Taking care of vegetable tanned leather

What is vegetable tanned leather?

Tanning leather with plant based tannins is one of the oldest known tanning techniques. Still today it is used for a great variety of leathers with very different characteristics.

Lately vegetable tanned leather has gained popularity with people becoming more conscious of possible health risks with chrome tanned leather that isn’t tanned properly.

You can for example find vegetable tanned lining leather that is soft and breathable inside of shoes. The stiff and hardwearing leather used as soles on shoes is also vegetable tanned often using oak bark.

Oak bark chips

Oak bark being used to tan leather. Source: shoegazing.com

Also the upper leather of your shoes can be vegetable tanned. Here the vegetable tanned leather requires special care since it can be more sensitive to water and general wear than certain chrome tanned leathers.

Our new Médaille d’Or Vegetable Tanned Leather Cream has been created to take care of vegetable tanned leathers and provide them with all the nourishment and protection they need.

Especially if vegetable tanned leather becomes too dry it can be stained easily by water and is also likely to start cracking when being left dry for too long.

The vegetable tanned leather cream contains lanolin that can be found in sheep’s wool and which is a natural water repellent but also a great conditioner for leather. Also the contained beeswax and montan wax create a protective layer on the leather.

A characteristic of vegetable tanned leather is that it develops a natural patina. Dark leathers will become lighter coloured over time while light coloured leather tend to darken.

Louis Vuitton Vachetta leather

The iconic Louis Vuitton Vachetta leather is for example vegetable tanned leather. Source: coutureusa.com

Something to look out for when caring for vegetable tanned leather is that the leather can easily be darkened when applying oils. Therefore the vegetable tanned leather cream is free of oils and maintains the original colour and natural patina of the leather while still nourishing and conditioning the leather.

How to use the vegetable tanned leather cream?

When caring for your vegetable tanned leather shoes, bags or accessories you can proceed like you already know from our other creams. Brush the item to remove all dust and make sure the leather is clean and dry.

Apply the vegetable tanned leather cream with a dry and clean cloth or brush and let the leather absorb the nourishing ingredients for about 10 minutes.

Then buff the leather with a dry cloth or one of our horsehair brushes to a subtle shine.

And its as easy as that to care for your vegetable tanned leather items with our new vegetable tanned leather cream.