The Beauty of Vegetable-Tanned Leather


Part I — Tanning

In Stick & Ball’s commitment to sustainability, we are proud to craft ethically-sound pieces using long, slow and traditional techniques. Our leather accessories are made of natural, vegetable-tanned leather, bi-products of French and Swiss dairy cattle. This ancient technique used to treat leather dates back to 6000 B.C. Our leather is dyed using environmental tannins such as berries, bark, nuts and foliage. Less than 10% of the world's leather is tanned this way today due to this process being very time and labor intensive, taking up to two months to complete. The popular alternative, chromium-tanned leather, involves treating the product with a heavy metal, which unfortunately is quite toxic to the environment as well as the people processing it. 

We may be biased, but we believe that the color of a vegetable-tanned bag is magical and incomparable. This natural process results in distinctive colors that are rich, natural earthy tones such as browns, beiges, golden yellows and reds. Artisans harness the power of natural tannins, much like a glass of wine. A bag vegetable-tanned with certain berries will take on different colors than one tanned with only tree barks. The process requires skilled craftsmanship, and the results are stunning.

Our brand’s hero color, this mustard gold is reminiscent of the sun, and symbolizes joy, curiosity, happiness and warmth. Natural color hues will always remain our favorite. ☀️

Shop Stick & Ball’s collection of vegetable tanned leather accessories here.

We’d love to see images of how you style your Stick & Ball leather accessories. Tag us on our Instagram @stickandball.

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