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Understand Leather & Care

Types of Leather that we use

Veg-tanned leather
80% of our products are made with veg-tanned leather. This kind of leather is tanned using natural tannins from materials such as tree bark and leaves, so it's the most environmentally friendly leather choice.

Because it lacks a synthetic coating and is a light, natural colour, veg-tanned leather tends to show more natural imperfections than chrome-tanned leather. At Atelier Eli, we always select top-quality veg-tanned with minimal flaws. 

Colour & texture changes over time
Veg-tanned leather starts off as a light tan colour with natural variations due to the tanning process. Initially, it may feel stiffer compared to other leather types, but this stiffness is temporary. As veg-tanned leather ages, it darkens into a deep caramel brown and gradually becomes soft and flexible. Unlike other leather types, veg-tanned leather lacks synthetic coatings, allowing it to absorb moisture and oils. Over time, with use and exposure to the elements, veg-tanned leather develops an attractive patina.

(Picture: left bag-used for one year, right-brand new)

Chrome Tanned Leather

The chemicals in the chrome-tanning process soften the leather and give it a soft, drapable quality that lends itself to be the ideal material for clothing and upholstery projects. Chrome-tanned leather is less likely to change over time, although it might fade slightly. 

Maintenance for chrome-tanned leather is relatively easy, requiring minimal effort. Periodically conditioning with leather oil or balm can help spot-clean the leather. In some cases, a simple damp cloth can suffice for cleaning purposes.


Leather Products We Love

To ensure that your veg-tanned leather lasts a long time and stays looking its best, we highly recommend taking the time to protect and condition it. Here are some of our favourite products to use for leather care:

  1. Renapur Leather Balsam

  2. Fiebing's Mink Oil

* Remember, always test a small section of the leather with any product before applying to the whole surface.​

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