chromexcel), which wasn’t invented until the mid-nineteenth century.  It is a much faster process and can be done in one day. It is responsible for about 80 percent of all of the leather used today.  But the heavy metal minerals used is often more damaging to the environment.

Mila Roads has deliberately decided against chrome-tanning, choosing the more costly method of vegetable tanning, focusing on the company’s sustainability.  We feel that this is a responsible way to respect the global culture that we desire to achieve with our brand, as we bring beauty from different parts of the world into your hands.  Our leather is tanned in Turkey, by a company who has a deep, multi-generation tradition in leather. The beautiful feel and natural look of the leather compliments the beauty of the textiles that we have hand-picked for our limited edition handbags.

-Lonnie Wadley.  October 12, 2018 





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